Anyone involved in E-Learning is aware of one obvious truth – E-Learning development is an intensely collaborative activity.
Any E-Learning development requires a diverse array of skills such as Project Managers, Subject Matter Experts, Instructional Designers, Graphic Artists, Audio Engineers, Video Production and Programmers. For Project Managers this can be immensely frustrating as a bottleneck in one area can often disrupt the best planned projects.
Project Managers have usually tried to manage this by dividing E-Learning Projects into modules and developing them separately to facilitate parallel development and reduce cycle time. The modules are then integrated together to create the final E-Learning Course.
While this approach does help to a degree it can be really hard to manage as files are transferred back and forth and with dozens of versions of each file and course floating within the system. This approach has a number of inbuilt problems such as Version Control, Difficulty in Implementing Standards, Debugging , Content Security and double testing for Course and Modules .
In contrast truly collaborative e-Learning can be a game changer. Its impact on productivity and cycle times can be truly dramatic. But what is truly collaborative E-Learning Development. Truly collaborative E-learning development is when multiple people can work on the same project at the same time . This allows truly parallel development to take place without the need to break up a project into modules and develop each module separately.
The benefits of such an approach can be quite dramatic and can help significantly reduce cycle time and development effort. Here are some of the ways in which collaborative e-Learning helps.
- Multiple people such a SMES, Instructional Designers , and Graphic Artists can work on the same project at the same
- Resources such as templates, graphics, and media are available to all team members immediately
- All team members have a better and more holistic understanding of the course sine they are not limited to one part of the course
- Standards can be created and implemented globally and immediately without requiring each team to implement it separately
- Global Changes can be made immediately .
- Multiple versions and Version control problems are eliminated
- No effort is required for integration
- Content Security is improved significantly as only authorized personnel can view edit or publish a course
To implement truly collaborative E-Learning you will need a Cloud or Server based Authoring Tool. However this alone is not enough. The Authoring Tool must provide the features required to support Collaborative Development. Here are some of the critical features that you need to look for:
- Rights Management – The Ability to define the rights of various users in terms of View< Edit or Publish
- Page Level Locking : This means that when one person is working on a page no one else should be able to access it
- Common Template Library
- Common Media Library
Collaborative development can indeed be a game changer for large scale E-Learning Development. It can help drastically reduce cycle time and development effort. However, you need to ensure that your Authoring Platform provides you the features and facilities required for truly Collaborative e-Learning Development