E learning business plan development
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Define your pedagogical approach; Define your business model; Define (inter)national opportunities and threats; Define institutional opportunities and threats; Define student attractors and......

Define your pedagogical approach; Define your business model; Define (inter)national opportunities and threats; Define institutional opportunities and threats; Define student attractors and deterrents; Review your pedagogical model; Review your business model

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  • Substitution: you only change the medium; often emphasis on digital content presentation and in combination with face-to-face meetings. Innovation: using the added value of e-learning for time and place independent learning, asynchronous communication, personalised learning etc. Transformation: new didactics related to distributed learning (full distance learning) and required support organization.
  • Leerdoel: Begrijpen dat bij verschillende combinaties van traditioneel en afstandsonderwijs er verschillende eisen aan ELO’s worden gesteld. ELO functionaliteit bij aanvulling op traditioneel onderwijs: Vaak nadruk op organisatie van het onderwijs (bijv. rooster kunnen raadplegen; plaatsen van behandelde teksten; presenteren extra info door docent) ELO functionaliteit bij vervanging van een deel van een opleiding: Gaat dan vaak om zelfstudie en werken aan opdrachten waarbij bijeenkomsten gebruikt worden om mijlpalen te bespreken of te toetsen. ELO functionaliteit vooral gericht op communicatie tussen student en docent/begeleider tussentijds voor oplossen van problemen; soms ook functionaliteit voor samenwerken tussen studenten. ELO functionaliteit bij volledig afstandsonderwijs: Zowel presentatie van leerstof, begeleiding, samenwerken, en toetsing. Stelt niet alleen hoge eisen aan ELO functionaliteit maar ook het didactisch ontwerp van het materiaal!
  • Often no clear demarcation/some overlap between cells!! We will discuss each cell, for general (in terms of facilitating or inhibiting e-learning) as well as e-learning specific.
  • Political, economical and social pressure: motives in high-income and low-income countries are different: low-income countries: do more with less high-income countries: provide a high-level working force but for both: it is sexy, hot, ….
  • General E-learning specific
  • Attitudes: in NL supportive (of esp. services sector); in Finland technology itself as a major national economic asset (RTD as an export article)
  • Non-pedagogical and non-technical issues, but IN SUPPORT of pedagogy and technology.
  • National e-learning policy should be medium-long term (3-5 years rolling plan) and include also the role of non-gevernmental players. E-learning programmes are medium-term (1-3 yeaqrs) and should be derived from the long-term policy. Distance teaching/e-learning organizations along the lines of educational levels (secondary, tertiary), professional associations (IT staff, teachers, ….) or economical sectors (education, government, private sector). Teacher training: often the present generation of teachers is ‘lost’ Reliable hardware and software suppliers: e-learning requires stable hardware and software services. Internet services providers: to provide reliable connectivity ICT training and manpower providers: without competent and responsible people, no technology can function
  • Customer and market demands: students ask for it, and the competitors do it also; reaching new audiences; politicians Extending services: enrol more students, and different students (e.g. women, working professionals) Drive for excellence: improving the quality and efficiency of education Efficiency: Reaching more students with one-time investment Accommodating low enrolment numbers Accommodating limited availability of teachers
  • Accessibility at institutional level: Learning resources: e.g. to on-line libraries, own library with CD-ROM’s, learning objects repository, etc. Support services: e.g. domain-specific communities, e-learning support communities, etc.
  • Education is often one life-cycle behind developments in society (universities 5 year; secondary education 10 years, primary education 15 years).
  • Leerdoel: Aantal argumenten kennen voor de invoering van ELO’s bij bedrijfsopleidingen.
  • Learning resources: course texts, library access, web (google), other students Learning services: tutoring, self-tests, …………
  • Connectivity: lhe ‘last mile’ syndrome. Either not properly ‘designed’ in the course, or ‘perceived’ as insufficient. ‘ Improper’ = partly culturally determined: whether and how to discuss; who to initiate; open or closed groups; etc. Poor course examples: only digitised lecture notes/not using e-learning’s added-value; Poor tutoring: not reacting in time to questions; no clear course management; allowing unstructured discussions; dominating discussions; …………… Inferiority: e-learning = second-best education.


  • 1. E-learning business plan development author: Eric Kluijfhout, eric.kluijfhout@gmail.com   This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/devnations/2.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.  
  • 2. E-learning business plan development Refresher Course for Senior Executives Program “ Entrepreneurship development and -training in a global perspective”: e-learning strand Uganda, 18-29 October 2004 by Dr Eric Kluijfhout
  • 3. Outline
    • Define your pedagogical approach
    • Define your business model
    • Define (inter)national opportunities and threats
    • Define institutional opportunities and threats
    • Define student attractors and deterrents
    • Review your pedagogical model
    • Review your business model
  • 4. Strategic aims of e-learning
    • To replace (part of) traditional teaching and learning: substitution (same methodology)
    • To change (part of) traditional teaching and learning: innovation (different methodology)
    • To radically change the core business and its supporting organization: transformation
  • 5. Relation to ‘traditional’ teaching
    • In addition and parallel to traditional means of teaching and learning: extended classroom
    • To replace part of the traditional curriculum and teaching setting: blended learning
    • Completely time and place independent : distributed learning
  • 6. Step 1
    • Define your pedagogical approach in terms of strategic aims and relation to traditional teaching
  • 7. Step 2
    • Describe your e-learning business model in terms of activities and actors
    • Define who will be paying for what activity
  • 8. Analysis and design framework Level Dimension Macro National environment Mezzo Institutional environment Micro Learning environment Pedagogical Technological Organizational
  • 9. Some e-learning movers at the global and national level
    • Innovations in ICT, creating opportunities
    • Competition in the global knowledge society
    • The life long learning paradigm
    • Demands for accessibility and cost-efficiency
    • …………………………… ..
  • 10. National pedagogical dimension
    • National educational system
      • School types
      • Curriculum and accreditation system
      • E-learning policy
    • Status of learning and knowledge
      • In general
      • Towards distance- and e-learning
    • Pedagogical tradition and teaching practices
      • General
      • E-learning specific
  • 11. National technological dimension
    • National telecommunications network infrastructure
      • Coverage and capacity
      • Accessibility and reliability
      • Costs
    • Technological support infrastructure
      • Quality, quantity and costs of ICT products and services
      • Specific e-learning support infrastructure
    • Technology-orientation
      • General national level of technology-penetration
      • General attitudes towards technology
      • Attitudes specific to e-learning
  • 12. National organisational dimension
    • General school system and support structure
      • Size, capacity
      • Funding
      • Professionalism
    • National e-learning environment
      • National e-learning policy
      • National e-learning support structure
  • 13. Some e-learning inhibitors at the national level
    • Lack of vision
    • Vision not backed by action and funds
    • Misconceptions and short-term (political) views
    • Lack of national organizational and technological infrastructure
    • Inability to absorb and localise technology
    • Resistance to change in general
    • Failed pilots
    • ……………………… .
  • 14. Prerequisites at national level
    • Realistic national e-learning policy
    • E-learning innovation programmes and funds
    • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • Internet services providers
    • Reliable hardware and software suppliers
    • ICT training and manpower providers
    • Distance teaching/e-learning association(s)
    • Pre- and in-service teacher training programmes in e-learning
    • Openness to (technological) innovation
    • Best practices examples
  • 15. Step 3
    • Take your pedagogical approach and business case in mind
    • Define the 3 major opportunities at the (inter)national level
    • Define the 4 major threats at the (inter)national level
    • Identify any show-stoppers for your pedagogical approach and business case
  • 16. Some e-learning movers at the institutional level
    • Client, stakeholder, and market demands
    • Extending services and reaching new target groups
    • Fear of ‘being left behind’
    • Drive for excellence in teaching and learning
    • Efficiency-considerations
    • Standardising the training offerings (e.g. between plants, within a professional sector)
    • Monitoring: logging of learning results
    • Initiation often by enthusiastic individuals!
    • …………………………
  • 17. Institutional pedagogical dimension
    • Curriculum
      • Level, depth and scope
      • Orientation: general/vocational/professional
      • Pedagogical approach
      • Pedagogical vision on e-learning
    • Student background
      • General knowledge, skills, attitudes, learning styles
      • General demographical, economical, ………
      • E-learning specific knowledge, skills, attitudes
    • Teaching culture and practices
      • General
      • E-learning knowledge, skills, attitudes
  • 18. Institutional technological dimension
    • Connectivity:
      • Internet, Extranet, Intranet
      • Capacity, connectivity, quality
      • Continuous or dial-in
    • Hardware and software:
      • PC’s (quantity, quality, access)
      • E-learning support software
    • Accessibility:
      • E-learning resource materials
      • E-learning support services
  • 19. Institutional organisational (support) dimension
    • Institutional e-learning strategy/policy:
      • Pedagogical grounding
      • Technological grounding
      • Capacity building for management, teachers, support staff and students
      • Funding
    • E-learning support structure
      • Pedagogical
      • Technological
  • 20. Some e-learning inhibitors at the institutional level
    • Inhibitors at the national level
    • Being shielded from political, economical and social developments (ivory tower)
    • Lack of vision and understanding
    • Misconceptions (too optimistic or pessimistic) about e-learning possibilities
    • Lack of management support
    • Inflexible organisational structure and practices to accommodate e-learning requirements
    • Lack of funding (in equipment and staff)
    • Resistance to change (individual and/or organisational)
  • 21. Prerequisites at the institutional level
    • National (system) support
    • Vision and realistic expectations
    • Enthusiastic individuals and role models
    • Management support
    • Flexible organizational structure and practices
    • Budget
    • Institutional innovation record
    • Capable staff in various (new) roles
  • 22. Step 4
    • Take your pedagogical approach and business case in mind
    • Define the 3 major opportunities/strengths at the institutional level
    • Define the 4 major threats/weaknesses at the institutional level
    • Define any show-stoppers for your pedagogical approach and business case
  • 23. Some e-learning movers for students
    • Flexible learning: independent of time and place
    • Learning at the work place
    • Just-in-time learning
    • Access to international study programmes
    • Saving on study/training logistics
    • ……………………………………
  • 24. Learning environment pedagogical dimension
    • Applied e-learning modus:
      • Substitution/innovation/transformation
      • Extended classroom/blended learning/distributed learning
    • Suitability of e-learning modus to:
      • Learning goals
      • Pedagogical approach
  • 25. Learning environment technological dimension
    • Hardware and software:
      • PC access
      • E-learning support software
    • Connectivity:
      • On-line or dial-in
      • Capacity
    • Access to e-learning facilities:
      • Learning resources
      • Learning services
  • 26. Learning environment organisational dimension
    • E-learning help(-desk) function
  • 27. Some e-learning inhibitors for students
    • Lack of effective ICT facilities/connectivity
    • Lack of ICT skills
    • Lack of self-study skills/discipline
    • Poor course design leading to ineffective learning
    • Poor tutoring
    • No added value (e.g. on-screen page-turning)
    • Insufficient (social) interaction opportunities
    • Perceived inferiority of e-learning
    • ………………………… .
  • 28. Student prerequisites
    • Sufficient ICT facilities and connectivity
    • Basic computer skills
    • Openness towards e-learning
    • Self-directedness and study discipline
  • 29. Step 5
    • Take your pedagogical approach and business case in mind
    • Define the major attractors for your students
    • Define major deterrents for your students
    • Define any show-stoppers for your pedagogical approach and business case
  • 30. Step 6
    • Review your pedagogical approach
    • Review your business model