Dated best practices

This appeared on SRI-Business Consulting’s Learning on Demand page in April 2004.

ELEARNING BEST PRACTICES SUMMARY

Nine years later, I find that I disagree with or question most of the Best Practices. That’s the problem: the world changes; yesterday’s best practices persist. Y

I’m going to post a few inline comments from today in red.

Learning
Strategy
Organization
and Process
Learning
Content
Learning
Infrastructure
  • Use
    eLearning to address the learning challenges of a distributed
    workforce.
    Self-directed learning is more effective.

  • Use eLearning and related techniques to
    create learning programs for customers and
    resellers.
    Still lagging on this one.
  • Use eLearning to improve synergies between
    internal and external participants in complex business processes and
    projects.
    Improve synergies? More that people who learn together bond. 
     
  • Provide eLearning to the sales department
    for fast, measurable, business impact.
    Duh.
  • Fulfill
    compliance-training requirements cheaply and efficiently using
    eLearning.

    Duh.

  • Use eLearning to provide on-demand learning
    for call-center operatives.
    Maybe performance support instead?
  • Use eLearning to improve
    time to return on investment during new corporate cost-cutting
    initiatives.
    Only to the extent that it works.
  • Tie learning to
    performance.
  • Assess learning outsourcing options.
  • Create a centralized learning and
    development team.These days I favor a decentralized L&D team.

  • Source content both centrally and
    locally.
  • Create standards and benchmarks for eLearning
    content.

 

  • Share internal and external best practices
    with all teams active in developing, commissioning, or implementing
    learning.“Best” practices no longer are. Change takes care of that.
  • Negotiate risk-sharing deals for
    off-the-shelf content libraries.Let’s forget off-the-shelf content libraries, shall we?
  • Represent learning
    early during new strategic initiatives.
    No, do it beforehand.
  • Gain support
    from senior management.
    When do you not do this?
  • Find ways to win over middle
    and line managers.
    Not just for eLearning.
  • Foster a good partnership between
    the training department and information
    technology.
    Again, not just in this instance.
  • Create meaningful learning
    objectives.
    Only for eLearning?
  • Invest in change management and ongoing
    user support during a move from classroom learning to blended
    learning.
  • Create incentives for informal learning and
    knowledge sharing.
    Make ’em inherent.
  • Develop a mix of
    off-the-shelf content and custom content to match the business
    situation.
    Depending on your topic and situation.
  • Create integrated learning programs
    including online and classroom activities.
    Classroom is not always appropriate.

  • Supplement
    formal courses with informal learning
    activities.
    Sometimes supplant formal courses…
  • Combine basic with just-in-time
    learning.
    Why?
  • Take a learning-objects
    approach.
    Compared to what?
  • Design all content with reusability in
    mind.
    BS

  • Use easy-to-use development tools to create
    low-cost custom content in-house.
    …depending on context. Low-cost flight simulators?
  • Create a “knowledge
    assembly line” of high-impact presentations by subject-matter
    experts.
    If talking heads are your thing.
  • Migrate from physical to virtual classrooms
    to extend reach and reduce cost.
    When appropriate.
  • Create
    content-selection practices that meet requirements for deployment
    speed.
    Obviously.
  • Obtain mass-customized content from
    generic-content vendors.
    Questionable.
  • Rationalize
    learning-infrastructure investments by taking a centralized
    approach.
    Sometimes small and local work better.
  • Create a learning
    architecture.
  • Integrate learning-management systems
    (LMS) with other enterprise systems.
    Why?
  • Consider LMS from
    enterprise-application vendors.
    Why?
  • Develop infrastructure
    to enable greater multiuse of digital content for formal and informal
    learning activities.
    More is not necessarily better.
  • Incorporate learning into
    employee portals.
    Why?
  • Be careful of political and
    technical issues when scaling up a local LMS for the
    enterprise.
  • Consider custom LMS systems for low-cost
    tactical solutions.
  • Treat LMS systems for business
    partners like consumer Web sites.
    ????????
  • Evaluate academic
    alternatives to commercial eLearning tools.
    For example?
Source: SRI Consulting Business
Intelligence