Traditional classroom-based learning has a low level of scalability. It’s constrained by the physical infrastructure of resources, class size, location and accessibility. This makes growth difficult without major investment.
eLearning is different. Delivering training through an online platform allows educators to provide content that’s responsive to learner needs. In other words, eLearning is highly flexible. This creates huge potential in terms of scaling an eLearning business. The ability to develop training programs with open-ended growth, increasing enrolments by the week, is what attracts many educators to learning management systems (new to LMS? here is an article for you: What is LMS (Learning Management System)?, to help you understand more about the system) in the first place.
But that doesn’t mean that scaling an eLearning business is a walk in the park. Like any industry, growth requires the right planning and infrastructure to ensure that quality of service and content remain consistent. Before taking the plunge and scaling your eLearning business, make sure you’re up to speed in the following areas.
1. Know the ins-and-outs of your current performance
Without a clear idea of current performance, making accurate predictions about the effectiveness of your business at scale is almost impossible. Luckily, a major benefit of working with an LMS is the data available to educators and administrators. LMS analytics can be used to paint an expansive and detailed picture of where your eLearning program excels in supporting learners.
The most insightful analytics are those sourced in response to specific questions. So if you’re looking to expand you eLearning, ask yourself, what data is most relevant when I scale my business? If those kinds of questions don’t come easily, start by considering what your perfect data set might look like.
A scalable business also needs to know where skill gaps lay among users (and staff). Using learner data to identify where there is a difference between performance and potential points the way to possible routes for expansion.
Once you’re familiar with your current learning data, you can begin to ask questions about scaling your current content. For example, will you need to build-in ability levels that accommodate a wider range of learners? Or would an expanded mobile learning program help to align your eLearning with more potential markets?
2. Be sure that your LMS is ready to grow with you
If you’re thinking, how can Iscale my eLearning business? Chances are you’re currently a smaller organization that’s looking to grow. For such companies, it can often be difficult to find the resources necessary to invest in expensive LMS vendors that demand higher license fees and service charges for increased capabilities.
As opposed to proprietary vendors, open-source LMS platforms don’t charge license fees, or obligatory subscription and maintenance costs. Because of their distribution model, it’s much easier to scale your eLearning business incrementally, rather than committing to a service package that you might not absolutely need.
While it is true that an open-source LMS will require greater input from in-house L&D teams, there is a vast online library of resources to help configure, maintain and grow an open-source learning program. Lambda Solutions is experienced in supporting industry leaders as they scale their training, and can offer guidance on both basic and advanced features of Moodle LMS.
Once your eLearning business begins to scale up, it’s important to have a strategy to build on that growth. One way to achieve this is to ensure the storefront and eCommerce aspects of your company are optimized.
Ideally, your eLearning and eCommerce systems are integrated for a seamless customer experience from catalogue to course completion. A fully integrated eCommerce solution will let you reach a global audience online, with all the features to buy, sell, market, learn, and earn utilizing the most effective eCommerce features.
A streamlined storefront should also form part of a sales funnel. Sales funnels create pathways for potential customers to find, browse, and purchase your content in an efficient, stress-free way. As you scale your eLearning business, funnels can be used to generate new leads and customer bases with webinars or free trials, helping to raise brand awareness.
4. Leverage KPI’s to gain internal support
If a scalable business model is not on every team member’s agenda, then it may be necessary to pitch your plans to an internal board. Here, KPIs become an invaluable source of evidence, which can be used to argue for the investment you need to scale your eLearning.
Some metrics are more persuasive than others when making the case for expansion. For example, data on learner progress might be a great way of signalling the success of your current program, but may not say much about the potential for scalability. Learner engagement, on the other hand, can be an effective way of showing just how much learners value what you have to offer, and whether they’d be interested in further content. When compiled into an LMS dashboard, KPI’s such as these provide a clear visual demonstration of the potential of your eLearning business at scale.