Flexible Business Management

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Turning you classroom course into an e-learning experience: Getting ready

Let us assume that you have been conducting face-to-face training with a particular session plan for quite a while. You may have tweaked it a few times to get just the right content and appropriate timing. You probably amend it slightly each time you train to ensure it meets the needs of the particular students in the class. But after the initial development time, your session doesn’t take long to update and amend. You use similar, if not the same, learning resources in each session and your activities don’t differ greatly from group to group.

Enter e-learning …

Maybe you’ve realized that your clients need the flexible learning options that e-learning provides. Maybe you are looking to offer both a classroom and e-learning option for students. Maybe your manager has simply told you your course must be amended for the e-learning environment.

So what do you need to do to make this happen?

Just like classroom-based program development you will need to plan, design, develop, review and monitor your program. The difference is that you will be doing this for a very different learning environment, and it is important that you consider a number of questions before you begin:

  • Do you have a Learning Management System or similar platform to allow students access to your online materials?
  • How will you communicate with students? What technology will you use?
  • Will students be able to communicate with each other? How?
  • Have you considered how you will present the learning materials? For example:

–      Will you include only content in your learning materials?
–      Will you include interactive activities and simulations?
–      Do you plan on including videos or audio voiceover in your material?
–      How complex/detailed would you like your simulations to be?
–      What authoring tool will you use?
–      Will you include webinars or mentoring sessions in your program?
–      Do you have appropriate copyright licenses for electronic media?

All of these questions will need to be considered in order for you to gain an understanding of:

  1. How much it will cost to develop your e-learning program.
  2. How much of the development will be done in-house and how much you will want to outsource.

Depending on the skills that your staff have in the development of online learning materials, and the authoring tools you already have access to, outsourcing some of your development can be an effective way to reduce cost and development time.

Once you have considered all of the technology and materials required for your e-learning, and who will be responsible for each, you will be ready to begin designing and developing your course.

 

Next week –

Turning your classroom course into an e-learning experience: Design and development.