‘Doing more with less’ was the theme of the Kineo seminar held in London earlier in November.
The seminar participants included a range of Kineo clients, and those considering how to do more with less in their organisations, and eager to find out how a rapid approach could help.
What are the issues?
We started by considering the results of recent elearning market surveys and Kineo’s own recent survey before launching into a discussion on the key issues facing training departments currently.
There was general agreement that the key issues included:
1. Keeping pace with change
The current economic climate means that there is a lot of change taking place. Over 70% of those responding to Kineo’s survey said they needed to deliver faster - a sentiment echoed by seminar participants on the day, with general agreement that three week timelines were becoming more and more common for elearning projects.
2. Reducing costs
Over 80% of those responding to the Kineo survey said they were being driven to reduce costs. This was also one of the top issues raised by seminar participants.
3. Engaging the learners and increasing take up
The importance of good instructional and visual design to engage learners and effective internal marketing were highlighted as ways to help ensure take up of elearning.
4. Strategies for updating content
Developing elearning was only one part of the equation. Ease and speed of updates was a key requirement. There was a sense of frustration from a number of organisations that they had to go back to suppliers to make changes or use complex authoring tools to update content. During the seminar, we demonstrated some of our recent solutions that use xml content and feeds to update content without any elearning authoring tools, but which enable clients to update text and images within a matter of minutes.
5. Proving effectiveness and value for money
Delivering value through smart thinking was a key conclusion from the seminar. L&D teams need to be able to show how they can adjust to the new economic realities, and still deliver quality at speed. It is possible to radically reduce the costs of sophisticated elearning solutions through a streamlined process, rapid tools, partnership working and free/ low- cost tools such as Moodle, Audacity and Survey Monkey.
How to address them?
The strategies being adopted by organisations included a drive towards more elearning. In one major corporate it was reported that a target had been set to deliver 50% of learning through elearning.
In a survey set up in tandem with the seminar, over 50% of organisations said they were converting classroom training to elearning. One organisation said they were working on a ratio of 3 to 1, namely to reduce 3 hours of classroom training to 1 hour of elearning.
In the seminar, two of Kineo’s major clients, C&W and HSBC, presented case studies of how their organisations had delivered on the ‘more for less’ agenda by making the best use of rapid elearning tools and approaches.
Half of organisations were both looking to do more elearning development internally but they recognized that they would need to outsource specific aspects of the work or whole projects in peak periods. Rapid elearning was becoming more common (“part of our DNA” for one organization) and there is increasing use of webinars.
A third of those responding said they were considering using open source tools. In the case study section of the seminar we looked at Joomla! and Moodle as two key areas which can enable L&D teams to potentially move faster than their IT departments can.
What for the future?
The general conclusions from the attendees at the seminar on their current strategies were that the learning and development landscape for attendees was changing quickly.
- Most wanted greater control of the elearning development process but, with the need for streamlined teams and tougher deadlines, it was a future that involved collaboration with externals and none of the pure models of inhouse or outsourcing. Some of the key conclusions from the session: Re-usability is key in a time like this – reusable graphics in particular
- Partner differently – it doesn’t have to always be about courses, it can be focusing on a series of templates or graphics. Elearning companies who are flexible will survive.
- Three week turnaround is here – you have to figure out how to configure your model to deliver at speed, and this may mean dumping your current model
- Being able to edit, with or without an authoring tool, is key so that L&D teams can take more control
- Sometimes you can get the job done faster with an open source and/or externally hosted approach than working with IT
- Small teams work better – keep working with select partners and don’t grow enormous teams if you want to stay agile
The participants left with new views on rapid elearning, new connections with other professionals, and at least one idea each to apply in their business. And we’ll be checking to see if they did it….
If you’re interested in joining a future Kineo seminar, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org