Wednesday, April 14, 2010

e-learning takes planning well before your course commences

I had a little bit of time this morning. I am on a busy train, jammed packed with school kids going to a camp. So rather than do any work on the train I thought I would catch up on some blog reading.

I came across an article that likened a collaborative e-learning community to a new garden and I have to say I agree.

You don't just plant a seed and immediately expect flowers. Well before you see any flowers you need to:
* prepare the garden bed
* make sure you have purchased good quality seeds
* and that you are using quality soil & fertilisers that are appropriate to the plants you are planting.

This is exactly the same for your e-learning strategy. There are things that must be in place well before your learners commence their e-learning journey.

Once the seeds are planted in your flower garden you don't just leave them in the ground and hope they grow. Seeds (like learners) need to be monitored, supported, helped (gardens are fertilised aren't they?)and given navigation cues to help them make their way.

If you do all of this you should have a much better success rate and in terms of our gardens would expect a bumper crop.

Another thing you need to do with your garden to make sure it produces a bumper crop is to remove any weeds. Once a course is created should it stay the same? Do you simply create it once and offer it in the same format forever?

Of course, the answer is no. If you are using links to websites they need to be reviewed regularly. We all know that websites can be here one day and gone the next.

Sometimes your content must be updated to reflect changes - such as legislative changes, new versions of software etc.

So on a regular basis review your course and remove or update activities, content, links to make sure you are offering a quality program for your learners.