eLearning facilitates your business's ability to expand and hit set targets. But this is not achievable without setting clearly defined goals. Goals setting is not just about setting goals you hope to achieve but about looking for the right ones to get the most out of your eLearning experience. The secret to a successful course is all about the marketing that goes into it, which begins with your goals.
Why you need to set marketing goals
Goals set the direction that paves a path for business achievements. Clarifying goals from the beginning of any business process will impact the course content and how it is structured and developed. Without clearly defined goals, your eLearning experience will suffer from a lack of direction and motivation and will ultimately lead to a waste of money.
Setting goals for eLearning will underpin all your marketing strategies, setting clear, actionable and achievable metrics for your marketing team when promoting an eLearning experience. Goals are measurable; they allow you to trackthe impact of your learning as it translates to workplace behaviour.
Types of goals:
Performance goals focus on an outcome. They relate to anything that can be measured or observed during the training and tend to link to the individual's abilities and skills. Measured through learning outcomes or productivity improvements in the workplace, the person's ability to do the set goal.
Let's say your goal is to improve the productivity of your marketing team. The end measurable result would be the individual's ability to produce productivity after the eLearning experience compared to before the learning experience. They allow you to address and improve upon individual weaknesses.
Learning goals grow the skill sets of the given individual. For eLearning, learning goals are the focus of actively processing and understanding course content to improve upon capabilities. The difference here is that the emphasis is on understanding fundamentals rather than producing outcomes.
Learning goals are used best when employees are learning something new, reskilling or upskilling to improve their current skill set. For instance, the learning goal may be to increase the individual's understanding of marketing processes. Here, you would measure their knowledge rather than their performance after the learning. Indirectly, it should improve the productivity of the marketing team.
Setting SMART goals
You can follow several criteria to ensure you are setting the right type of goals. We recommend using the strategic goal-setting criteria of SMART goals. This criterion covers all aspects of setting clear and measurable goals.
Specific: eLearning aims to change and improve workplace behaviour; it's essential to be specific about what you want out of the learning. Being specific ensures a clear objective so learning can best meet the set goal. Your goal should be able to answer questions like, What needs to be accomplished? And What steps need to be taken to achieve it?
Measurable: Being measurable makes it easier for you to track progress and know whether you have achieved the goal or are on the right track to achieve the goal. For instance, you may want to improve revenue by x amount over x quarter/s.
Achievable: This will be where you need to get realistic about your goals. Are they achievable? Do you have the resources at hand to achieve them? A simple way to ensure they are practical is by looking at your team and resources on hand; given the right amount of time, would you be able to achieve the goal?
Relevant: Is your goal relevant to you, your team, and your company? You want to ensure your goals are relevant and worth the time and effort you are putting into them. Does the goal help you to reach the bigger picture? You can ask your team these questions to cross-check that everyone agrees the goal is worthwhile.
Time-bound: Goals should have time-related parameters so everyone knows to stay on track and what you expect. Time restraints also make the goal measurable and ensure that you and your team are on the same page about where they should be and what they should be doing.
Measuring your goals
Once you have set your goal and have begun taking it on, you will want to measure the results of it. In the case of eLearning marketing, you can use multiple measurement tools to see if you are getting the desired reach, performance or results you imagined.
Key performance indicators demonstrate the value of your eLearning program. KPIs are a way for businesses to use concrete numbers to track the progress of their learners and reach outcomes. They directly measure performance and be linked to the company's overall goals. KPIs can include measurable results from the learning such as training ROI, increase in sales, reduced error rates and so forth.
Here's an example; you're a small firm selling a new course. You have little to no reach as you just entered the market. You have set a goal to improve sales over the next year. How could marketing benefit your eLearning program? By implementing an eLearning program onto your current employees that are specific to your marketing team, you're able to support them in their growth and improve upon their existing skill set. To measure the impacts of the learning program, you would look at the sales and reach before and after the program was initiated and then throughout the year following to see if you were able to meet your original goal of increasing sales over the year.
This type of testing is a great way to see the impacts of a given learning program when multiple options exist. It allows you to measure and analyse the effectiveness of your course. The idea is to run an experiment that randomly serves various versions of your learning program to different users and record the outcome.
The outcomes should indicate one program as favoured over the other, that one, in particular, should have higher performance results than another. Once again, it will be essential to do both pre-and post-testing on the given candidates that undertook the course to see how each affected the performance of the individuals. Measuring this difference will show how effective your learning program was in achieving your goals.
Feedback is one of the most important factors when designing a course. It allows you to get direct ideas, thoughts and opinions on your course so you can alter it to best suit the next learner. Although only applicable after you have implemented the learning program, feedback tells you the real-world impact of the learning experience on your learners directly from them.
You can ask for feedback by asking questions like do you feel more confident now that you have completed the learning? And where have you noticed improvements in your work? To help point out where your learning was successful in helping you attain marketing goals.