Do you currently manage an eLearning department at an association? Are your education programs bringing in value for the organization and for your members? Or do you need assistance generating non-dues revenue from your education offerings? There are steps you can take to make sure you have the appropriate assets and knowledge base to make your eLearning Business a success.
Here are the four main components that make an eLearning business thrive or dive. If you want a healthy eLearning curriculum for your learners you will want to focus your research and development on:
- Where is your eLearning content coming from?
- Who is in-charge of what?
- What technology should be used?
- What will the return on investment be?
Should you have your content developed before looking for the right technology? Where is your content coming from? What is the appropriate amount of content for your specific learner? There are many questions to be asked; and each answer is dependent on the unique needs for your membership.
Association content and development can vary. If you are part of a medical association, the way you obtain and develop that content is going to look very different from an association focused within the trade industry. Honing in on your learners specific needs will give you a better understanding of what type of content needs to be produced. Do they access content via a mobile device? Where do they track their CE currently? Where and when do they spend time learning?
Know who you have on your team and what their capabilities are. From there, you can make decisions on staff expansion or reduction, or if you need to outsource your eLearning business employees. This part of your eLearning business will connect back to the technology you choose. If you are purchasing a learning management system, do you have an LMS administrator? There may be an option for the LMS company to provide the administration; but this is something to clarify during your request for proposal process.
Most associations have an Association Management System (AMS) that organizes the day to day operations of the organization. The AMS is generally one of the most important technological components of an association, making it important to ensure other software programs can integrate with your AMS.
No one learning technology is right for every organization. Some eLearning businesses are best off using the basics: webinars, PowerPoints, in-person instruction. Others need a robust learning management system (LMS) that can handle thousands of learners and a variety of learning formats. Generally, organizations need an LMS when they must track members’ credits and certificates. Most websites and AMS systems have limited functionality in this area.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Some associations provide their learners with free courses; while others offer classes as an add on, at an additional fee. This decision is made by weighing the demand for online education, if your learners are receiving required credits for their profession, and what your budget allows for. These are all things to consider when creating your eLearning business plan.
Are you ready to enhance your eLearning business? eLearning business consultants can make sure you are ready for what’s ahead and assist along the way. Our webinar with Jon Aleckson, CEO of Web Courseworks, and Andy Hicken, Director of Quality and Strategy, will take a deeper dive into content, staff, technology, and ROI, as well as explain the different types of eLearning business consultants: who and who not to hire.