|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.
eLearning to address the learning challenges of a distributed
Self-directed learning is more effective.
- Use eLearning and related techniques to
create learning programs for customers and
Still lagging on this one.
- Use eLearning to improve synergies between
internal and external participants in complex business processes and
Improve synergies? More that people who learn together bond.
- Provide eLearning to the sales department
for fast, measurable, business impact.
compliance-training requirements cheaply and efficiently using
- 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
Only to the extent that it works.
- Tie learning to
- 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
- Create standards and benchmarks for eLearning
- 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
Again, not just in this instance.
- Create meaningful learning
Only for eLearning?
- Invest in change management and ongoing
user support during a move from classroom learning to blended
- Create incentives for informal learning and
Make ’em inherent.
- Develop a mix of
off-the-shelf content and custom content to match the business
Depending on your topic and situation.
- Create integrated learning programs
including online and classroom activities.
Classroom is not always appropriate.
formal courses with informal learning
Sometimes supplant formal courses…
- Combine basic with just-in-time
- Take a learning-objects
Compared to what?
- Design all content with reusability in
- 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
If talking heads are your thing.
- Migrate from physical to virtual classrooms
to extend reach and reduce cost.
content-selection practices that meet requirements for deployment
- Obtain mass-customized content from
learning-infrastructure investments by taking a centralized
Sometimes small and local work better.
- Create a learning
- Integrate learning-management systems
(LMS) with other enterprise systems.
- Consider LMS from
- Develop infrastructure
to enable greater multiuse of digital content for formal and informal
More is not necessarily better.
- Incorporate learning into
- Be careful of political and
technical issues when scaling up a local LMS for the
- Consider custom LMS systems for low-cost
- Treat LMS systems for business
partners like consumer Web sites.
- Evaluate academic
alternatives to commercial eLearning tools.