I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to participate in an online chat about e-learning best practices with our own Paul Signorelli.  As I answered questions for Paul, I had the opportunity to reflect on my experiences in introducing blended learning at Gwinnett County Public Library, an organization, that until a couple years ago, relied almost solely on classroom-based ILT for training.  In my ferver to get e-learning off the ground, I took a few lumps along way that could have been avoided had I taken more care to address early on a few fundamental questions in implementation regarding physical assets, supervisory needs, and administrative concerns.  I volunteered to Paul that I would be happy to compile and share a general e-learning preparation checklist for libraries considering e-learning, or for those that are relatively new to it.  Here goes (or visit the Google group T is for Training for a printer-friendly version):     

E-Learning Preparedness Checklist

Physical

□  Does each work unit have an adequate number of PCs to be used primarily for e-learning?

□  Are the PCs in an area away from potential distractions?

□  Does each training PC have the necessary equipment and configuration for e-learning?

  • Consider equipment such as:
  • Headset microphones for webinars
  • Webcam for video conferencing
  • Browsers correctly configured (i.e., Java, Flash Player, Active X controls, popup blockers, software applets, etc)

□  Is there a Help Desk/Tech Support system in place?

□  Are there bandwidth bottlenecks during peak times of PC use in the branches?  

Supervisory

□  Do employees have scheduled off-desk time to participate in e-learning?

□  Is training viewed as an essential job function and supported as such?

□  Are policies/guidelines in place to restrict hourly employees from accessing e-learning off the clock?

□  Will concepts taught in e-learning be modeled and reinforced in the workplace?

Training Administrator

□  Will e-learning offerings conflict with branch/department scheduling?

□  How will new e-learning opportunities be advertised?

□  Which, if any, e-learning classes count toward CEUs for your professional staff?

□  Have you communicated your vision for e-learning so that staff know what to expect?

□  Do you have the buy-in of key stakeholders, such as the Director, the IT department, line managers, etc?

□  What evaluative criteria will be used to determine the success of e-learning initiatives?

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