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One of the big objections to eLearning is basically this: “My staff are all lazy. I can’t trust them to work.”


Well, that may be the case… but perhaps it’s a bit more complicated than that?

There are three ways we can ensure compliance with eLearning (or, for that matter, any kind of learner-led training).

1. Check they’re actually studying

Firstly, and most obviously, there are a variety of what you might call “hard” methods. A good course will often incorporate a range of different methods, to ensure training compliance: unskippable video, pausing playback in background tabs, and suchlike. These tools are, of course, combined with progress markers. That way, learners haven’t “done the course”, until they’ve really done the course. A good example of this technique is the AA’s “Safe Ride, Safe Road” course, which is used by the Police to educate careless cyclists.

But who’s the learner? Surprisingly, it may not be who you think it is.

Maybe your staff are paying their kids to “watch” your training videos? Increasingly, we expect to see e-learning courses adopt robust methods to validate who’s really engaging with the content. This leads us on to the second kind of compliance – as that’s where such checks are most commonly made.

2. Check what they’ve learned

The threat of a looming test is enough to focus the mind of many learners. The result is that people often pay more attention. After all, nobody wants to get unmasked as an idiot.

It’s worth mentioning enforcement again, here. Examinations are where we can see the most common use of identity verification, and other “hard” techniques. We’re increasingly seeing online examiners integrate tools such as document scanning, facial recognition, and gaze tracking. These make sure that learners are who they say they are, and that they’re not using a second device during tests. This kind of identify validation is, of course, most commonly employed in formal exams – but we expect elearning providers to adopt these approaches, too.

3. Check what they need to learn

Frankly, this point should be Number 1 – and probably Numbers 2 and 3, as well! If your learners are keen on the material, that solves most of your compliance problems. Of course, being keen on the subject isn’t enough: you’ve got to make sure that the material is engaging, and appropriate for the learner. That means training must delivered in a format they like, a style they like, and by a trainer they can engage with. One of the advantages of eLearning is that you can have a very broad choice of approach. We’ve even seen school-level revision aid courses that have been delivered in rap! This diversity means that you can choose different course for different learners – perhaps based on seniority, for example.

Finally, we’ll finish right at the beginning. The most important issue is the appropriateness of the syllabus. If your learners want to learn the subject, and they’re getting something of value out of it, then you’re far more than half way there. Unfortunately, this is waaay too big a subject to squeeze into the end of this email – but you can check out our previous post on Training Needs Analysis.

If you’d like to see an example of best practice, Filtered stands out as an eLearning Publisher that has designed-in a Training Needs Analysis at the start of each of their courses. This utilises their unique Filtered algorithms, and data analytics model – check out an example of their courses here.

Hopefully, that was helpful. Do let us have your feedback – good, or bad. Just email us right back. We read everything you send in – and we’ll also help you pick any courses you need.

Happy learning!