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With the availability of the internet and many organizations relying on technology, it is not a surprise that eLearning is gaining popularity and momentum at an encouraging pace. Though some industries like Banking and Education sectors are clearly early adopters, it is evident that all organizations stand to benefit from technology-aided learning. This includes non-profit organizations of the Development sector, which have to grapple with continual training needs, varied audiences, time crunches, as well as budgetary constraints.

  1. eLearning helps employees connect and collaborate.
    Most non-profit organizations have employees in different offices, with field offices being mostly far-flung and remote. With a technology-aided platform, all employees can be engaged with one another on a continuous basis which helps them work, better together. The eLearning platform can automatically send updates on events, trainings, news, with no added efforts, this relieves employees of administrative duties that come along with arranging events and making sure all employees fit them into their schedules. Most modern eLearning platforms are equipped with features like content sharing, reporting, calendaring, and administrative tools that help employees stay up-to-date and in sync with one another.
  2. eLearning helps manage organizational knowledge.
    Most organizations have a wealth of knowledge but no clear way of de-cluttering or arranging the relevant learning material. While most of these training material is in the form of hard copies or even PPTs, a Learning Management System (LMS) can help organizing the material and disseminating it to the relevant stakeholders. Using quick and efficient ways of eLearning creation with rapid-authoring tools, all existing material can be converted into e-format. These can then be catalogues within the Learning Management System, with appropriate tags, which helps employees search for them on the portal. The Learning Management System can be programmed into recommending suitable learning content as per the learner’s role within the organization. So if the manager fills in the role description, the system would automatically churn out all courses that would benefit the specific employee. This helps the employees within the sector gain knowledge on a continuous basis and as per their evolving roles within the organization.
  3. eLearning successfully breaks down barriers.
    Most non-profit organizations have members and employees that are geographically as well as linguistically separated but share the same organizational goal. A Learning Management System that can be deployed in multiple languages that can break the barriers of location or language, and unites all employees regardless of where they live or what languages they understand. This feeling of “oneness” is crucial when working in the development sector where the nature of work is such that understanding each other is at the core of organizational success.
  4. eLearning does not always bring IT hassles.
    Most modern learning management systems do not require in-house IT teams for maintenance. The Learning Management System vendor can provide the support needed for the first few months or as long as it is needed by the organization. This is especially useful for non-profit organizations that do not have IT personnel on staff or do not have the budget to hire IT personnel. Thus, the technology-aided platform can be implemented and run without internal IT support. The support extended from the Learning Management System provider can be worked within available budgets, to make a cost-effective eLearning solution.
  5. eLearning encourages sharing.
    As many organizations in the development sector are scattered all over the globe but work towards one cause, they stand to benefit a lot from learning about and from each other. But it is not always possible to write and share detailed reports or findings. So a lot of learning which is actually present within the organization does not circulate throughout but stays within small circles. With eLearning, employees can be encouraged to share instantly through audio or video clips, online blogs, and discussion boards within the Learning Management System or even video blogs. Field videos, findings, views on world events or even small personal achievements can be shared –to create a channel of sharing and learning. With appropriate tags and descriptions, the shared items can be archived on the Learning Management System and can be searched as per need by employees– across offices and locations.

The success of eLearning in the Development sector comes the easy assurance that most employees within the sector have an open mind about learning. With technology, learning becomes more available and accessible. The learning content becomes more relevant and updated as well. That’s a true win-win for all.

 

[Article written by Arunima Majumdar]