A well-trained workforce is more productive, more motivated and, ultimately, more valuable.

The challenge many business owners face however, particularly in this tough economic climate, is finding the right training solution. Many businesses opt for e-learning as it’s centralised, cost-effective and highly customisable. However, it’s only as effective as it is well-designed.

“First and foremost, a well-designed e-learning programme takes into consideration a client’s unique needs, from their learning objectives right down to their employees’ backgrounds,” says Kirsty Chadwick, founder of The Training Room Online, a designer and developer of e-learning courseware for the corporate and private sectors. It’s not too difficult to get basic e-learning technology right, she explains, but it’s all too easy to get the delivery wrong.

“Just because we have access to advanced technology doesn’t always mean it’s appropriate to use it,” says Chadwick. “Training and developing people is about putting the right tools in the right hands and courseware needs to be delivered in the way that will help people absorb and understand it best.”

Where use of the best technology is vital in e-learning is when it comes to assessment tools. As e-learning is designed to remove the focus on learning from the trainer and place it on the student, it’s designed to allow users to assess their own progress. Time limit’s, pass marks, question type and number of questions should all be considered for each unique training situation, and the type of assessment students receive should also be tailored to their needs and ability.

“E-learning is possibly the most effective tool we have at our disposal for staff development right now, provided the approach to it and its implementation are carefully thought through,” says Chadwick.

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