Need a white paper on eLearning? A stirring sales presentation? A new marketing concept? An introduction to an important contact?
Internet Time Group has capacity; give me a call.
Capacity. That's why I devoted the day to pro bono work. First, a no-fee presentation on the state of eLearning in Silicon Valley and the opportunities for doing business there. Second, responses to a Portuguese journalist preparing an article on ROI and meta-data. Here's my reply. If you have another take on things, please make a comment.
"Here are my rapid-fire answers to your questions. Please email me a copy of your article when it's printed.
1. How do you evaluate training in the e-learning paradigm?
2. ROI for e-learning has been a dominating issue. In you view, what are the appropriated metrics for measuring ROI for learning?
3. What are the main difficulties in determining results
of training (its intangible factors) in financial terms and their measurement? Is it hard to link it directly with training? Why? Does the adoption of e-learning standards have any effect in this process?
eLearning is no harder to measure than other intangible items. What's the value of advertising? What's it worth to be more careful in hiring? The only effect of standards is cost, the "I" of ROI. At first, adhering to standards will cost more than doing nothing. In time, factors such as reusability, modularity, and interoperability will lower costs. Dramatically.
4. And how can e-learning increase ROI for training?
5. How does ROI demonstrate the monetary benefits of the cost of training?
6. Part from the ROI evaluation is based on the opinion of the stakeholders. How is possible to overcome this subjective
dimension and obtain accurate, unbiased information?
Some people think of ROI as just a number. That simplifies things at the expense of knowing what's really going on.
7. But there is fear of negative ROI - many do not want it, proven that a training program is actually bad for the company. How to overcome this?
8. Going to the issue of e-learning standards - how can
the adoption of e-learning standards increase the accuracy of ROI for training?
9. In which ways e-learning meta-data facilitates a better measurement of the transfer in learner?s behaviour?
10. How can e-learning meta-data contribute for identifying the specifical learning profiles of each trainee?
11. Are there other advantages that can occur from the
adoption of standards in the e-learning meta-data?
Just as XML and a set of related protocols are the foundation of "web services" and the Semantic Web, meta-data standards are a significant part of the underpinning of a universal system of learning.
12. How do you analyse the content market in USA? Is it conformant to e-learning standards? What about European market?
13. Should organizations have a common repository for all content, and if so, which rules will govern how the system is used?
The question of a common repository is another instance of the perpetual battle between centralization and decentralization. Logically, centralization is more efficient. The problem is that many gigantic systems topple under their own weight. Consider Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Brilliant software, very expensive, lots of hard work, and yet half the time it fails miserably.
If things are truly interoperable, rules won't make much difference, will they? There's not much difference between sharing and owning content.
14. Will any governance structures be needed to help ensure adherence to standards within and organization?
Who's going to buy non-standard material in a world that has agreed upon standards? It would be like buying a 7" CD: there's no way to play it.
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