George Siemens has written one of those articles that sums up all the loose ends that have enveloped eLearning since the economy went into the toilet. His article A Learning Development Model For Today’s Students and Organizations, explains what has changed and how to handle it.

For example, what is needed in an organization for eLearning to thrive?

  • Commitment from the top.

  • Environment that encourages experimentation, and accepts failure
  • Collaboration/resource sharing attitude
  • Availability of resources for those instructors wanting to "play" with technology and learning
  • A change management strategy to ensure elearning is adopted with "minimal discomfort"
  • Development support for instructors - i.e. a place to go to have questions answered, to receive development help
  • Student support - resources to help students succeed.

Siemens' new model calls for

  • Small Group Exploration
  • Evaluation of lessons learned
  • Large scale implementation of successes

The one thing I miss in George's methodology is feedback. This is probably because I am steeped in corporate, show-me-the-money training rather than academia, with its immeasurable objectives. Nonetheless, a system without a means of self-correction tends toward entropy.

Posted by Jay Cross at September 19, 2002 04:44 PM | TrackBack

Hi Jay...thanks for the post. I agree that feedback should be part of an elearning development model. The concept of "continual experimentation" (and in the process - evaluation and correction) needs to be stated explicitly.

To slightly abuse a term: praxis as a means of informing future decisions. In a classroom environment, evaluation impacts instruction. If students aren't "getting it", instruction is modified to accommodate. In a model for elearning development, the notion of praxis is central to future viability. Experience influences future behaviour.

I guess any model should be pliable...what works today will not work tomorrow. A model is successful long term if it has mechanisms built in (feedback as mention in your blog) that allow it to alter itself and respond to changing external circumstances.

Anyway, main point - I'll update my paper to include your insights.

Thanks...take care


Posted by: George Siemens at September 20, 2002 08:37 AM

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