Use this page to learn about any online learning that isn’t delivered live. Use it when you’ve been providing some learning online for a while, to help you decide whether you need expert help and if you need a specialist sharing platform.
New solutions make it easier to deliver face-to-face training and mentoring services online. More people are working and volunteering from home. These two things mean there's an increased need for remote delivery of eLearning.
The range of options and unfamiliar terminology can make it difficult to know where to start. And to know what the best options are for your organisation.
What do we mean by eLearning? Historically, eLearning referred to any learning resource delivered electronically. Online learning is referred to anything delivered online. Over time, this has become a subtle distinction. Which term you use is often based on personal preference.
This page is about any online learning that is not delivered live (in real-time). We’re calling this process eLearning.
ELearning refers to many different solutions, from documents and video to quizzes. These solutions are a good starting point and a way to build courses for learners on a small budget. You can also blend eLearning with live online sessions. This offers learners both teaching and support.
If you want to create engaging eLearning you can do this without specialist support. Videos, articles and slide shows can be effective learning tools.
Consider some of the skills you'll need to create effective and enjoyable eLearning.
So if you want to move to the next level and create interactive eLearning, it's likely you'll need some help.
You can learn to use an authoring tool yourself or you can choose a specialist to help you create materials learning materials using an authoring tool. It's like choosing a professionally-designed brochure over whatever design skills you manage to teach yourself.
This expert help involves a cost. Even when you work with people that specialise in supporting charities. Using a range of delivery methods can make eLearning more affordable.
An NHS Trust asks Well Minds to provide an online training course about mental health. The charity already has a basic online course made up of text-based web pages. But the contract fee allows them to create a more professional learning experience. One they will sell to others.
Well Minds purchase a license and create most of the course content themselves as slides and videos. The fee covers the cost of a specialist to add a few engaging interactive activities. Now they'll continue to invest as new customers buy the programme.
When created, your eLearning will need a site from which you can deliver your courses to learners. If you don't need to track learner usage or charge for your eLearning, you can publish it on your website. If this is working well for you, you don’t have to go any further. But you can find that using a website has some limitations.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues you should look at taking the next step. That's investing in a Learning Management System (LMS). An LMS is an online service designed to help you manage learners and their use of learning resources.
Remember that an LMS won't help you improve your learning materials. You still need people and their expertise to do that.
The basic elements of a Learning Management System are as follows.
Grow Well support volunteers in building their life skills. Volunteers have to complete a particular course before taking part in an activity. So Grow Well choose an LMS that allows them to set up learner pathways.
When their learners complete an introductory module, a more advanced module shows. If they pass an end of module test they get an option to download a certificate. They also get suggestions for related content.
One cost-effective solution that might work for you is to partner with a charity that already has an LMS. You would then 'sublet' space on their LMS.
This is a great solution if you have decided you want the functionality of an LMS but want to start gently. There may be an additional fee from their LMS provider to increase the number of licences they hold. Even with this cost it'll:
Carer Support wants to change some of their face-to-face training into self-contained online courses. The charity hopes it'll open up their courses to a new audience and extend their reach. After researching the options they asked a partner organisation for advice. They offer to provide Carer Support with an area on their LMS for a small fee.
This allows the charity to focus their time and money on course development. Carer Support will find an alternative solution when they can gauge potential eLearning income.
Ready to look for a learning management system? Not all systems or options are the same. Read our guide to help you decide what to look for when evaluating services, and what they include.
Want to hear about other people who have transformed their eLearning. In this video, leading charity trainers, the FSI share their experience.
This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 02 March 2021
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