The start of the new school year in September always makes us think of wide-eyed children, venturing into their new classrooms, with all their shiny new notebooks, pens, and tablets. They can be both excited and nervous at the prospect of what they will learn and experience in the coming year. There will be many new challenges as they adapt to a new teacher, new concepts, and a new environment, but along the way, it will become easier and they will wonder how they didn't know how to do things this way before! For associations, getting started with online learning can feel the same way.
Many associations considering offering online learning to their members start by providing webinars, or recorded conference sessions online. We outline the benefits of graduating from webinars to online courses in our blog, and we can also provide some help with best practice for creating eLearning content.
If you have questions about whether online learning is right for your organization, whether you intend to provide online training or certification programs, you might want to see how education programs increase value for association members. We have also put together A Practical Guide to Online Learning, which provides tips and experience we have gained from over 20 years of helping organizations to build and develop education and certification programs. For a sneak peek at some of the advice in the guide, we've included five tips to getting started with online learning below:
- Identify the Stakeholders - It is essential that all the relevant business units are included in the process to ensure a successful implementation. Getting input from Marketing, IT, and Finance departments can help you to achieve buy-in from the whole organization, making the move to a new system easier.
- Understand your Cost Options - It is critical to agree a payment structure that is in line with planned usage of the system and the association's business model. Ensure that your vendor provides flexible models and understands how associations operate.
- Factor in Support and Maintenance - Organisations change and evolve, and supporting systems should be flexible to cope with this change. Consider how your needs for support may change as your association grows.
- Get the Right Project Team in Place - The ideal project team is typically made up of three to five key business owners from relevant departments. Decide who are the key members of your project team.
- Beware of Scope Creep - The key stakeholders should put together a comprehensive set of requirements at the start of the project. This will help to eliminate delays and keep costs in budget.
For more details on these and other helpful tips to getting started with online learning for your association, download the guide below.