e-Learning Boom

– Top ten tips for creating your own effective e-learning program –

Why e-learning?

Why e-learning?

A friend’s son recently explained his enthusiasm with Kahn Academy, a leading free online learning platform for high school students, saying that in traditional school he was never able to “pause and rewind” his teacher! This single virtue of e-learning made us re-think our own preconceived notion about the “inefficiency of those new, mechanized, technology based learning methods”!

E-learning can be done anywhere and anytime. It is more cost efficient, and according to some studies even more effective in terms of achieving the learning outcomes. With the ever growing Internet penetration, more and more people are having easy access to education and training worldwide.

Where is e-learning going?

According to a BBC World Business Report, the global education market is going to continue booming from today’s $5 trillion to $6.3 trillion in 2017. At the same time, e-learning is actually the fastest growing segment of education with 23% annual growth!

It looks like the real online learning revolution has just started despite being around in one form or another for a few decades : e-learning currently constitutes only 2% of the overall education market.

Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford University professor and the founder of Udacity.com believes that “fifty years from now, there will be only ten institutions in the whole world that deliver higher education”. More academic institutions understand this new reality and now offer a wide range of courses online. Similarly, more and more business are starting to recognize the opportunity: they are now doing online training for their employees or customers.

Where can I go online to take online training or education:

Here are a few e-learning resources on various subjects for yourself or for your employees:

– Lynda.com (www.lynda.com): a platform for online learning with thousands of videos on various mostly web design and development subjects
– Kahn Academy (www.KahnAcademy.org):  free online courses in various subjects mostly at the high school level. Most known for their free math courses and learning tracking platform.
– Udacity (www.udacity.com): free online courses in various subjects mostly at the university level
– Coursera (www.Coursera.com): joined effort of many major universities to offer free online courses
– MyKison.com (www.mykison.com):  Vancouver’s own online sales training offered by Kison Inc, and
– Ivan’s own online business and technology training programs with iPower Lab (www.ipowerlab.com)


What are your tips for creating an effective e-learning platform for our employees?

Here are our top ten tips:

1. Don’t just upload your resources online; make sure to structure the training as a step-by-step or week-by week program.

  1. Make it personal: do personally welcome the participants, offer your personal answers, advice and insights, etc.
  2. Be clear with the goals of your training so the person taking the course knows why the training is important; this will also help you measure the effectiveness of your program.
  3. Create assignments and / or test for participants at the end of each training module.
  4. Combine online and offline training whenever possible: stay in personal touch with all trainees.
  5. Combine your existing resources with other external online resources.
  6. Offer a certificate of completed training at the end of the program; offer special incentives for the most successful participants.
  7. Enable communication between participants through chat or forums.
  8. Follow up after the training.
  9. Finally, the nice thing about online training is that it only gets better with time. That said, don’t forget to perfect your training and keep it alive by constantly adding content, videos, tips and other resources.

 Written by Dr. Ivan Surjanovic and Cyri Jones, 
adapted from BizTech101 column in Business in Vancouver

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