Instructional Design

SWOT Analysis for Instructional Design + eLearning

Is the engagement off with your learners? If so, it might be time for you to take stock of your current training efforts and identify areas where you can repair the relationship. SWOT Analysis is the perfect tool for assessing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in your current eLearning strategy.


Before you delve into the nitty gritty of your analysis, take time to figure out what is working. There’s no sense in cutting out processes or training that have worked well, and you shouldn’t implement new methods just for the sake of it. If you’re not sure, ask the learners: they will happily tell you what works (and what doesn’t.)


This might sting just a little, but analyzing formative and summative assessments can help you  understand the strengths and weaknesses in each eLearning module. Your analysis may uncover weaknesses including completion time, accessibility, or engagement levels. Addressing these weaknesses directly gives you better insight into your learner’s needs and allows you to create custom learning based on learner feedback. For example, learners who thrive under the structure of a classroom may struggle with an eLearning-only approach; those learners may need additional encouragement through social learning and peer support.


Analyzing opportunities means taking a hard look at methodology and technology that you may not be using in your current strategy. These days, it’s clear that mLearning, BYOD, social learning, and PLNs are the next trends to leverage in eLearning. When businesses build a corporate library of knowledge and acknowledge untapped opportunities, employees can find their own solutions to training barriers. Your eLearning vendor can help you identify where you could amp up your efforts and fill current learning gaps for a more robust training experience.


Threats are the barriers that stand between your learners and training success. We know that two major threats inherent in eLearning are lack of motivation and lack of engagement. Behavior modification doesn’t happen overnight; one online course can’t change a behavior. However, undertaking an ongoing process of paying attention to learner’s needs and identifying barriers to their success will help you uncover strategies to address those threats head-on. Learners feeling a lack of motivation? Gamification and leaderboards can help motivate them to log on, and maintain their engagement.

The engagement is back on! By using SWOT analysis to acknowledge both strengths and weaknesses in your current training, you can create a clear plan for eLearning and training success and put learner engagement back on track.