Sunday, November 11, 2012

My two cents worth - E-Learning Courses Vary in Quality

If you've read the about me section then you know I spent several years in the Human Resources field. Excuse me while I put my HR hat on briefly.

According to National Center for Education Statistics over half of the American student population is considered to be “non-traditional”.  73% have one or more of the following characteristics:
  • Financially Independent
  • Full-time employees 
  • Parents 
  • Beginning college later in life 
  • Military Vets 
  • Part-time Students 
  • Career Changers 

The current economic climate has certainly contributed to the changing face of today’s student population.   Massive layoffs have resulted in people looking to return to school to gain new skills, change skills or to become more marketable in the workplace.  

With more non-traditional students pursuing education, the "traditional" setting of higher education is changing.  An option that has grown in popularity is distance or e-learning.  

A lot of E-learning classes are not the product of just one individual professor as you might think.  E-learning service providers such as Leanforward are dotting the educational landscape with classes created with expertise and input by a team of individuals.  On average it takes 160 - 232 man hours of work to create one class module.  Here is a graphic that illustrates the breakdown:
What Does It Take To Create Effective e-Learning - Infographic 
Graphic courtesy of Leanforward – an eLearning Company  

Here's the Cliff Notes version...The Project Manager provides oversight to the entire team from concept to finished product and keeps all other team members on task.  The Instructional Designer creates the raw content.  The Multimedia Designer makes it pretty.  The E-Learning Developer puts it into an electronic delivery format and Quality Assurance proofs the content and checks the delivery system to make sure the e-delivery system works as expected.  

With all of that combined knowledge and talent it's no wonder that specialized E-Learning providers are being called upon more and more to provide the content for distance learning courses.  Their professional, polished, final products far exceed the podcasts, skype sessions and online forums that some educational institutions offer to deliver classes online.  

If you are a non-traditional student you may want to ask how your prospective educational institution's E-Learning classes are being delivered.  Dig deeper. There is a broad spectrum of quality available out there.  You want to spend your tuition money wisely. 


Disclosure:This is a sponsored post.


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