E-Learning Models There are many different e-learning development models that can be utilized forinstructional design and program management. An effective e-learning model should includestrategies to engage learners, facilitate learning and teaching, provide opportunities to evaluatelearners’ performance, be user-friendly, and benefit the organization using it. Broadbent (2002)suggested an eight-step and a seventeen-step e-learning development models instructors anddevelopers can use to create successful and functional e-learning programs. Due to thecomplexity of implementing e-learning, it is essential to develop a well-organized projectmanagement plan and be flexible to any changes and improvements needed. The purpose of thispaper is to discuss how an eight-step e-learning model can effectively be used for a highereducation institution and how to manage a successful quality e-learning project. The followingmodel may be combined with other e-learning models in some phases to achieve positiveoutcomes. 1. Scope 4. 5. Pilot 8. the Develop Test Maintain Project 2. 6. 7. 3. Design Analyze Deliver Evaluate Eight steps of an e-learning Development Sequence Adopted from Broadbent, 2002
Step 1. Scope the project: This phase includes gathering data to evaluate whether anorganization is ready to embrace e-learning. For instance, this part can be done by surveying andinterviewing the e-learning participants. At the end of this step, the teaching team will create areport for those who make decisions to inform them what methods were used to collect data, howthe data were interpreted related to e-learning in the specific setting, how much the e-learningproject would cost, and how it would benefit the organization. The report will also includehelpful tips about the next steps. In a higher education institution, for instance, the instructorswho are convinced that e-learning would be beneficial for students and for improving the qualityof education offered at their institution, may start with scoping the project as the first step andthen move on to the next step.Step 2.Analyze: In this step, instructional analysis such as setting, technology, participants,work, teaching appropriateness, content, budget, and profit are examined (Broadbent, 2002). Forexample, managers and instructors might collectively consider what types of technologies wouldbe available, what other technologies would be needed, and how to deliver the content in an e-learning environment appropriately. In addition, careful thought should be given to costs andbenefits of e-learning in the beginning phases. Instructional analysis is an important section ofthe e-learning planning.Step 3.Design: This step includes planning the curriculum, selecting the training methodologies,and setting the objectives for the training units (Broadbent, 2002). To design effective e-learningmaterials, instructional designers should consider pedagogical aspects and learners’ cognitiveprocessing as well. Lai, Wang, He, and Wang (2008) proposed a process-oriented e-learningmodel called “agent-oriented e-learning process model” while considering the pedagogicalprincipals to support learning (p. 22). The aforementioned model uses software consisting of
three agents. The first agent connects instructors with students while fostering social interactionin an electronic learning environment, manages the learners’ learning process by providing thecorrect level of activities as learners’ progress, and informs instructors about students’performance so that mentors can identify possible misunderstandings and correct themimmediately. The second agent keeps track of the students’ activities, learning progress, andperformance. The third agent evaluates learners’ performance and the effectiveness ofinstruction (Lai, Wang, He, & Wang, 2008). Compared to traditional e-learning model, theagent-based e-learning process model is more flexible and harmonious with the educationaltheories such as constructivism and social learning theories.Step 4.Develop: In the development stage, all items such as curriculum, methodologies, andobjectives that were planned in the design phase will be developed and reviewed by the internalreview and associates for quality assurance. At this stage, the e-learning developers should alsoexamine whether they can use some of the existing materials and whether those materials are stillcurrent. Once the instructional materials are developed, pilot testing will take place.Step 5.Pilot Test: In this stage, the e-learning users and decision makers review and test thematerials that have previously been developed in different instructional periods to ensure thateverything works well as expected.Step 6.Deliver: This step includes utilizing the e-learning materials developed and reviewed inprevious steps for instruction. During this phase, the materials will still be evaluated andpossibly improved. Feedback and observation can help to collect information on how to enhancethe e-learning instructional materials to support learning.Step 7.Evaluate: E-learning, just like any other job, should be evaluated for continuingimprovement. At this stage, e-learning developers examine whether the program is designed
appropriately and whether the program objectives and benchmarks are being met. There aremany e-learning areas that may be evaluated and enhanced simultaneously. For instance, thetechnical support for students and instructors, the teaching and learning process, the coursestructure, and the course related assessment procedures may be evaluated for quality control(Chapman & Henderson, 2010). The following video contains information about e-learningevaluation and issues:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR1b4vqDkQ4&playnext=1&list=PLBCE149525412262A&feature=results_mainStep 8.Maintain: Continuing maintenance of an e-learning program helps to keep all of the e-learning associated materials and methods current. In this step, the program may need someadjustments according to the users’ feedback. How to Manage a Successful Quality E-Learning Project To achieve positive results from an e-learning program, Broadbent (2002) suggestedconsidering the following criteria to measure the level of performance in high, medium, and lowcategories: 1. Project management skills – obtain adequate information about instructional design, project management software, and training needs analysis methods 2. Background information – obtain enough information about the organization and the context before starting with the e-learning project 3. Contract precision – the contract with clients should be written carefully while considering daily tasks performed during the project rather than promising fixed project duration 4. Review time – allow enough time for continuing review
5. Effort versus duration – identify the difference between the number of workdays and the amount of time needed to complete the project including the time needed for the approval process 6. Software use – use project management software to create a clear plan for external and internal clients 7. Revisions to work plan – after approval of the work plan, any revisions should be done formally 8. Word processing skills – use different word program options to create nice status reports 9. Report to clients – inform all shareholders regularly about the progress and challenges related to the e-learning project 10. Record keeping – keep record of how much time is needed to complete certain tasks to plan correctly next time (pp. 86-87). Conclusion Higher education institutions are more and more incorporating e-learning into theirinstructional activities to support and facilitate learning and teaching, to accommodate learners’needs such as learning styles, and to provide accessible education for a large number of studentswhich in turn will benefit their organizations financially. To create an effective e-learningprogram that not only offers convenience for the learners and mentors but also encompassespedagogical principles, a well-developed e-learning plan is essential to use as a model, whichmay need adjustment as needed. There are a number of e-learning models available; however, agood model should contain strategic plans to involve learners, simplify learning and teaching, be
user-friendly, provide technical support to learners and faculty, and benefit the e-learningoffering organization in different ways.
ReferencesBroadbent, B. (2002). ABCs of e-learning; reaping the benefits and avoiding the pitfalls. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/PfeifferChapman, B. F., & Henderson, R. G. (2010). E-learning quality assurance: A perspective of business teacher educators and distance learning coordinators. Delta Pi Epsilon Journal, 52(1), 16-31.Lai, H., Wang, M., He, J., & Wang, H. (2008).An agent-based approach to process management in e-learning environments. International Journal of Intelligent Information Technologies, 4(4), 18-30. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/222742823?accountid=28180