6.1 – Program and Course Development

Identifying E-learning Projects for Development

Some good questions to consider when thinking about the development of e-learning courses are the following:

  • Where does the impetus for development come from?
  • Are courses brought forward and developed by teachers and trainers or are courses identified by the management within the organization based upon how well they fit strategic goals?
  • And once such courses are identified, what kind of development process is followed?
  • Do teachers and trainers work independently to develop materials or do they work in some kind of project team?

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. The process by which e-learning projects are initiated and how they are developed will vary and will depend on the institutional context. In this unit we will be recommending certain approaches but you need to keep in mind that these must be appropriate to your context. It is also important to note that, even within a small organization, it is likely that more than one approach may be needed

In many organizations there is no formal process used to select courses or projects to be developed for e-learning.  Neither is there any direct relationship between the people who make decisions about teaching and those who make decisions about the technical infrastructure that will, in the end, deliver courses.  In such contexts, it is very difficult to plan effectively or strategically for either teaching and learning or for implementation of e-learning infrastructure.

We are going to refer to the process used by the now defunct Distance Education and Technology department at the University of British Columbia but also draw to your attention to the planning process used by the University of Central Florida (UCF), particularly when we consider development of blended learning.  Our intention here is to show you a couple of different models and policies concerning course development, and to help you to consider scenarios that might be productive in your own context.  As well, it is important to consider the process by which projects are identified and supported within an organization, as this will determine, to a large measure, the type of development environment that is created.

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