A client guide to the design and production process

I was invited by the editors to contribute a chapter to the Handbook of Corporate University Development (London: Gower, 2005) on ‘Working with e-learning suppliers’.

I used the opportunity to sum up what I had learned about working with clients and about learner-centred and outcome-centred design.

From the opening paragraphs

The publication of resources is a moment of truth for any e-learning programme. You can spend time, effort and money designing your strategy, establishing the information technology (IT) infrastructure, preparing people to accept the change and promoting e-learning – which are all vitally important things to do. But what will people find when they click on the ‘e-learning’ link? Will the resources be any good? Will they tell their colleagues to come too, or not to bother? Ultimately, an e-learning system is only as good as the resources and learning it delivers.

So how do you make sure your e-learning resources work? This chapter draws on seven years’ experience (both my own and that of colleagues at Learning Materials Design – LMD) of advising and developing e-learning resources for government departments, leading corporations, major charities and universities. In other words, it is written from the viewpoint of a specialist provider, with a good sense of what someone newly involved in commissioning e-learning resources might need to know.