If there is widespread resistance to the idea of self-paced e-learning, you could consider using live online learning as a bridge. When you move from instructor-led interventions in the classroom to self-paced content accessed online, you are making two major changes at once: not only are you shifting the medium (from face-to-face to online) you are making an even more substantial change to the method (from instructor-led to self-paced learning). This could be inappropriate for several reasons:
- The contrast between old and new could be too much for employees to cope with at once.
- You have two change programmes to manage at once: you have all the cultural issues associated with the change in method, and the technical issues related to the use of new technology.
- Your l&d professionals are likely to be completely out-of-sorts with such a stark change in their skillset.
So, a better strategy for increasing the use of online learning could look like this:
- Introduce web conferencing as a way to top and tail what are substantially classroom-based interventions. Run a welcome session a week or two before the face-to-face event, and run a wrap-up session a few weeks after the event.
- Gradually introduce more asynchronous online activities between the welcome session and the event (some reading, videos, podcasts, web research, perhaps a questionnaire), and similarly between the event and the wrap-up.
- Consider removing the face-to-face event as the centrepiece if it not essential, and replacing this with more live online sessions, some structured e-learning and increasingly some collaborative online activities using forums, wikis, etc.
Note that I’m not suggesting that you select methods or media inappropriately in order to manipulate a process of transformation; of course, it must also make sense to carry out an activity online rather than face-to-face or asynchronously rather than synchronously. But there are many instances in the design of blended solutions in which there are multiple options which would do the job equivalently. In these circumstances you have the opportunity to edge the organisation nearer to familiarity and comfort with online approaches.