E-learning User Guide

As part of a training package, PRIMAL GLOW Communications developed an e-learning user guide. The client, a non-profit organization, wanted to explore e-learning as a way to conduct public education. Here is an excerpt from that user guide.

Thinking strategically about e-learning

Why create an e-learning?

  • To inspire better understanding of a topic by a specific group of people
  • To meet a knowledge/skill gap or learning need
  • To connect learners in different locations and/or with varying schedules
  • To make a process more efficient and effective
  • To demonstrates an organization’s expertise on a topic

Is e-learning the right solution for your problem?

Could other tools, resources or activities meet your need more effectively and efficiently? Such as:

  • Online content, without interaction, such as an article on a website, a series of blog posts, a downloadable document, an infographic
  • Face to face event(s), such as a workshop or course
  • Telephone conference call
  • Print document, such as flyer, poster, workbook
  • An app

Benefits of e-learning compared to other options

  • Broad reach
  • Connect with hard to reach populations (e.g. isolated people, rural and remote communities)
  • Convenient (e.g. in comparison with traveling to a location, or having to join a call at a specific time)
  • Can be a private/individual experience
  • Increasing interaction with information increases learning (e.g. in comparison with simply reading articles on a website)
  • Can satisfy various learning styles
  • User can often adapt the learning process to meet her/his individual needs by selecting specific activities in a specific order
  • When learners interact with one another (e.g. discussion forum, chat, survey), multiple perspectives can enhance understanding
  • Can be engaging
  • Often cheaper that in-person events and app development
  • Can have a longer-term impact/reach more people that a single event

Challenges of e-learning compared to other options

  • Expensive compared to some other formats
  • Requires specific skills to develop and some skills for users to access
  • Requires access to specific technologies on the part of the developer and, to a lesser degree, on the part of the user
  • Must be accessible for users with various disabilities, users with low internet bandwidth, users with limited literacy and limited English/French
  • Users may have expectations for specific look and feel
  • Maintaining accuracy and accessibility over time as information, external links and technology change requires planning and resources