Lisa Wait, eWorks’ newest Accredited Consultant, has held key roles leading national digital education initiatives for government. Her passions include instructional design, educational strategy and digital resource development for schools, VET and industry. Earlier this month we heard about the importance of structuring an appropriate team when it comes to online course development, now let’s consider the best foundations on which to build our projects.
It’s all in the planning
Building a house or doing a renovation requires planning. Before the first ‘sod is turned’ much effort will have already gone into securing a budget, selecting the right builder and specifying the build so that it meets your needs. Months tick by browsing the Internet for ideas, reading decorator magazines, visiting show homes and meeting with bankers and builders. Yes, you guessed it – I went through all of this quite recently! In the process I have learned that an e-Learning project can be compared with constructing a house. The client and supplier work together to design, build and deliver a product within time, scope and budget.
Unfortunately, however, in the workplace we rarely have the luxury of long lead times to plan projects. Working on an e-learning project is fast paced with multiple technology, business and learner considerations. You can, however, make life easier for yourself. Even a little preparation before you meet with your e-learning consultant will lay solid foundations for your project and assist in building a program that meets business and learner needs. Here are just a few things you can do to get your e-learning project off to a good start:
Describe the e-learning environment
- What are the educational drivers for your business adopting e-learning? Compliance training? Skills gap? Professional development?
- Do you have a current technology platform and what are its specifications?
- What technology access will learners have?
Define learner characteristics
- Take the time to describe the profile of your learners, including their level of e-learning experience.
- Will the learners have any special needs, such as language, literacy and numeracy (LLN)?
- Will learners need technical support?
- Is there a requirement for learner assessment or demonstration of competency?
- Which learners will you access for user feedback and testing?
List business needs
- What are the key business requirements? Demonstrating compliance? Improving productivity? Meeting legislative requirements? In other words, are the powers that be aiming to enhance the impact of training, or to save money, time or both?
- When does the project need to be completed?
- What logos/brand is required?
- What image/key messages are important to the business?
- And the all-important question – how much money do you have to spend?
Get your team/stakeholders on board
- Plan how you will demonstrate ROI to management.
- Agree who will sign off project milestones/final delivery
- Identify the members of your internal team and their roles in the project
- Negotiate access to other business units/specialist staff
Identify content sources
- Source curriculum documents, relevant industry standards and so on.
- Assemble any existing content
- Identify style guides, glossaries
Check if there are any copyright or other restrictions to the content you plan to provide including text, graphs, videos, images
No excuses now – it must be time to get started on your project? Contact Lisa for advice.