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E-learning for external audiences

E-Learning for External Audiences: Top Take-Aways from ASAE Tech 2018

Each December, ASAE (the Center for Association Leadership) hosts their technology conference in Washington, DC. Because Artisan works with so many associations, it provides us an opportunity to not only spend time with our clients in attendance, but also understand the priorities around Learning and Development in associations. This past month, I had the honor of presenting a concurrent session on a five-step model for converting classroom training to e-learning, using case studies from our work with the American Red Cross and Community Associations Institute. But while I was there, I picked up a number of tips that can be helpful for any organization who creates e-learning for an external audience. Here are five of the top take-aways.

1. Use artificial intelligence to gain insights and automate tasks.

Imagine if you could analyze the topics (and positive or negative feelings about those topics) being talked about in your discussion forums. Then you could use that information to help determine what educational topics might be of most interest to your audience. What if an Alexa skill could help learners find information quickly when they need it? Could chatbots help answer the top five help desk questions you get about your LMS (so you don’t have to)? Artificial intelligence solutions are becoming cheaper and easier to implement. What could these technologies mean for you in the coming years?

2. Pay attention to data privacy and security.

The only topic hotter than artificial intelligence was data security. Between the new GDPR regulations that took effect this year, new state laws on the horizon, and two big data breaches announced the very same week as the conference (Marriott and Quora), every organization needs to be thinking about privacy and data security. While much of the attention goes to marketing and financial endeavors, educational initiatives need to be part of the conversation as well. Advances in e-learning data management, such as xAPI, let us track more information about our learners. As your organization has conversations about data security and privacy, make sure your initiatives are included in the planning.

3. Find out what’s in store for 2019 (hint: microlearning).

Our friends Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele at Tagoras just wrapped up a survey on how learning and education businesses will focus their efforts in 2019. Early results of the survey show that over half of the respondents will pursue microlearning in 2019 (and another 25% already are)! Tagoras hosted a webinar in December sharing the top (and bottom) initiatives for 2019. You can check out the recording here. This webinar can provide useful insights to anyone who creates, markets, or sells educational experiences to adult learners.

4. Get helpful feedback about products and vendors.

This time last year, the Review My LMS website launched as a way for associations and other organizations to share honest, experience-based feedback on LMSs. One year later, there are 136 reviews of 41 LMSs. If you are in the market for an LMS, be sure to check it out. And if you have an LMS, head over there and add your perspective.

As a variation on the same theme, Association Gurus just launched a site for reviews of consultants for the association industry. The site is just getting started, so they are actively looking for reviews. If you have a consultant who has been a big help to your organization, please share your experience so everyone can benefit. (And since you asked, yes, we’d love it if you would share your thoughts about working with us!)

5. Promote your association (and e-learning) for free!

If you are a 501(c)3 organization, you might be eligible for Google Ad Grants. With this program, you can receive up to $10,000 worth of Google Ads advertising per month!


About Diane Elkins

Diane Elkins is the co-founder and co-owner of Artisan E-Learning, as well as E-Learning Uncovered, a company specializing in training services, books, and resources for e-learning development using the major rapid e-learning authoring tools. Diane has been in the e-learning industry since 2001, speaks regularly at national conferences, and is co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series.

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