Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The 7 Top Tips for Implementing Learning Technology. The Vendors View!

We recently brought some very well known and experienced learning technology suppliers together and asked them to list their top tips for implementing learning technologies.

This is what they came up with.

So, if you are contemplating a project this list might just be the difference between success and failure.

1) Internal Ownership
2) Clear Objectives
3) Clear Statement of Work
4) Small, Achievable, Bite Sized Steps
5) Constant Communication
6) Understanding of your own internal culture and what will work
7) Work together as a partnership

Their top 7 are enlightening not just because they will help you with your implementation. What is interesting about the list is it also plays a part in sustaining the ongoing success of learning technologies in organisations well beyond implementation.

As people, personality’s business direction and challenges inevitably start to change, then these seven tips actually become a continuous mantra to keep your solutions live and effective.

After all, what happens if your original stakeholder leaves? You can't ignore the situation; you need to align ownership to the business again so it delivers the ongoing business strategy. And often, that's not as easy as you'd want, especially if there is a fundamental change in learning philosophy or you lose a core business champion. That can be a death knell, especially if their replacement fundamentally don’t see appreciate its value.

It’s not just about the technology; it’s the e-learning structures too. Look at Rapid content... if you have a Subject Matter Expert who moves on, what will happen to their content if aren't replaced?

Each item in the list really does feed a whole thought cycle of planning and action well beyond the implementation. Without fresh objectives, and constant communication about how the technologies drive value for learners or stakeholders your solutions will eventually wilt. If you don't put energy into sustaining your solutions life, all the hard work of implementation will eventually unravel.

So, if you already have technologies in place, see if you can answer all those questions without, hesitation, deviation or repetition. Hopefully, it will only take you just a minute. If it doesn't, perhaps you should start drafting those answers now, or start planning how you’re going to get them answered. And don't just think about your back-bone solutions; think about the content solutions too!

Remember, implementing a solution is only part of the work... keeping it going, especially through turbulent situations requires even more passion, partnership and energy that putting it in the first place.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Myth of Rapid Authoring Tools

If you look at the debate around Rapid e-learning then a myth seems to be emerging it's all about rapid e-learning tools...

This is too narrow a view.

Now, I'm not against myths. They are very powerful stories that hold an inner truth; even if they don't always hold water when they're taken literally.

If you look at Rapid elearning objectively, there are two things that are fundamental to a rapid outcome - intent and processes . These are the two things that make rapid e-learning truly rapid.

Why intent...? Because if the project can stretch out for 10 weeks it probably will.

Why processes....? Because if you don't accelerate your process of scoping through to development and launch, then you still won't complete your project rapidly.

Sure the tools are geared up to work in a streamlined way and they are a pivotal part of the story, but if you think Rapid e-learning begins and ends in authoring tools, then you’re really not looking at the whole picture. It's not just about squeezing development.

So, where is the true power of Rapid e-learning?

If you look at Rapid e-learning as a philosophy and methodology as much as it is a tool set, then you are going to drive some really strong value. That's because the inner truth about rapid is it's relentless focus on the effectiveness and efficiency of every stage of production. And that has some very powerful overtones for all e-learning production - internal and external.

Goodbye scripting documents! ?!

But, the real story of Rapid e-learning is still being written. Leading corporates are using a wide range of ‘Rapid’ approaches and tools, but there has been no analysis of what really works best in different contexts.

There is a massive blind spot in the comparative effectiveness of materials, production models and implementation techniques. This means that most of them may not be realising their full potential.

Two of the most important questions have yet to be answered..

· How effective is Rapid e-learning?

· How sustainable is Rapid e-learning?

Whilst the market presence of Rapid e-learning continues to grow at an exceptional rate, the full ramifications of pursuing this strategy in the long term hasn't yet been resolved with some real research and tangible data.

Updated Elearnity website and knowledge centre

Just a quick note to say we've just updated the Elearnity website design to (hopefully) improve its impact and usability. We've also slightly redesigned the navigation around the Elearnity Knowledge Centre, our research knowledge base to hopefully make it simpler and easier to navigate. Hope you like it ...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rapid e-learning papers

Elearnity has just announced some new research on Rapid e-learning, including a couple of white papers and a new research project. See this press release for some more information.