Imagine the panic one must feel initially when tasked with “we have got to offer our members online education?!”
Where do you begin? What do you want to teach and assess? Where do you get the subject matter your members want and need? Do you need to buy a Learning Management System (LMS)? Do you need to build your own LMS?
This daunting proposition can be tackled easier than you think. You have more information to leverage than you have ever imagined. I am confident you can leapfrog many challenges and achieve a rapid return on investment (ROI) by doing these 5 easy steps.
- Leverage what you already have. Most associations host annual meetings where training is always a big component. You can easily determine the hot topics your members want. What if you captured that live training and produced quality video instruction that can be viewed on-demand? You are already paying for the instructor, content and materials. (Note: Did you know you can broadcast the live training for additional non-dues revenue?)
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. Utilize a subscription-based, self-service online education platform system. There are solutions available that already have the core functionality for training/testing/certification. You provide the content and configure the user experience without having to start from scratch. Monthly subscription pricing removes the large capital outlay. ROI is a function of benefit minus cost so your ROI is accelerated.
- Make sure you have the proper alignment. While it may seem very obvious, don’t forget to take a step back and look at things from a strategic perspective. Check your association’s mission and strategic plan. What are the key objectives? Be sure to engage all stakeholders in the planning phase. This will save significant time and reduce rework. It is very tempting to jump right into curriculum, but you must have a strong foundation to build upon.
- Document what success will look like before you start. By defining success upfront, you will be focused on achieving it. Be sure to determine how you will measure it too. It’s hard to get to where you desire when you have to keep stopping to ask for directions.
- Be sure to make your education convenient. Most associations have members of all ages, genders and races. Make sure you meet your members where they want to be met. To increase a faster and wider adoption of your offering, be sure to make it available on-demand and on a variety of devices. Be sure your education platform supports mobile as well as computer devices.
As you can see, it’s not exactly rocket science to achieve a quick ROI. Like a great online training system, simplicity is nirvana.