CEO and Lead Instructional Designer & Learning Strategist Leah Chang teamed with Lambda Solutions to reflect on the challenges and breakthroughs of the past year and a half, and what these seismic changes mean for business owners.
If you missed our live webinar on How Online Learning Delivery Tools Are Changing the Business Landscape on July 15, you can now watch it below.
Here are the five key takeaways and questions to ask yourself on how your eLearning strategy currently stands and how it fits with the changing business landscape today.
1. Better Employee Experiences
There's been a shift from a mostly in-office, standard-hours experience to the flexible, work-from-home arrangements COVID-19 ushered in. Many employees now don't want to let go of these developments.
How well are you using social learning tools?
What continued learning supports do you offer employees?
2. Acceptance of eLearning (finally!)
Companies are becoming more receptive to eLearning and they now have a better understanding of whaat it entails, how to analyze performance and how to action results.
Do you take full advantage of reporting features to optimize learning experiences?
3. Increased agility in learning experience design
Better tools, more realistic expectations and greater flexibility around both tools and eLearning partners has led to greater LXD agility. In other words: "Pilot. Then iterate."
Can your learning tools support new delivery?
What tools are you leveraging in your LXD?
4. Online learning IS the business
eLearning is now within reach of most if not all organizations; it's become more tangible and easier for business owners to conceptualize and action. Business are more committed to investing in the learning technology that's helped them navigate COVID-19.
5. Increased accessibility & inclusion
In the past, organizations baulked at the cost of accessibility or protested that they didn't have any users with disabilities to accommodate. We're going through a sea change -- businesses are getting serious about diversity, equity and inclusion, and EDI includes people with disabilities. It's no longer okay for learning to not be accessible!
Can your organization meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards?
Moving forward with eLearning
Insights to consider as the online learning industry moves forward:
Contact us to learn more about how Leah Chang Learning can support you with eLearning consulting and online tools that will heIp your organization.
Read the full webinar transcript below.
What we learned from designing theinclusiveworkplace.ca
In recent years, it’s come to the forefront in instructional design requirements, and it’s not just a trend. Web accessibility and online learning are legislated—and we take this work very seriously.
From November 2020 to May 2021, Leah Chang Learning was hired by Inclusion Canada and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Association (CASDA). We were tasked to produce a website and design learning materials for a new resource hub. The hub would support employees and businesses impacted by COVID-19. Five months later, the Inclusive Workplace went live!
TheInclusiveWorkplace.ca | lemilieudetravailinclusif.ca was made possible by a federal grant and the collaboration of Inclusion Canada and CASDA. The Leah Chang Learning team designed the materials for the knowledge hub: a suite of learning materials aimed at three audiences:
Our contributions to the project:
One key element of our project strengthened the design process and made the resources more effective for users overall. This was the ongoing involvement of self-advocates on the autism spectrum or with an intellectual disability. Not only did self-advocates participate in user experience interviews and provide feedback on the website build —they also provided real stories, participated in mock job interviews, and reviewed the learning content, interactivity and functionality, along with the look and feel of all our deliverables. Their feedback was indispensable! Thanks to their input, we were able to maximize accessibility and relevance. We were grateful for and humbled by their contributions.
Our biggest takeaways:
1. “Nothing about us without us.”
We didn’t do this project for people with disabilities; we did it with them, and it couldn’t have been otherwise.
2. Universal design helps everyone.
Every project should be viewed through a universal design lens. By designing barrier-free resources and materials, we ensure that the greatest possible number of people can understand, access and benefit from them, regardless of age or ability.
3. Plain language is best.
You can convey complex information and ideas without using complex phrases and jargon. Materials that are easy to read, understand and use are beneficial for everyone, regardless of their reading level. And most importantly, they’re inclusive.
If you haven’t checked out The Inclusive Workplace, be sure to visit and share the link! Pour nos ami(e)s francophones et francophiles : le site ainsi que les ressources éducatives sont entièrement disponibles en Français.
We’re proud of our team for rising to the challenge of this project, which was accomplished in a short time frame (5 months). We worked with multiple contributors in both French and English, across Canada. This project had a profound impact on how the Leah Chang Learning team works, and it raised the stakes for our approach to accessible learning design.
Our team continues to learn about designing accessible online learning. We’re currently drafting an accessibility strategy for our instructional design approach. This includes publishing an accessibility statement and asking our network to hold us accountable to our three year accessibility plan.
Instructional designers, learning leaders, and learning technologists: Stay tuned for exciting professional development opportunities to learn more about accessible learning design! We’ll be sharing our learnings with our peers and instructional design teams across North America soon.
Follow us on LinkedIn to hear the news first!
Or contact us if you have questions on instructional design.
Our free learning and development series for non-profits is back. In the latest episode, our founder and CEO, Leah Chang, has teamed up with the Founder of OnPoint Employee Benefits, Tyler Hoffman, to bring you their top five secrets to evaluate your relationships with external consultants and the benefits they can bring to your organization.
In this webinar, Leah and Tyler evaluate relationships with external consultants to support your organizational goals. If you’ve never hired an external consultant and are interested in getting started, these tips and tools will help you feel confident in selecting the right one for you. If you’re already working with external consultants but want more out of the relationship, our webinar has great suggestions for how to evaluate your current relationships too.
Read on to learn Leah and Tyler’s five insider tips to evaluate your current and future vendor relationships.
Tip 1: Align with Core Philosophy (8:00)
Before you select a learning or benefits consultant, get clear on your core organizational philosophy and culture. Select a vendor that demonstrates how they will support you, then hold them accountable. Ask for specifics on how and where they will support your organizational goals.
When hiring an educational consultant, consider your organization’s philosophy on learning. Ask yourself, who is the experience for? What do you want them to DO with the learning? Is ongoing professional development part of your benefits package?
At Leah Chang Learning, we support organizational learning as being distinct from one time training, and it can have the following benefits:
A benefits vendor like Tyler can help you evaluate what your benefits strategy needs to achieve. They look at the bigger picture and ask questions like does our plan attract the right kind of employees? And are we meeting or beating the competition?
Tip 2: Take Advantage of Technology (16:22)
There are many good tools and systems available that can improve the functioning of your organization. A good vendor will be able to help you evaluate the right tools for you. We support taking an agnostic approach. This means coming into a client situation with an open mind. In making a recommendation, we listen to the organizational problems you are trying to solve, explore the digital architecture at your organization, and make a recommendation that is the best fit for you.
Tip 3: Don't Rush (21:22)
Consider the impact of any change on your team and how much time it may realistically take to achieve your goals. Shifting to a new technology or a new way of doing things takes time and energy from your staff. A good consultant will support the change management required to be successful by asking a lot of questions. They will outline what is required from you to support that success.
Tip 4: COVID Cost Savings (26:10)
A good vendor or consultant will be able to advise you in cost savings. Non-profit organizations may be eligible for grants and funding opportunities to execute specific projects and vendors can even help you write those grant proposals. Recently, Leah supported the New Westminster Arts Council with software implementation. She not only led the implementation and training of the project, she guaranteed success from the outset by helping them to apply for and receive a grant to complete the work.
A benefits consultant like Tyler, will ask questions to get a bigger picture of your organization, offering connections and suggestions for vendor discounts. For example, you may be eligible for a non-profit rate.
Tip 5: Assess & Repeat! (30:15)
All relationships change and grow over time and it’s no different for your external consultant relationships. That’s why Tyler suggests evaluating these relationships over time, or, following his three year “Are you too happy?” rule.
If you take away one thing from our blog post and webinar, it’s that we want you to hold your vendors accountable."
Access Our Suite of Non-profit Training Tools
As part of our mandate to support the organizational growth of non-profit and cause-drive organizations, we offer a growing number of non-profit eLearning courses. Click the image below to learn more and register today. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the work we do and start imagining how a learning consultant can support your organization today!
Why Non-Profit Learning?
Watch the full webinar and subscribe to our YouTube Channel
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Click the button below to contact us and get started working with a learning consultant today!
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Leah Chang is a learning consultant with 17+ years of experience designing online and classroom learning. In her spare time she goes on self-propelled travel adventures and tries to grow vegetables.