Online and mobile learning programs are a great “value add” for associations, creating year-year revenue streams for those associations heavily reliant on their annual and/or regional conferences. As the workforce continues to shift toward a younger demographic – online and mobile learning also represent the majority learning preference of your new members. Most importantly, online and mobile learning allow associations to provide valuable learning for ALL of their members, including those who need “information now” and those who are unable to travel to face-to-face events.
In my work with numerous associations I often found that associations already had an extremely rich content library ripe for easy and cost-effective conversion to online learning assets. In fact, I almost always began a new online or e-learning program for associations with a “pick your low hanging fruit philosophy” by converting existing assets using budget-conscious low-threshold applications and budgeting for a few highly interactive and popular showcase programs. How?
Associations typically house numerous learning assets which can be re-purposed for online educational initiatives and/or programs. These assets may include:
- Annual conference educational session materials
- Webinars and webinar archives
- Professional handbooks
- Association journals and newsletters
- Face-to-Face Educational programs
Each of these assets has components which can be converted into usable online learning objects as depicted in Table 1 below. Webinar recordings, for example, can be combined with objective assessment instruments to create self-study programs.
Table 1: Existing Assets and Learning Conversion
|Existing Assets||Learning Object Conversion|
|Annual conference educational session materials||Can be used for conversion to html5 for online learning courses, synched to audio recording and combined with assessment instrument. Can also be used as learning contact hours toward certification and recertification hour requirements.|
|Webinars||Can be used as self-study program by making downloadable webinar recording available with an accompanying assessment instruments, or edited for powerful “expert opinion” in new online learning courses.|
|Handbooks||Can be used as supplemental reading for self-studies and online educational opportunities. Can also be used as disaggregated pdf documents for learners to download with an accompanying assessment instrument as a self-study program or as the content for quick-hitting online programs or mobile learning programs.|
|Association journals and newsletters||Journals and newsletters can be used for multiple e-learning programs and assets including quick-hitting podcasts, mobile learning assets, online html5 courses, and more. As the content already exists, the timeline to conversion can be optimized.|
|Face-to-Face education programs||Existing face-to-face programs can be edited for conversion to online learning programs which members who are unable to travel can access and complete, while those who prefer face-to-face training can still opt for your face-to-face programs.|
Look to upcoming blogs that address additional ideas and “how to” discussions for creating robust learning for association members.
What ideas do you have for establishing an effective association online and mobile learning program? How would you get started? Let us know.
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