e-Learning for Mid-Size & Small Companies by Michelle Tirado

While most (if not all) large companies have adopted the eLearning approach for delivering corporate training to their employees, not all mid-size and small companies have bought into the idea yet. But with the big benefits that these systems have to offer, it is just a matter of time – and there are a number of firms offering solutions to help bring them on board.

Motive Learning, located in Cocoa Village and owned by husband and wife Don and Karla Roberts, is one of those companies that is reaching out to mid-size and small businesses, making the latest and greatest in learning technologies more accessible to them.

Its core offering is the Motive LMS 4.0 eLearning management system (LMS), which can deliver training content with robust graphics, interactive games and video and can be shot at the firm’s own “green screen” studio. The system not only deploys training, but it tracks the learner – when they completed the session and how well they did. If a report on the learner is required for compliance reasons, the LMS provides that too.

“It is really for any company that has a workforce at multiple locations or a virtual workforce,” explained Karla.

Customized for Clients

The system is customized for every Motive Learning client. “It has their branding, their logo, their look and feel,” said Don. He noted that the system integrates with the client’s human resources system (HRS), so that when employees are hired or released from employment, the records transfer from the HRS to the LMS. “There is very little employee management that has to be taken care of manually in the LMS,” he added.

The kinds of training that a corporate LMS deploys can vary. Yet since it was founded in 1999, Motive Learning has found itself developing a lot of e-courses related to workplace safety, specifically Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. And although the aerospace industry was not the market it targeted when the firm launched, it has gravitated in that direction. Among its clients are ASIG (Aircraft Service International Group) and Signature Flight Support, both in Orlando, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) in Cape Canaveral. But companies in other industries, including HR and security, have implemented the Motive LMS as well.

The benefits of the LMS are pretty straightforward. “It allows companies to achieve their training needs without spending money on having employees travel to a central location to sit in a session for two to three days,” explained Don. Employees can complete the training on any computer or mobile device, whether they are in the office or at home.

Depending on the company and the number of employees, the savings can be significant. When Motive Learning began working with ASIG and Signature Flight Support six years ago, the companies had no electronic learning. Karla said it has converted all of their lines of business and safety training into an electronic format, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars in reduced seat time of the employee in training, travel and training support costs.

Making Learning Fun & Effective

Motive Learning also uses its creative abilities to spin what is typically dry into something fun. When ULA started working with Motive Learning, Karla said the company had been training its 3,900 employees, based out of multiple locations, on content that was about 40 years old. Now, using game and video technologies, it is more engaging and, thus, more retainable. For instance, she said, the firm developed a security game that challenges the learner to identify unallowable items in secure areas.

“One of the things ULA is doing that we see other corporations thinking about and moving in this direction is a pre-assessment. If you [the employee] answer all the questions correctly, you have basically CLEP-ed out,” she continued.

For companies that are ready to embrace eLearning but are not sure what they need to do to get started, Karla said Motive Learning, with its team of five regular employees and 15+ contract workers, including voiceover artists, illustrators and instructional designers, can work with and expand upon what they have been using thus far to train their employees, like PowerPoint presentations and subject-matter experts.

“The reality is that they probably have 50 percent of the content already,” she said. “But we take the content to another level. We dig into it and make sure we build a course for them.”