The global eLearning market is predicted to grow exponentially over the next few years, according to Docebo’s research report eLearning Market Trends and Forecast 2017-2021. Driven largely by advances in technology and evolving business needs, the global corporate eLearning market is projected to reach an approximate revenue of US$31 billion by the end of 2020.
The rapid rise in popularity of the eLearning industry is owed to three main factors: ease of access; the lower costs incurred in training large groups of people and massive demand for training and re-training across all sectors. It’s now estimated over 40% of Fortune 500 companies are leveraging eLearning to train employees.
It’s a rapidly developing sector, and for those with skills to share can be a lucrative business endeavour for entrepreneurs. Here’s how.
It’s easier than you might think to launch an eLearning course
Not too long ago, Matthew Woodward kicked off his entrepreneurial endeavour in eLearning with a six-figure course launch. His materials offer training and certifications in business & internet marketing, as well as a hugely popular guide to hosting a private blog network. These are the success stories from which we must learn to launch a successful course.
The first step to creating a course that will actually sell is to research your industry to form a killer USP. Learn Dash’s advice for creating courses that always sell remind entrepreneurs to cater to a specific niche or community. The recommend focusing on professional industries requiring specialist skills and create courses for these communities that help solve a specific problem. “How to do X in order to achieve Y in Z” (where “Z” is usually a duration of time) is a common format.
In order to generate ideas, is essential to research your eLearning audience and subject matter. One of the most significant mistakes you can make when developing an eLearning course is not to effectively assess and analyse your eLearning audience and their needs. During course development, you may wish to gather feedback via surveys, interviews or focus groups, so that you have an in depth understanding of what they hope to achieve from studying your course.
Whether you go for online yoga instruction or educating professional eye doctors how to interpret a specific kind of retinal images to identify disease, the key is to give your learners what they’re looking for.
Focus on creating course content that delivers results
Even high quality eLearning courses are going to fall short if the learner isn’t fully engaged and motivated to learn. In this Entrepreneur guide to launching an eLearning course, experts recommend including some humour as an equaliser and de-stressor. But be careful not to get too carried away—you’ll detract from your learning takeaways.
They also invite you to inject a human element with stories or unusual analogies that help illustrate points and engage the learner. Photographs, illustrations, or recorded human voices can achieve a similar effect, and encourage memory retention. Give learners a chance to test their knowledge with module or course quizzes and assessments to help them track their learning. If you can facilitate direct contact with learners, offering additional human support.
At the same time, creating a course that is not only interesting and engaging, but one that is aesthetically pleasing goes a long way to helping your course sell. Industry advice recommends using templates and style guides for uniformity and keep navigability in mind. Make use of hyperlinks and outside references to streamline your own content while situating that information within wider theories and debate.
There are a host of platforms available to host your eLearning course. Theses are called learning management systems (LMS), a software platform that delivers, manages and tracks results and generates reports for online courses and training programs that can be hosted in the cloud, remotely, or on local servers.
Popular LMS’s include Moodle, Skillsoft and Brightspace though the type of platform that suits you will depend on your course structure, content and reach. Read this overview of the best LMS software currently available, many of which utilise mobile interface design technology and are free to use.
Market your eLearning course effectively
If you’re distributing eLearning products in the public realm, a normal marketing and branding strategy should be observed. Top tips from experts include maximising your presence online with a website, blog and social media campaign, but note that testimonials and endorsements are key to building interest in your course.
If you’re marketing within an organisation (say you’ve created your eLearning course for the purpose of employee learning and development), a poster campaign, endorsements and advertising internal promotion activities can garner interest.
As an eLearning provider, you can also sell your courses through third-party platforms, approach organisations directly or sell them from your own site. Popular sites include Opensesame, Lynda, Elearningmarketplace and Shopify.
Traditionally, eLearning has been tied geographically to the North America and Europe, but the value of the middle-eastern market reached US$570 million in 2016. Elsewhere, growth in Asia is expected to reach 28%, and Eastern Europe expects 22% growth. China and India are leading all nations with predicted growth over the next year of over 50%.
Its crucially important, then, when you create for an eLearning course to reach a global market. Anyone in the world can attend your course as long as you know how to appeal to them.
Specialists at Global Voices provide content localisation consultancy and comprehensive testing services to verify that your eLearning materials meet your language and market requirements. That includes multi language subtitling and multilingual intranet translation.
When translating your course materials, it’s vital to have a wide knowledge base of the culture and context in which your course is in. Professional translation services with experience in global learning can help you tap into this lucrative opportunity.