The world of film has the Oscars. Equally, literature has the Pulitzers, and football has the Ballon d’Or. Learning Technologies has its own awards…
Companies wants to establish their own prominence to gain notoriety within their respective fields. Winning a gold eLearning award is likely to:
- Expand your client list
- Extend existing contracts
- Boost company morale
- (and possible) Company expansion
To cut a long story short, it’s good for business! That said, you shouldn’t set out to win a shelf-full of eLearning awards. You should set out to change the lives of your learners. Give them opportunities to develop themselves professionally. If you put in the planning and the dedication, then awards and accolades are likely to be an excellent by-product!
What Criteria Judges Use in eLearning Awards
1. Design of the LMS Platform
When it comes to the user interface of your platform, you’ll need to hold a distinct edge over competition. This is what will impress eLearning judges. Ask yourself the following design-related questions:
- Does the platform have the features necessary to meet organisational learning objectives?
- Does the platform embrace NextGen learning approaches? Is it social? Is it gamified?
- What’s the user experience (UX) like? Is the platform easy to navigate?
- Does the platform look good? (how do learners rate the user interface)
Whilst your LMS may have a corporate audience, this user group will have a set of expectations. This is usually based around their experience of consumer-grade solutions like Facebook and Netflix. If your learning technology UI / UX draws best practice from these tools, then you’re likely to be on to a winner! You’ll need to provide evidence to Judges that your learners have taken to their new platform. This could come in the form of a survey or relevant analytical data.
The ease of implementation is down to the process in which the learning platform is integrated. The team(s) behind the implementation and learner uptake during the early stages of the project are integral. If you want to win an award for implementing an LMS, you’ll need to focus on planning. Every stage of the implementation should be properly documented. Therefore, you’ll need to comprise clear project plans, action lists and objectives. You’ll need to establish early on your key success metrics. In other words, what would qualify as a successful implementation your business? Find some examples below:
- Target 1: 80% of learner population to access system within a month.
- Target 2: 1,500 pieces of content accessed within three months.
- Target 3: 3,000 virtual badges won and a thriving social community in place on the system (quantified by the number of posts made per day).
Additionally, you may want to base these metrics on previous system launches within your organisation. You can either benchmark your LMS launch against another successful system implementation, or equally, try to improve upon a system implementation that didn’t go quite to plan.
The key part here is setting these metrics in advance, tracking them and providing demonstrable evidence to the Judges.
Blended learning is the process of mixing traditional classroom-based learning with eLearning. When executed to perfection it can deliver fantastic results. Examples may include incorporating 10 hours of face-to-face classes, 10 hours of online retention-focused activities, and social learning opportunities to create a potent training cocktail.
Winning an award for blended learning requires multiple boxes to be ticked.
- Do you have a compelling reason to combine classroom training and online training?
- Does your blended solution meet your stated learning objectives?
- Does your online solution complement your classroom training (through features such as Classroom Management & Booking, follow up Assessments or even Interactive Classroom sessions)?
Awards in this category are all about creating a perfect synergy between two different mediums of learning. If you can prove you’ve done this, you’re in with a good chance!
4. Social Learning
Many LMS’s rely heavily on social activity. This is why there are tons of awards highlighting social learning on your platform. Take the time to ensure the social aspects can endure a large assortment of content such as videos, images and documents coupled with infographics and more. Encourage the creation of as much user-generated content as possible.
Your ability to demonstrate to Judges that your social learning functionality has extended the life of your training programme (or has prevented intellectual capital from leaking out of your business) is essential. Whilst showing a busy social stream or comments section is vital, it is comparatively important to provide metrics. For example:
- How many posts are made on your LMS’s social stream per day?
- What percentage of your user-base has engaged with social features over the last three months?
- Has any learner shared any useful information within these social forums that has led to your organisation meeting any previously stated business goals?
If you’ve created a flourishing knowledge-sharing community, then there’s a good chance that you’re on the road to eLearning award success!
…And if you’re presenting an app…
Mobile learning is the future of the L&D industry, and lots of vendors are shifting their attention to reflect this. Ease of accessibility and the craving for bite-size learning has pushed mobile learning to the front of the queue. eLearning Award organisations have created mobile learning categories to celebrate the best innovators.
Before entering, you should ensure that you have a compelling justification for opting for a mobile learning solution. Why was this the right approach for your organisation? As with the other categories, you will also need to set and track relevant key success metrics (and provide demonstrable evidence to Judges that you have met these targets).
Judges will want to see that mobile devices can easily handle any training content delivered. Ensure your content is easily accessible and broken up into bite-sized modules and mobile eLearning awards will be throwing themselves at you!
Read eLearning Awards Submission Criteria (Again and Again!)
Before embarking on creating an award submission, you need full clarity on what Judges are expecting to see. Ensure that you read through all related documentation and take care to understand the criteria that Judges will base their decision upon.
Proofread Your eLearning Awards Submission
This may be obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who skip this step. First impressions are everything and if Judges witness clumsy spelling and grammar, then they’ll instinctively presume your platform is also error-heavy.
Send A Sales Pitch
Yes, you are presenting your product to the judges in the hope of an award, but remember that this is not a sales pitch. Most Judges will automatically switch-off when they hear too much marketing speak. You can tackle this by personalising your submissions to reflect each category and by focusing on metrics and evidence-based discussion points.
Forget To View On Different Devices
Before sending off a .Doc, PDF, MP4 or JPEG, etc, ensure they can be viewed on different devices. Judges are not the stuffy 19th century courtroom types that we may be imagining! Just like us, they also own tablets and mobile devices!
You may have an extensive array of products to push, but, remember that the selection process is often highly time-consuming for the Judges. They won’t appreciate having to filter through a ton of unrelated content. Keep it streamlined and within the word count limit.
eLearning awards are the industry pinnacle for many! After all, awards inform clients and competition alike that you mean business.
As mentioned earlier, awards and accolades might be encouraging, but you shouldn’t do what you do just to get them! Enjoy, work hard and follow our steps and the awards will come in time!
If you want more inspiration, then why not take a tour of our award-winning LMS!