There are four primary components in the typical Channel Partner eLearning solution:
1) Identifying and assigning your learners
2) Creating or gathering your content
3) Delivering trackable curriculum and media to your learners—and
4) Reporting completions and statuses to stakeholders
Let’s talk about identifying and assigning curriculum to your channel or third-party learners—which in
some cases is the most challenging piece of the puzzle.
In most cases, by definition, your channel partner learners are not employees of your company. They
could be freelance people who are working for themselves, contractors working on a consultant basis,
or they might be employees of outside companies, which is often the case. You may or may not have
their email addresses—and if you have their email addresses, you may not be able to use them the
way you’d like. In fact, you may have no real information about them, or very little.
That means you need to think carefully about how you’re going to reach these people, how you will
deliver your curriculum and how you will track and report their progress.
Best Case: Existing Database
Today we’ll cover the best case. Let’s say you get lucky and your company—and even someone other
than you—maintains a database or a spreadsheet of all the individual channel partner staff who need
to be trained. And let’s say that the database includes not only each person’s email address, but also
consistent and “standardized” data such as first name, last name, the name of the company they
work for, location, who they report to in your organization – and perhaps other useful information.
This means you may be able to use email addresses as the “unique identifier”—or username—for
each learner. This is convenient because everyone knows their email address. The delivery &
tracking system you use may add a passcode for one level of security. But you don’t necessarily need
that. This is your best-case scenario because if this data exists and there’s a source for this data that
is maintained, it’s relatively easy to draw on this kind of environment to create automated
assignments, communicate with learners via email and assign them– then report their learning
activities to their direct managers. A daily data feed can also be set up with some coding that checks
the feed for new learners, automatically assigns them content based on their role and even manage
terminations, by removing or disabling accounts for partner/learners who should no longer have
access to the learning.
Stay tuned to future posts for more options and opportunities for assigning and tracking learners
without using email addresses.