Before you apply for funding consider your e-learning strategy

I have decided to do some posts on developing an e-learning strategy for a small course or project to assist you with your questions.

The first question I am normally asked is ‘what does an e-learning strategy look like’?  When you search the net there doesn’t seem to be much information out there or even examples.  The information you find is targeted at the whole organisation and not useful to a teaching section or small registered training organisation (RTO).

To begin I think you need to understand why you need an e-learning strategy.

To make the information useful I will align my thoughts to an e-learning strategy that is being developed or revisited as you prepare to apply for Grant Funding.

Every project application should be supported by an e-learning strategy as it:
a) Helps you determine where you are on the e-learning journey
b) Facilitates the development of short, long, medium term goals
c) Identifies what you have and what you need
d) Provides a benchmark for evaluation

Before you start developing or critiquing your strategy you might find it useful to identify any national standards or global standards.

If you are in Australia, a useful site to assist you is http://e-standards.flexiblelearning.net.au/

Next you should determine where you are on your e-learning journey.

If you haven’t implemented e-learning in your organisation in the past your strategy should begin by assessing your organisations readiness for e-learning

http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au/content/plan-e-learning

If you haven’t implemented e-learning in your organisation in the past your strategy should begin by assessing your organisations readiness for e-learning

* Identify skills of staff
* Training required
* Courses that are suitable for e-learning
* The costs involved and where the funds will come from
* How you will promote your courses?
* Hardware/software available to
* I/T support available to you and your learners (it is critical you also consider the support required by the learners – this is sometimes overlooked)

If you have implemented e-learning into your teaching section or organisation it might be a good time to review your strategy in terms of success and areas for improvement.  Consider:

* Past implementation of e-learning
* How did the organisation benefit?
* Skills of educators (were they appropriate, how can your staff get the right mix of skills?)
* Skills and responses of students (did they have the right skills, did they undergo an induction process, what can be done to assist your students acquire the right skills?)
* Courses on offer in an e-learning format
* What were the barriers to e-learning in past strategies and how can they be overcome?
* Did you have access to appropriate software/hardware?

Your strategy should consider your journey, successes and failures and make recommendations for change (if appropriate) based on research, past experiences and/or as a solution to a current business problem.

Once you have identified where you are on the journey you can begin to outline the business problem (the reason for the strategy).  This will be covered in my next post.

A useful site to assist industry engage with e-learning is http://industry.flexiblelearning.net.au/.  I hope you find it useful.
Please feel free to contribute to this post, talk about your journey, make suggestions and share your experience so others may benefit.

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