What do you do when it's not an elearning course?

As on offshoot of this conversation on "Getting started with needs analysis",  I'm curious about what are some of the other alternatives you consider or have implemented when an elearning course is NOT the best option.

For example, maybe just a PDF with or without a quiz could suffice in some situations. I'm thinking lower tech and/or lower cost, quicker to implement options.  Do you regularly suggest other alternatives other than elearning courses? What are those alternatives?

14 Replies
Steve Flowers

We've been really successful with task guides (tutorials) for regularly performed tasks or simple tasks and electronic performance support solutions (super job aids) for more complex tasks or tasks that aren't performed often.

The task guides usually manifest as PDF documents but can work as emails or articles (blog posts) as well. Our EPSS typically include small learning objects like video explainers for tasks that call for it. About half of the materials we build to support technical tasks are this type of package. No tracking, just a consolidated resource that comes out of a task validation / analysis. These work really, really well for us.

Brian Dusablon

I agree with Steve - depends on what the need is.

I've built simple EPSS, mentoring programs, blended approaches, and more.

Courses have their place, but it's never my first answer. I always try to find simple solutions before saying, "let's build a course for that."

Also, again agreeing with Steve, no need for tracking unless there's some performance goal, expectation or legal reason for the tracking.

Holly MacDonald

Love the practicality of these suggestions.

Toolkits are often popular with my clients, these can be any kind of support, but a decision-aid with a flow chart can be really helpful.

I also had someone ask me in a workshop last week about a new employee orientation and how that could be made more interesting. I said that perhaps giving a recent hire a video camera and a directive to show things that are helpful for a "new hire" to know would be a way to go. Slap a small symbol sticker on an item that is shown in the video and you can cross-reference places with documents (like a trail marker) and resources that give context to the place sticker on an orientation site. This was for a financial services company...

Holly

Vicki Kunkel

For JIT solutions, we have integrated pre-programmed interactive avatars whereby the user/learner types in a question, and an animated avatar gives an answer.  Not exactly a low-tech solution, but if you have the tech talent on staff, it can be low-cost and users seem to really respond to it.   In some non-scientific surveys we have done, we've also found that users seem to remember the information more when presented in this manner, as opposed to a static job-aid.  

Fiona Quigley

A really good question, but I'd also like to ask the question "When is it most appropriate to design a course"?

In answer to the actual question - my learners love video so sometimes a simple Q&A with an expert helps. I liked the avatar idea mentioned by Vicki too. We also invite learners to send us on-going questions and we answer those in an on-going basis. We do create job aids, checklists and have short "What if" scenarios. Visuals help too - especially process flowcharts and decision aids.

QR codes are useful e.g. if you are in a specific area which requires for exaple certain health and safety rules, the code can be scanned for a reminder.

Also I have justed looked at Curatrs (http://www.curatr.co.uk/) updated social learning platform which encourages learners to create their own content after the basics of a subject have been presented. I believe that tools like these have a place and would be nice to see them used more.

Best wishes,

Fiona.

Natalia Mueller

Some of our most popular resources are actually Quick Start Guides (called many different things at other companies). They're basically just screen shots with the steps mapped out. Like a job aid but with a little more detail.

Our IT department also creates very short screencasts 1-2 minutes long that demonstrate how to do something. There are no stated objectives and no interactions.  They're  meant to be the equivilant of quickly asking a coworker to show you how to do something.

Phil Mayor

Vicki Kunkel said:

Phil Mayor said:

We implemented an online mentoring programme, and an online course directory.  Also we have done face3face training programmes


Love the idea of an online mentoring program!


Hi Vicky

here is a link to our site http://www.mylearningspace.me.uk/mentornet/admin/  its not being used much yet (if at all) but we are promoting its use, it will help you find a mentor,manage the relationships, meetings, has a document repository and prints reports of time spent mentoring or being mentored

Phil

Vicki Kunkel

Phil Mayor said:

Vicki Kunkel said:

Phil Mayor said:

We implemented an online mentoring programme, and an online course directory.  Also we have done face3face training programmes


Love the idea of an online mentoring program!


Hi Vicky

here is a link to our site http://www.mylearningspace.me.uk/mentornet/admin/  its not being used much yet (if at all) but we are promoting its use, it will help you find a mentor,manage the relationships, meetings, has a document repository and prints reports of time spent mentoring or being mentored

Phil


Looks pretty snazzy, Phil!  What a great idea to have a portal set up just for mentoring!   Your site is very well done.   Fits nicely with a lot of the trends on social learning!

Phil Mayor

Vicki Kunkel said:

Phil Mayor said:

Vicki Kunkel said:

Phil Mayor said:

We implemented an online mentoring programme, and an online course directory.  Also we have done face3face training programmes


Love the idea of an online mentoring program!


Hi Vicky

here is a link to our site http://www.mylearningspace.me.uk/mentornet/admin/  its not being used much yet (if at all) but we are promoting its use, it will help you find a mentor,manage the relationships, meetings, has a document repository and prints reports of time spent mentoring or being mentored

Phil


Looks pretty snazzy, Phil!  What a great idea to have a portal set up just for mentoring!   Your site is very well done.   Fits nicely with a lot of the trends on social learning!


Thanks Vicky, when we originally set the site up, social learning and networking was our aim.  This has been diluted recently as a lot of stuff was not being used so we removed it.  Its really nice though when people recognise what our aim was though, thank you