Engage in Learning raises quality issues about e-learning
A recent blog post on e-learning’s ten benefits has seen record numbers of visitors coming to the Engage in Learning website. So, the UK-based e-learning producer and supplier has commissioned a further blog post from the article’s author, Bob Little.
This time, Bob Little - an internationally-known writer who writes about, and commentates on, the online learning technologies sector around the world - has written about ten things you need to take into consideration in deciding any e-learning material’s suitability and quality.
Bob says, “In its various forms, e-learning’s been hailed both as learning’s greatest and worst advance. As ‘The Top 10 Benefits of E-learning’ article says, this debate rests upon the quality of the learning materials and their suitability to the learning challenge they’re intended to meet.”
In summary, Bob makes ten observations on the quality and suitability of e-learning:
1. Quality Criteria for effective e-learning materials.
2. Quality Issues and Standards in five key areas: cultural appeal; response time; interaction level; degree of engagement, and accessibility.
3. The Purpose of the Learning - couched in terms of modularity, accessibility, usability and quality.
4. Is ‘Best Practice’ synonymous with ‘Quality’? - for example, is it about the quality of the learning experience for the learners? Is it about how quickly learners learn and apply what they need to learn? Or is it about something else entirely?
5. Evaluation’s Quality Indicators - notably:
• Enabling - dimensions which need to be established, such as policies, protocols, space, time, people and resources.
• Process - aspects of action, ways of doing things, styles, behaviours and practices.
• Outcome - goals, products, numbers, impact, changes and new practices.
6. Learners’ Expectations - Will people be persuaded to learn only if they’re entertained? How far is high quality technical wizardry merely a hook – or how does it make the message more memorable, understandable, integrated and accessible?
7. Quality, Time and Cost - Producing e-learning materials – like any project – involves managing three factors: cost, time and quality. If you alter one of these variables, you alter the others too.
8. Quality Control – five variables without which it’s impossible to control quality in all deliverables in an e-learning project.
9. Commissioning Errors - E-learning developers may be tempted to accept commissions to build high-quality e-learning materials even if they know that the result won’t lead to effective learning and performance improvements.
10. Focus on Quality, not Cost - Don’t opt for online learning if you’re only interested in reducing the costs of learning. The only justification on quality grounds for using online learning is to deliver greater benefits for the organisation via the learners’ subsequent performance.
In the article, Bob comments that, “The quality of e-learning content is key since this content is the change agent within your organisation. So, your organisation’s future performance, competitive edge and success depends on it.”
Kate Carter, Engage in Learning’s Operations and Marketing Manager, commented, “It’s certainly important for e-learning materials to be both of high quality and fit-for-purpose. These criteria are key in developing Engage in Learning’s e-learning materials – currently amounting to over 120 separate programmes.”
For further details about Engage in Learning’s growing portfolio of e-learning materials, visit: https://www.engageinlearning.com/