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Resolutions for Better Course Management
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 14:51

Welcome to 2012!

After returning from holiday festivities, managers are thinking hard about how to use new technologies--like cloud-hosted platforms--more effectively. Training to boost productivity is high on the list.

Is this the year that your organization focuses on online training and education as a mission-critical part of the business? We certainly hope so, and Educadium's EasyCampus learning management products will be there to help.

But it takes planning and resolve to get those old PowerPoints and videos off of the CDs and into a web-accessible, self-paced training program.

 Checklist

Here are some "resolutions" and tips that might help get you over the finish line:

  • Decide why you want to manage your courses and training online. Sounds simple but it's not, especially if you've been doing on-ground training for years. Online is a very different beast, and the materials may be presented differently. Keep your goals in mind as you face the challenges.

    Do you want to save money? Make money from tuition courses? Improve accessibility and convenience for your employees or members? If you don't have a compelling reason to move educational materials online, it will be difficult to champion the cause internally. With clear objectives, you'll be able to focus your priorities as you plan your training site and courses.
  • Take stock of your digital and traditional assets. Think about your current website outlets and how (and where) they could link to your new training materials. Or maybe you want your new educational site to pull double-duty as your main web presence. Take time to consult with your website managers, marketers, and mobile specialists and map out your requirements. If you have accreditation or regulatory guidelines, take time to review these to make sure your online plans conform to these requirements. You might be able to move all or only a portion of your training online.

    Next, itemize all of the assets sitting around the office that could be used in an online course--manuals, PowerPoints, videos, even lecture notes. The more planning you do, the more informed you'll be when researching learning management options.

    At this stage, don't worry about what the online course will look like or what tools you will use. Just put together a spreadsheet with all of your media assets in one place. Remember: The more you do on your own, the less it's going to cost you.
  • Be realistic about your budget. We know that money is tight, and we designed our service to be affordable. Among elearning companies, there are many options--from free services to million-dollar contractors. Focus your efforts on partners that meet your budget parameters and be upfront about it. Internally, don't forget to allocate money for staffing and administration. Somebody will need to manage the users and update materials. Admin training should also be part of the budget.

    If your budget is next to nothing, then you may need to hold off on super-interactive, multimedia course materials. Yes, we know that everyone loves video, but Hollywood production values come with a price. You can still create effective, attractive courses with quizzes and certificates. Our EasyCampus platform works well for all sorts of course materials and styles--page-turning ebooks or interactive SCORM packages.
  • Learn the lingo. No, you don't need to be some elearning specialist or instructional designer. But read up on common features of learning management systems and course-authoring tools. Decide if it's important whether the LMS is hosted or if you need it installed at your enterprise. (EasyCampus is available only as a hosted platform.) Sketch out the desired user experience, starting with the registration process to the homepage, courses, and admin reporting.

    Some learning systems come packaged with a lot of features--but you might be paying for things you don't need. Ask to play around with a free version or look at the demo. We have a free product called EasyCampus Express, and it's good for up to 25 registered users. Ask for a phone call or a live webinar if you still have questions.
  • Start now, start small.  If your team is inexperienced, you'll need to work more closely with a qualified vendor or instructional designer--on course planning, production, and hosting. Research different companies and even use a consultant if necessary. But don't get paralyzed by feature comparisons. Find a company (or two) that you can relate to and that fills your key requirements. Then get going. You'll probably want to change things as you go, and that's to be expected. Along the way, your team will gain valuable elearning experience.

There's no excuse for waiting another year!

Educadium's team is here to jump-start your efforts when you're ready--from hosting your current elearning materials to helping design an entire online training program from scratch. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to get going.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 January 2012 09:15