In Purchasing and Human Resources Departments of companies and organisations, it is increasingly common to initiate processes for selecting an online or e-learning solutions provider, which in turn entails a comprehensive educational solution with guarantees of reliability and quality. We know that it is not an easy task, as today we have diverse sources of information (mainly the internet and trade fairs or events). But this same exploration occasionally generates even greater confusion, as many providers claim to be leaders (including those with few years of experience). They even go as far as saying that they have multiple e-learning solutions, when they consider a PDF to be “interactive”. All of this, along with diversification and terminology which is constantly growing, leads the Human Resources professional or head of purchasing to require considerable time to start the selection process for the suitable technological provider or partner.
In this context, we wish to briefly analyse some of the basic points for developing fruitful relationships with an expert in online content or educational platforms. The reason is simple: the better the e-learning solutions provider, the better the chances of success in learning.
Of course, not all e-learning providers are equal. The strategic partner in e-learning solutions (interactive content in SCORM format, LMS, LCMS, Virtual classrooms, etc. that they choose) will have an impact on their success in online training.
Not sure of how to guarantee that your e-learning solutions provider is suitable? You can begin by reflecting on the following questions:
#1. Does your e-learning solutions provider offer all the tools and characteristics that you need during the different points of training?
In the case of content, we must check that they provide learning for 100% of the subject. That is, progressive learning, without gaps. Therefore, in addition to the content, we need this e-learning provider to offer level tests in accordance with the needs of our clients in the case of being a training consultancy, or for all colleagues within our Corporation.
It is also necessary for this content to comply with the SCORM regulations to provide the most complete progress reports.
Logically, on the internet we can find a wide variety of e-learning solutions providers that offer their own educational platforms and content. The most reasonable method is to select the e-learning provider that has most extensively developed each one of the necessary elements for proper practice of online learning. The success of learning is very demanding in this aspect. Additionally, focusing the training on only digital libraries and collaboration platforms must be avoided. In these, many cases the subjects are disjointed and make fluid learning difficult. It is better to choose an educational platform that allows 360º training, without limitations.
#2. Does their content and/or educational platform allow you to grow?
Can your e-learning solutions provider offer you more than you currently need? There are providers who limit themselves to offering basic solutions, it is complicated to change to a better one. For example, there are renowned educational platforms that do not allow you to export to other platforms or another LMS once you have imported the students, to prevent migration to competitors. Therefore, you should seek platforms and content which you can use with ease and which provide flexibility.
Something similar occurs with content limited with disjointed Flash Cards, not connected to specific content, and videos of YouTube links, etc. You should ask yourself: What is the objective of this training? Are students reaching the educational objectives, specifically in an educational and enjoyable way? Will I need more content in the long term? Does this provider have more content? The selected e-learning solutions provider should always have a wide range of content, so that we have greater guarantees of success when accessing the SCORM content of a reliable provider with e-learning solutions who follows a methodology, with structures oriented towards real, dynamic and effective learning objectives. Ultimately, what we have known for years as “learning by doing”.
We can see another example already cited in digital libraries, which only allow materials to be uploaded in PDF format. Possibly, upon starting the training project this option is enough, but does it really serve us for achieving the desired objectives of the training? Do students really learn? Do they practice? Am I offering them whats best? Perhaps your competitors are already thinking of incorporating video and audio or an open or closed community. Are you going to put limits on your business or company? It will always be better to have good professional support with decades of experience in the sector.
#3. Is your e-learning solutions provider committed to updating and development?
When one invests in a technological provider or partner, one hopes to obtain and prolong benefits for years; but what happens if this provider does not update their content or their developments? When selecting, make sure that you will not be left behind. Check that your technological provider invests in development, in the technical characteristics of the product, and in facilitating the use of each tool. Definitively, on Research, Development and Innovation. To establish a relationship of real and ongoing trust, innovation is essential.
#4. Is the client service suitable for the needs of my business?
Does your platform work well? That is not enough. Technical support is essential. An essential factor of a good e-learning provider resides in the skill of their staff, hosting and quality servers. Many providers neglect their personal service. In fact, clients frequently request implementations for their moodle or other type of platform. They also comment that their educational platform does not allow them to include reports on their content because theirs do not follow SCORM, as well as other similar situations. These circumstances affect the image that their clients perceive, while a quality service after acquisition decisively contributes to loyalty. We have always applied this philosophy at CAE over 35 years, and which allows us to continue to innovate and advise our clients on their businesses, with the greatest guarantees of success.
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