It is apparent that eLearning is an effective approach, especially for those organizations that are wishing to develop their staff or even provide product training, to highlight its functionality. Designing and implementation stages are crucial parts when it comes to developing an eLearning course in a given organization. The designing stage includes various activities such as the formulation of the learning objectives that are required to achieve the main set goal in a given eLearning course (Landriscina, et al., 2011). Designing also involves the definition of the sequence in which the objective will be attained. Another crucial aspect of the designing stage is the selection of the instructional, media, assessment, and delivery approaches. It follows that the success of developing an eLearning course in any given organization depends on its designing and implementation phases. It is, therefore, imperative to consider various issues that are related to the designing and implementation of an eLearning course.
Design Issues of E-Learning Courses
Developing and designing an efficient and powerful eLearning course is itself a big issue that ought to be considered by an organization opting to develop an eLearning course. As an instructor or the facilitator of an eLearning course in an organization, one is supposed to come up with clear and achievable eLearning objectives (Landriscina, et al., 2011). It is imperative to write them down in an acceptable sequence, that is, the order in which they will be achieved. Another essential element that ought to be considered is the incorporation of the logical structure in the eLearning course. This includes comprehensive graphics and analogies. There should also be efficient evaluation tools that can be used to assess the progress made by the learners in the ongoing eLearning course.
As part of the design, it is also essential to include effective navigation. This will be useful to the instructors when they are interacting with learners and it helps in shielding the audience from confusion. It is imperative to assemble all needed educational technologies, authoring tools used in eLearning, and other design theories. This helps the facilitator to handle various critical instructional design challenges. As a facilitator, one should be focused on helping the learners to apply the concepts, knowledge, and skills learned from the eLearning courses. It, therefore, follows that the facilitator should incorporate examples, case studies as well as scenarios that can be linked to real-life situations. All these approaches will be integral in ensuring that the audience (learners) can easily comprehend what is being taught.
Managing the eLearning project is also another design issue that ought to be considered when embarking on developing eLearning courses in an organization. The activities involved in the management of the eLearning project are demanding and sometimes if poorly managed can lead to pressure build-up, which is stressful. For instance, just like any other project, the eLearning project must be designed and delivered within the time and cost constraints, while at the same time ensuring that excellent eLearning results are achieved. In order to overcome this design challenge, it is advisable for the project manager to adopt effective time management strategies that will play an integral role when it comes to accurate estimation of the development time as well as management of the critical tasks.
Devising the art of communication is also a notable design issue that should be considered when developing an eLearning course in the organization. This is the challenge that designers encounter when coming up with effective methods or strategies to communicate their respective information, be it verbally or visually. It follows that for the facilitator/instructor to effectively communicate to the learners when using written as well as visual elements, one has to clearly define the targeted audience. Analyzing the audience is a crucial element since it helps in the collection of the data that is useful in the creation of engaging eLearning courses that efficiently communicates one's design approaches.
Inadequate research on one LMS and authoring tools alternatives or options beforehand is also a major challenge that is associated with the design phase when developing an eLearning course in an organization (Pappas, 2013). It is always imperative to select the rightful LMS and authoring tools when embarking on the development of the eLearning course. This can be attributed to the fact that the eLearning software plays the central role in almost every eLearning course, a module as well as the deliverables, which one creates as the learning process progresses. It is, therefore, important to select eLearning software that is fully equipped with features and functions that will facilitate the development of eLearning in an organization. It can be contended that without the rightful LMS and authoring, it will be hard to come up with a design as well as develop the eLearning courses and modules, thus derailing the organization's efforts as far as the organizations eLearning objectives are concerned.
Additional of the irrelevant content materials and content in the eLearning course for the sake of the artistic appeal is also part of the designing issues when developing an eLearning course or module in an organization. It is advisable for the facilitators/instructors to include only the content in the eLearning deliverable that is relevant to the topic or the course being undertaken by learners in an organization. For instance, additional irrelevant images, graphics as well as other design elements, which are not part of the topic or irrelevant, just for the sake of aesthetic appeal, will affect the quality of the derivable of the eLearning (Pappas, 2013). This does not mean that images, graphics, or other designing elements should not be incorporated in the design of the eLearning course; it implies that they should be included in moderation in respect to the relevancy and objectives of the eLearning course.
Failure to incorporate evaluation and feedback tools in the designing phase can also hamper the quality of the eLearning deliverables. When it comes to measuring the success or effectiveness of the eLearning or module, then feedback and evaluation tools have to be included in the design phase. Evaluation tools such as surveys, exams, or tests will be integral in determining what elements of the eLearning course are working as well as pointing out those that are not working (Landriscina, et al., 2011). This intimates that failure to include these tools will derail the progress of the eLearning course.
Implementation Issues of E-Learning Courses
The implementation phase is also crucial as far as developing the eLearning course in an organization. It intimates that any organization seeking to develop an eLearning in its operation should consider acclimatizing itself with fundamental issues that can influence the implementation phase of the eLearning course or module. Inadequate awareness of the eLearning platform is one of the challenges that face the implementation of the eLearning course in an organization (eLearning Industry, 2015). It is a necessity to initiate awareness programs as well as the creation of the eLearning platforms in an organization that predominantly uses traditional methods when it comes to their respective operations. These programs will help in changing the direction and attitude of the stakeholders towards the need of incorporating the latest technologies in the organization. This will make the implementation phase of the eLearning course in an organization be achieved with great ease.
Low rates, when it comes to the adoption of the eLearning can also be a great challenge as far as the implementation of the eLearning course in an organization is concerned. An organization can be willing to adopt eLearning courses in its operations but some factors, such as inadequate e-content, inadequate facilities, and infrastructures to facilitate eLearning, can act as a stumbling block for an organization to adopt and implement eLearning courses and modules (eLearning Industry, 2015). It follows that a huge digital gap and divide in various organizations has frustrated the efforts of many organizations when it comes to adopting the eLearning platform in a given organization.
The implementation phase can also be blighted by bandwidth issues as well as connectivity. The development of the eLearning course in an organization will be dependent on the organizations' ability in respect to the strength and efficiency of its network (internet). For an eLearning course to be effective, it is a requirement to provide engaging content which involves the combination of multiple multimedia components as well as the appropriate software tools (eLearning Industry, 2015). This implies that if the company is inadequate in terms of its network connectivity and bandwidth, there will be a problem in downloading or uploading the e-content, thus derailing the pace of eLearning in an organization. Frustrations emanating from the connectivity and bandwidth issues will hamper the morale of the learners as well as facilitators when it comes to learning, hence triggering the negative influence on the whole process of eLearning.
Difficulties in managing and handling learners is also another implementation issue that ought to be considered by an organization, before the development of the eLearning course. An instructor/facilitator is tasked to impart the competency of eLearning to his/her audience. This involves efficient communication with different stakeholders in the organization regarding the implementation and development of the eLearning course. Some learners ought to be kept active to facilitate online learning. This implies that those individuals who are less motivated as far as online learning is concerned will find it hard to keep up with the demands of eLearning. This can frustrate the efforts of the facilitator, which can derail the progress of the eLearning course.
eLearning is an integral tool for those organizations opting to upgrade their staff as well as the provision of training on new the functionality of the products. This implies that through eLearning, employees in a given organization can develop or upgrade their skills and competencies on the technological advances that can improve the efficiency of an organization. It is, therefore, imperative for an organization to be acclimatized with designing and implementation issues that can hamper the development of the eLearning course in an organization.
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