What Is E-Learning?
E-learning refers to online or electronic learning. It generally involves media assets such as audio, video, graphics, and text to engage and teach business professionals.
E-learning courses are usually administered via a learning management system (LMS), where all courses and programs are stored and progress is measured. There are two main types of e-learning: asynchronous and synchronous.
Asynchronous e-learning involves self-paced courses, where learners take courses at their own pace. Training programs are immediately accessible to individuals, and they can learn from any geographic location, as long as they have access to the internet and/or their electronic devices.
Asynchronous e-learning courses provide competency-based instructions and interactive content, such as:
- Pre-recorded lecture or discussion videos
- Informative articles
- Assessments and quizzes
- Simulation exercises
Also called virtual instructor-led training (VILT), synchronous e-learning courses are delivered online with participants engaging with other learners in real time. This learning method is ideal for clients who prefer an instructor-led and collaborative learning experience.
Synchronous e-learning usually entails live tools, platforms, and activities, such as:
- Webinar platform
- Virtual classroom platform
- Online chat
- Live discussions
- Breakout rooms
These tools allow users to interact with and receive feedback from the instructor and fellow learners in real-time.
Why Is E-Learning Important in a B2B Environment?
E-learning has proven to be a valuable tool for promoting productivity and growth in the B2B space. Businesses have transitioned to remote life and many are keeping this option available to workers into the future. This labor shift has boosted the need for more e-learning options related to workforce training and education.
And the results of training and education are noteworthy—72 percent of businesses that use e-learning gain a competitive advantage. It’s no wonder:
- 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies use LMS extensively to remain competitive.
- 77 percent of B2B marketers use educational materials to nurture their leads.
E-learning is beneficial in a B2B environment for three main reasons:
1) It fosters trust in a B2B relationship. Content that educates is a powerful way to gain trust and provide value to prospective and current business clients. When your team maps out e-learning opportunities that target your audience’s pain points, you are more likely to win their trust. According to IBM, B2B companies that leverage training and development become trusted business partners who are ready and willing to assist their partners.
2) It boosts value for the servicing company. As noted earlier, 72 percent of companies use e-learning to bolster their competitive advantage. When a B2B company offers valuable e-learning courses that help clients put their best foot forward, the servicing business can achieve three things:
- Educate prospective and current clients on your products and services
- Establish themselves as leaders in their industry
- Improve the company’s value proposition
3) It increases value for the B2B client. The businesses that purchase and enroll in your courses can boost their own value through the help of e-learning. By engaging in useful webinars, tutorials, and discussions, your clients can achieve the following:
- Professional growth in their careers (e.g., offering certification courses that allow them to earn promotions)
- More confidence in how to manage and strengthen their roles
- Better results for their teams, customers, and the organization (e.g., higher quality products, better customer service, higher profits)
How Do You Deliver E-Learning?
There are generally three approaches to e-learning in a B2B setting:
- On-Demand Learning: Asynchronous e-learning
- Virtual Learning: Synchronous e-learning
- Blended Learning: A hybrid model that combines both on-demand and virtual learning experiences
These three models require business leaders to understand and navigate the following areas to create, establish, and manage their e-learning programs:
- Customized Secure Learning Portal: Identifying and implementing a user-friendly learning interface that provides the functionality required by the business and is easily accessible on any device.
- Course Management: Creating and mapping out courses that are tailored to a business’s unique needs.
- Learner Management: Monitoring and assessing learners’ progress, managing learning groups, and assigning specific courses or tasks.
- Administrative Services: Providing technical and administrative support such as generating progress reports and/or certificates of completion.
The following are a few real-life examples of how CMOE is employing engaging and effective e-learning programs using each approach.
CMOE offers a library of on-demand learning courses that focus on leadership and workforce development. These courses are available through our online store for individuals or set up directly for organizations and large groups. We offer a Learning Portal Solution and support services that enable businesses to access these courses for their learners in an easy, fast, and scalable way. Our digital courses include resource guides and interactive tools that promote engagement and ongoing application.
Virtual learning events are led by CMOE’s master facilitators and broadcast live to participants from our state-of-the art in-house studio. We have the ability to bring participants together from around the world to engage in a variety of learning modalities including business simulations, small-group work, knowledge checks, polls and assessments, and supporting tools and materials that drive skill-building and real sustainable change.Virtual learning can be provided in a series of impactful sessions that build on key concepts and ensure application when participants return to work..
Many organizations enjoy combining digital on-demand learning with virtual sessions to deepen awareness and provide more opportunities for skill practice. For example, a group may choose to take one of CMOE’s digital courses and then meet virtually to take a deeper dive into the skills and concepts learned in the digital course. Participants share ideas with their peers, develop plans and application commitments, and engage in activities designed to strengthen and explore the skills. .
For more ideas, be sure to read the 7 steps to creating a blended learning training course.