When training companies start looking for online learning solutions, there are a few guidelines that will help them avoid common pitfalls and solutions that are not good for their needs.
The two main reasons for our clients to buy an online learning platform are the pressure from their customers and the desire to scale up their business. Their customers are demanding opportunities to study where ever and whenever as face to face courses are harder to fit in their tight schedules. Online courses are also an excellent way for training companies to scale up their course business globally.
When businesses start comparing different learning platforms, they sometimes lack the information and knowledge needed to make well-justified decisions. The first pitfall is to blindly get a platform someone in the company have used before. It might feel more comfortable to get started with that kind of solution, but in the long run, the platform you choose must match your business model. Another pitfall is to get something for the sake of being able to offer online courses to customers. There a lot of quality courses available, so if you decide to start creating online courses, you need to make sure they are of high quality. At least if you wish to attract customers and not just spend your surplus at budget year end.
The first thing to consider is the role online learning will play in your business model and what are your objectives related to online courses. If your goal is to have online courses in your offering to be “up to date,” any of the existing online learning platforms will work fine. However, if your objective is to offer learning as a service, get good customer reviews and scale your business you need to dig deeper.
At the moment there are over 700 different learning platforms available, so it is by no means easy to find your way through the jungle. My advice is to look for more than just a learning platform provider. Get a partner who, in addition to providing you with a learning platform, can help you to understand your potential and solve the challenges in your course production. Your partner should be an expert in online pedagogy and know the best practices. Make sure your partner will have answers to at least these questions:
- Can you help us identify what works and what does not work?
- How can you help us improve our courses?
- How would you support us in our course production?
So how should your potential partner answer to these questions? Your partner should have a clear understanding of online pedagogics and how to conduct course digitalization. They should know how to help you open the black box of learning with data and meaningful learning analytics. In short, your partner needs to understand the eLearning business as a whole.
Another critical factor in scaling up your business is to invest in marketing. According to my experiences, this is where many go wrong. It doesn’t matter if you have the best course if not enough people know about it. You need to know your target segments, have your SEO right, hone your marketing content to and pick proper channels. You might have someone in-house to help you with this, and if not, you need to get an outside expert to plan for you. However, be sure not to skip this step if your goal is to scale.
Claned’s approach is to offer packages that include everything from onboarding to course production and using analytics to improve your courses. An excellent global example is our joint venture with Soprano Group. They produce and deliver learning content all over the world for teacher training, and management. Together with them, we combine the subject matter expertise, business strategies, and Claned’s pedagogical expertise.
Our mission is to help you produce the best online learning experiences and maximize your return on investment. That’s why we create lasting partnerships
Ready to make your online course business successful? Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s succeed together.