I've read several blog posts lately that all tie together in my mind to help us define what constitutes good eLearning programs. As we all know there are many things that work together when we are creating our programs to produce something that the learners will actually want to take part in so lets take a look at a few areas.
Content - Content is vital to any eLearning (or any learning) presentation. If there isn't quality content being presented, then what is the point? All you are doing is wasting your time and the learners time and creating frustration in the process. Ellen posts about this in her blog "What makes online learning effective?" and I completely agree with her.
Resources - With so many tools that are available to us to create our programs it is important that we manage the resources we use and don't just throw in more tools and techniques than we need to. Sometimes it is more appropriate for focusing on one or two techniques and resources to create a better program rather than a more confusing one with several techniques and methods. Here is a blog posting with "Top Five Tips for Managing Resources." that provides helpful tips and tricks.
People - With the technological advancements that make eLearning such a real and useful possibility I think that we can often forget that we are ultimately designing our programs for people to use and learn from. With the distance from the learner we get caught up with the resources and tools and forget what learners what and need and that whatever we provide them with has to be interesting in order for them to be engaged and using the programs. Not only did I like the title of Michele Martin's blog post "It's not the tool that's boring, it's you." I also like what she said. We can't just throw something out there and expect learners to accept and love it, if I wouldn't enjoy participating in the program presented like that then why would my learners?
Bringing all three of these things together and remembering them as I am preparing my presentations helps me to produce programs that people are using and learning from. I think it's a good thing though to remind myself of the basics every once in a while as well and these are the building blocks for quality programs.
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