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Marketing e-Learning: Cajoling, contests, cartwheels and outright begging...

The last two weeks I asked for your help in finding the best articles related to the marketing of e-learning to learners. Along with many good suggestions (see below) I received this insightful note from Jim Howe Usertech/Canterbury's CTO:

Why is it so necessary and (seemingly) so difficult to market e-Learning? What is it about e-Learning that requires cajoling, contests, cartwheels and outright begging to get the average person to embrace a particular educational/training initiative that happens to be delivered in electronic form? Do corporations have to engage in such gymnastics to get people to take any kind of training, or is it just presentations in electronic format?
I have my suspicions (many of them having to do with design, content and self-motivation), but personally, I think the sooner we decouple the discussion from all things "e-", the sooner we as an industry can begin to address the root issues, and perhaps make some headway.

I think Jim raises some good questions. I mean how often do you get e-mail from a friends that say, "You GOT to check out this e-learning program I just completed..." in the same way we get jokes, articles, and (hopefully) good e-zines forwarded to our in-boxes?

But while I also think most e-learning is really dreadful by design, I don't think too many people are flocking to instructor-led courses either. Most training is completed when it is mandated, or it is so RELEVANT to the job that it just can't be ignored.

And even good training can use a little promotion...

Top Six Resources on Marketing e-Learning:

OK, maybe these aren't the BEST six articles out there, but they're all good and almost all we could find!

1) Promoting Your e-Learning Investment (Will Hipwell, Learning Circuits)
Good basic article with list of internal marketing (e.g., lunch and learns, e-mail blasts, brochures, etc.)

2) How to Market e-Learning (e-Learning Magazine)
Summary of a 9-step formula detailed in a Brandon Hall report.

3) How to Create an e-Learning Epidemic: Three keys to reaching the "tipping point" in your company (PDF; Worknowledge)
Very powerful approach and the only instance I've seen of adapting the principles from Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point and applies to the marketing of e-learning.

4) Getting Organizations to Adopt e-Learning (Christine Sullivan; Hawthorne Associates)
Detailed ten page white paper covering change management, marketing, blended is best, etc.

5) Implementing eLearning - the book (Jay Cross)
Home page to book by Jay Cross and Lance Dublin. Book excerpts, samples, and more.

6) Implementing eLearning - the presentation (Jay Cross and Lance Dublin; TechLearn 2002)
Jay and Lance doing their thing. Definitely worth a watch if you've got the bandwidth.

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1. 10 Tips For Online Learning
2. Evaluating e Learning
3. The Magic of Learner Motivation
4. The Benefits and Drawbacks of e-Learning
5. Marketing e-Learning
6. Measuring the Financial Returns of e-Learning
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