In my last entry, I noted that web based interactive eLearning is well suited for compliance training. The ability to present the training, without variance, to thousands of learners in geographically dispersed locations makes eLearning a favorite in many companies' internal compliance training. 

However, our processes and work flows are designed for live training and we achieve very high client satisfaction scores. We do offer eLearning but it is not integrated into the new merchant training process and is offered as supplemental training. More than 99.99% of our training is live. The desire "not to break what isn't broken" is a strong consideration in this setting.

While eLearning has advantages, research shows that a major disadvantage is high incomplete rates. Read my Review of Literature to learn more. Because of this potentially serious problem, I decided in my meeting with the Director Of Training to address the issue at the beginning. I discussed how a sequence of blended learning with trainers hand holding the learners at every step to ensure that the eLearning was complete and then following-up with a live class to address questions or issues would maximize completion rates and provide us with the advantages of consistent training. I then presented an outline of how the Blended learning would work. I stressed that we would perform small scale tests with providers and evolve the blended training system so that we would eventually achieve a system that worked for both our learners and meet our company's requirements.

At the end of the meeting, the Director of Training was excited about the prospect of implementing, small scale testing and improving a blended learning system for eventual wider use. He ended the meeting asking for more documentation so that he could fully understand each step in the process. He had all positive comments and no concerns to be addressed.

Why do I think that this was the right way to approach the Director Of Training?
I have witnessed eLearning's disadvantages and I know that this problem of high incomplete rates must be overcome in a way that our providers and their employees are satisfied with. I knew that I needed to focus on the issue and overcome it with proven techniques discovered during research. I also knew that an iterative process of small scale testing would fit in with the Director's quality improvement background. Small scale testing allows for testing what could be a risky systemic change with little or no negative effect upon our business unit's performance.

Was the the right way to proceed? Yes!
Why do I think this was the right approach?
The Director's reaction was positive with no concerns and he looks forward to further documentation of the processes. It was a good first start.

The Journey Begins
We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.
Marcel Proust

Within the retail banking sector that that is under increasing federal and state oversight, the need to deliver consistent compliance training to thousands of merchants dispersed across the continent leads me to conclude that eLearning can be a major part of the solution.

As a result of my belief, I am preparing for a meeting next week with the Director of Training to propose that we integrate our eLearning into our initial activation training. Currently, our eLearning is offered as a way to train employees who have missed the live initial training and as a supplement to the live training. I feel that the eLearning can be used to consistently train all new merchant employees first and then the follow-up live training can then be used to engage the learners in practice activities and tutoring for those who need help with questions, doubts, fears, or misunderstandings. The system I propose would be similar to the concept of flipped teaching in the corporate setting.

Why do I think this way? As a an expert corporate trainer, I have had the pleasure of training hundreds of classes spanning a wide variety of topics spanning human resources, sales, leadership, computer technology, safety, and compliance. As an expert in eLearning design, I have also produced dozens of self paced, interactive, web based courses. With both live classroom and eLearning classes, I have experienced the strengths and limitations of each mode.

As a classroom teacher, I have discovered that variation can occur between two 'identical' classes. Since students can affect the flow and speed of a live class, I have had some classes ending without covering all required topics. Such variance can't be tolerated with training designed to educate the learner regarding state and federal regulations.

With eLearning, variation does not take place. Two individuals (or a million) on opposite sides of the planet can take the same eLearning and experience the same words, narration, learning interactions, and testing. Consistency and the lack of geographic restrictions are two of the major advantages of eLearning and are two major requirements for compliance training within my company. This observed match is why I think that eLearning should be a preferred method for compliance training.