There is growing evidence that the digital learning and assessment specialist eCom Scotland is solving an issue which is as old as eLearning itself: getting learners to enthuse about – and use – eLearning materials.
eCom's clients are reporting that their employees’ take-up, and on-going access, of the eLearning materials available to them is consistently high. eCom’s clients come from 13 sectors including the automotive, construction, nuclear, oil and gas, as well as pharmaceutical, professional services, government and healthcare.
Allan Maclean, Marketing Manager at eCom, believes that promoting your learning materials to their potential users is a vital part of ensuring these materials are effective. He explained: “To do that, you need to get the learning into the learner’s workspace easily and effectively.”
An experienced marketer working in the corporate eLearning field, Allan believes that the key tip to remember is that the organisation itself is best placed to market its own courses because no one else knows them better.
He said: “Showing enthusiasm and excitement encourages people get on-board.”
In addition, Allan’s five positive tips for promoting eLearning materials internally are:
Acknowledge achievement. “Showcase learners’ achievements by incorporating a certificate or a digital badge once a learner finishes the course – to give them an instant reward and a tangible ‘something’ to show they’ve done it,” said Allan, “and set up a professional growth chart for the team so everyone can see how completing the course helps them grow within the organisation.”
Run a campaign. Inexpensive things to raise awareness include making use of email, issuing newsletters and organising an ‘open house’ – virtually, if necessary - where people can drop in to find out more information about the learning materials available to them. “Use your organisation’s marketing or internal communications team,” added Allan. “Tell them your plans in advance and ask for their support. They may come up with creative promotional ideas that hadn’t previously been considered.”
Organise a promotional event. Have a presentation – virtually, if necessary - featuring important people in your organisation, such someone from the C-suite, senior operations manager or team leader. Allan commented: “Make it a ‘want to attend’ event. Have an ice-breaker that involves everyone before you start the presentation. This way, people will feel more relaxed and, hopefully, will have some fun too,” he said. “And avoid lunchtime, as this may put some people off.”
Collect feedback and testimonials. In Allan’s view: “Listen to your audience and ask for feedback. It’ll help you improve on future learning content and presentation, adapt current resources and improve the overall learning experience. See what worked – and work out how you put that knowledge to future use,” he added. “Gather testimonials from learners that you can use for your on-going promotional endeavours. People like getting real opinions from real people. It builds trust in the learning materials.
Be constant, consistent – and persistent. “The whole exercise is a long-distance race,” stressed Allan. “After an impressive initial uptake of the learning materials, keep promotional communications going. Continue reminding your audience why they should, or need to, complete the learning.”
Allan also recommends avoiding:
Text-heavy promotional material. You’re producing information to help build excitement about the learning materials - not an instruction manual. Allan explained: “Consider creative ways to showcase information about the learning materials – such as an eye-catching graphic or engaging video. Stress the two – or, at most, three - key messages.”
- Changing your branding. People need and want trust. Significant changes to your logo, colours or style means that users won’t recognise that this course is being run by their organisation. Allan explained: “You can make your eLearning ‘different’ but, if things are off-brand, you could run into problems.”
Going PowerPoint crazy. Allan advised: “You want your learners to understand why they should be doing the course and feel motivated to begin, so avoid a PowerPoint presentation, with screenshot after screenshot of the course.”
eCom creates innovative learning solutions – aimed at increasing learning engagement and driving productivity - to help organisations achieve their goals. With offices in Dunfermline, Scotland, and Athens, Georgia, in the USA, but with customers from around the world, eCom focuses on the delivery, tracking and reporting of workforce learning and development through innovative technologies. Its products and services address a range of workforce management, development and training challenges, including eLearning, online assessment, blended learning, competency management and accreditation.