Magazine article Talent Development

Marketing E-Learning: They Came, They Saw, They Couldn't Log on. Here Are Some Straightforward Tips for Fixing That Common Problem. First, Look to Your Technical Support Team

Magazine article Talent Development

Marketing E-Learning: They Came, They Saw, They Couldn't Log on. Here Are Some Straightforward Tips for Fixing That Common Problem. First, Look to Your Technical Support Team

Article excerpt

One way to determine how well employees have received your organization's e-learning program is to ask your technical support team.

Employees often call the tech staff due to a need for technical information. But don't be upset that participants don't understand the most basic information--information that you are sure you told them back when the project began. Instead, take it as a signal that there's a need for ongoing marketing of your e-learning (and all training) initiatives to all employees, including management.

The reality is that formal learning isn't an everyday occurrence, so it's important to consider that it's not just what you do, but also what message you convey and how. That's why your ongoing marketing program must keep learners acquainted with the most basic how-to and why parts of their training.

Kevin Kruse, founder of e-LearningGuru.com, says that effective marketing communication requires learner-centric messaging that is repeated over time. "The 'what's in it for me?' perspective should drive your branding and marketing efforts."

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There are several ways you can determine how well your employees have received your organization's e-learning program. Using techniques from surveys to focus groups, feedback can be gathered to assist in the program's ongoing development. But there's another source for feedback you may have overlooked: technical support. Your learners call technical support on a regular basis, and it may be time for you to ask technical support why.

Noel Nicholas, director of technical services at GeoLearning, lists the most frequent calls her technical service staff receives from users:

* They need their user name or password, or they don't know how to log on to the training Website. Often they don't even remember the URL to get to the site.

* The course they're registered for doesn't launch when they click on it to begin.

* Their course did launch, but they had to quit in the middle. When they returned to the course, it hadn't been book-marked.

* They completed the course, but the course still registers "incomplete."

* They want to know why they have to take the course for which they've been registered.

Some of those issues are due to a need for technical information--such as whether the course they're trying to launch requires a plug-in or certain security settings on the desktop. Sometimes, a learner just needs to allow the system to refresh the page he or she is viewing so the course resumes. Also not commonly understood is that a user must exit a course properly in order for the LMS to bookmark where he or she quit the course. Last, some of the bulleted issues indicate the need that many e-learning participants have for basic knowledge.

Nicholas says that many organizations put that type of information on a FAQs page and believe that participants will seek and find out what they need. "Clients with the fewest calls to technical support get good results because they have frequent and active communication from the top down, as well as back and forth from students to administrators," she says.

But you told them, right?

Don't be dismayed that your e-learning participants don't understand the most basic information--information that you know you told them back when the project was rolled out. In fact, there's a need for ongoing marketing of your e-learning (and all training) initiatives.

Now's the time to market your e-learning program to employees, including management, to keep everyone informed and to create ongoing demand for your product, which in this case is their training. …

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