There's nothing like corporate e-learning to bring on the eye rolls, glazed stares, and people darting out the door at 5:00 on the dot. After all, most e-learning, for most of time, has been mind-numbing, ugly, full of bugs, and not even helpful on the job. So it's not surprising that there are whole populations in the workforce for whom e-learning is a bad word.
It doesn't have to be this way, but you can create the most spectacular, engaging, unique, and legitimately useful course and people will still roll their eyes because...e-learning. Nope. Not interested. Should you throw in the towel and go all classroom? Maybe, but in so many cases that just isn't feasible. Not to mention there are a lot of problems that e-learning can solve really well--it's scalable, promotes consistent messaging, and cuts in-person training costs to name a few.
Once you've built a great course, what you really need is to tweak your messaging. Here are three ideas to help you change the perception of online learning in your organization.
1. Call it something else
Seriously, no one ever said that you have to call it e-learning. Take a cue from politicians and jump on the euphemism treadmill! Try out different terms, like virtual training, selling simulation, learning portal, restaurant simulator, office sandbox--you get the point. Come up with something that fits your course, fits your culture, and doesn't use the dirty word.
2. Build a marketing plan
We've blogged about this before and even put together an entire guide on how to do it. Check out these posts:
- Do you market your e-learning to your learners? You should.
- Marketing trailers for e-learning are the next big thing
- 6 ways to help your next e-learning course go viral
3. Change the usual scenery
Maybe the problem isn't actually your e-learning itself, but the way people access it. Is your Learning Management System (LMS) slow, difficult to use, or just downright unattractive? Such an experience at the outset of a course doesn't put people in a positive frame of mind. Or maybe the problem is that managers are reluctant to allocate ample time for training, and so it's an uphill battle to fit e-learning into schedules. Whatever the environmental barriers, see what you can do to fix them.
You want learners coming to your awesome new course with a fresh, relaxed, and happy mindset. Maybe you mix things up by sending everybody off site to complete an introductory module in teams using iPads. Think about all the things you can do outside of the course itself to make the complete experience new and different. It'll be refreshing for your learners, and probably for you too.