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
□ 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?
□ 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?
□ 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?