Is Completion a Good Measure For eLearning?

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We’ve spoken at length about how and why eLearning is THE tool to develop your employees in a consistent manner. This leads us to a question: with so many courses that you design to train your staff, how far is it important that you measure completion of courses? Is one employee who has successfully completed all online modules definitely better than one who hasn’t?

elearning course completion a good measureTo begin with, let us identify certain cases where completion is a reliable measure of eLearning efficiency. For example, consider a scenario where eLearning is being used as standalone or in a blended format to teach critical skills or impart specific knowledge. You have an instructor take a pre-determined number of sessions to a large group of employees to demonstrate certain skills. Or if the organization belongs to an industry where completion is either required by law or is judged to be a proxy for knowledge/skills acquired. In such situations, it makes sense to set completion goals for different classes of employees, as the need be. (For example, 500 employees in the software testing department must complete the three eLearning modules by August 31).

Alternatively, eLearning functions as a performance support. Here, employees use the uploaded learning resources to get any information they want, exactly when they need it. A well-designed and easily navigable eLearning system exists for the purpose of increasing employees’ efficiencies while they are on the job. Making course completion mandatory would in fact nullify its objective of being the handy tool to learn. It gives them the freedom of not relying on their seniors/ instructors for every-day doubts. For example, you might create an e-library with courses on communication, language, writing, team building, career development and general business subjects. This will improve employee engagement by enabling them to “surf” the library at will. Compelling them to complete the entire e-learning course serves no purpose and dramatically reduces the efficiency of this solution. The goal is to get in, find what you need, and get out. In this case it makes no sense to measure completions. Instead what makes sense is to measure “touches” or access to know what content is being mostly used.

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