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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited
Books. How to Plan and Manage an E-learning Programme
How to Plan and Manage an E-learning Programme
Roger Lewis and Quentin WhitlockGower2003£49.50ISBN: 0566084244
E-technology presents trainers and educators with a range of new possibilities, but there is also a lot at stake. Commissioning effective materials and sustaining e-learning in an organization are an expensive business. Moreover, learners are often dispersed and remote, and so depend particularly on the quality of the supporting programme. How to Plan and Manage an E-learning Programme seeks to help organizations to make the right decisions on factors such as these.
Chapters one and two comprise a step-by-step review of all the key stages in planning, implementing and managing an e-learning programme. The authors identify the decisions management must take at every stage and suggest strategies for monitoring, quality assurance, evaluation and revision of the programme. The financial viability of an e-learning programme, and how to define the internal and external markets for the programme, are considered in chapter three. It explores the purposes of a business plan and helps the manager to construct such a plan, including costing and marketing.
The next three chapters focus on analysing the learning need, identifying outcomes for the learning programme and breaking the programme content into manageable chunks. Chapter seven discusses assessment from the manager's point of view, while chapters eight and nine examine the processes of creating learning materials and supporting the learners who use them. Chapter ten explores the alternatives to the computer screen as a means of delivering the content of e-learning programmes. It also covers the selection of development and delivery software for e-learning, the production of materials and how to establish an e-learning centre.
The selection and training of e-learning staff, the conditions under which they do their work and their continuing professional development are all examined in chapter 11, along with the advantages and disadvantages of carrying out work in-house or commissioning external bodies. The final chapter reviews the characteristics of a typical learning-management system, and discusses the implications for managers, authors and tutors. The book concludes with a glossary of key terms used in the text.
The book takes a people-oriented approach throughout, with full advice on managing and supporting learners and building the necessary support teams. As the authors state: "Novel presentation methods and unfamiliar technologies can stimulate learners for a while, but these attractions do not last long. Other sources of motivation are also needed and are longer lasting, such as the chance to talk to other learners, to an expert or to a trainer. Above all, people need the opportunity to check the effectiveness of their learning, by trying out new ideas and skills and getting feedback on their performance."
The book, which includes plenty of checklists and examples, targets organizations wishing to make productive use of e-learning. Its recommendations apply to small as well as large schemes, and to both the educational and corporate sectors.