What makes E-Learning work?
Cost of IT Infrastructure
There is a perception that training organisations must spend large amounts of money on IT infrastructure and IT staff in order to have the capability to deliver E-Learning. This is not true. You can have the hardware and technical support necessary to run an E-Learning system for as little as $200 AUD per year. The software can also be obtained very cheaply if you start with a basic system. It all depends on what you want to achieve.
Cost of Resources
The cost of E-Learning resources depends on the level of interactivity. Video, Audio, Flash, animations etc. are very expensive to produce and you may find that they are also not really necessary. For you to use these long term, eventually you will pay more for these types of materials. Basically you get what you pay for. A hidden cost in using highly interactive resources is the staff development cost. We can give you many examples of both high end and low end resources working within an E-Learning environment.
Cost of Implementation
The cost of implementation can vary depending on what you decide to buy. The average cost for a Learning Management System within larger Universities and Corporate organisations is many hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Can you afford to even consider this? And this is before you add content. You still have to purchase hardware and web capability. Then train staff and introduce change within your organisation to accomodate E-Learning. Total solutions need not exceed a few thousand dollars (one-off). This could include content, the LMS, the hardware, the hosting and the training to use it. Again, it depends on what you want to do.
Ease and Speed of Implementation
If you select the correct LMS, your staff development time could be as little as a few hours. If you don't, it could be as much as many months. The speed of implementation can also be as low as an hour (complete L.M.S. with content, active on the WWW with your first students enrolled). We can show you many examples of this.
How do you make the choice?
Make an informed choice. Do not make the mistake of trying to apply an E-Learning system from another sector. Eg. Don't try to make a University sector E-Learning system work within the VET sector. The University aimed products are fantastic products but they are designed for use in the University sector. Also, do not try to use the same E-Learning system across all subject areas within the VET sector. The E-Learning system needed for Metals Engineering is vastly different to that needed for IT students. The students learn differently and their theory and practical requirements are different. You will need to recruit tutors/assessors who are committed to making E-Learning work for you. If you don't have the correct staff, E-Learning is not an option for your organisation. Don't be swayed or seduced by "Bells and Whistles". How good it looks does not translate into how well it will work for you?
From experience, we know there are a number of factors that are critical to success in E-Learning and we have many examples of what makes it work.