Snapshot on Sustainability: Can the WELL Learning Library Provide Sustainability Professionals a Model for eLearning?

As businesses become increasingly larger and more global, they are looking for solutions to educate their workforce more efficiently and effectively. Organizations are looking for ways to get information to their teams in a streamlined manner. They are searching for cost-effective ways to educate their teams, while not taking them away from their actual roles and responsibilities.

Many businesses have started turning to eLearning as a solution. Research on eLearning has shown many benefits, such as participants learning and retaining more than face-to-face trainings. As a public speaker, this was the opposite of what I would have expected; until I really dove into the why.

Before eLearning, people were often forced to travel to education opportunities. This can require them to be away from their jobs and offices for half a day, to a week or more at a time. Additionally, participants typically sit for long durations, listening to presenters. Participants may be tired from travel, jet lag, getting up early, or from sitting too long. That doesn’t even begin to touch on the cost savings of eLearning. For large companies, eLearning typically has substantial savings for economies of scale that in person trainings don’t usually provide. The cost of travel and missed work days for in person education vs. eLearning can be significant as well.

eLearning eliminates the need to travel, saves time, and money. Eliminating travel also means no adverse travel side effects, such as jet lag or fatigue. eLearning often allows participants to take courses when it is best for them. This means they can take courses in shorter durations or over longer periods of time, as opposed to sitting in day-long courses. Studies show that people who take eLearning courses actually learn nearly 5 times more material without increasing time spent in training. And eLearning increases retention rates 25-60%, while retention rates for face-to-face training are lower by 8-10%.

After learning these statistics, I was surprised more people weren’t using eLearning. Then I took a look at my own eLearning experiences. Let’s be honest. Who hasn’t taken an online course of some kind and been bored to tears? As a result, people believe that eLearning has to be boring and outdated. But what if there was good eLearning out there? What would that look like?

Good eLearning is fun and engaging. Its content is up-to-date and relevant, with a high production value. While watching high quality eLearning, it is apparent that the creators did their homework and know their content. Good eLearning creation teams include subject matter experts (SMEs) who review content, and may even share their knowledge and experience firsthand as part of the eLearning courses. Including videos in the courses, as another way to deliver information; keeps the eLearning experience interesting, and breaks up the content-heavy sections. Last, eLearning can be fun and interactive. This means having knowledge checks, surveys, interactive slides, or other engaging experiences.

As a WELL AP & Faculty, and LEED AP, Faculty, and Fellow; finding great eLearning opportunities has been elusive. Recently I discovered Chromatic Content, a company that converts existing operating procedures and legacy training materials into engaging eLearning content, creating customized learning content for clients. The quality was impressive, and I collaborated with them to create an invigorating WELL v2 experience. As their primary SME, I reviewed their courses for content and accuracy, resulting in the WELL Learning Library (WLL).

The WLL is a series of eLearning courses that not only provides WELL AP specific CEs, and LEED & WELL AP general CEs; it also fulfills on WELL v2 Feature Community 01 (C01) – Part 2: Promote Health & Wellness Education. In WELL v2 C01 – Part 2, project teams are required to implement learning programs that promote health and wellness education for the occupants within a building space. I have started using the WLL with some of my WELL Portfolio Clients and WELL Clients who want to fulfill on precondition C01 in an easy, efficient, and meaningful way.

I highly recommend LEED and WELL APs throw away what you think you know about eLearning and check out this fun and engaging opportunity to fulfill on CEs, while learning about WELL v2 from the experts. It’s also a great tool to have in your tool belt when consulting with clients on how to achieve WELL v2 precondition C01 – Part 2. What better time than now to make a New Year’s resolution to try eLearning again! Who knows, maybe what you want for the holidays might just be found online!

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