Dec 10, 2006

3C Content

3C Content: content is king

For the learner, content is the most important dimension. In this dimension, it is the organisation that decides on the training modalities (self-regulated, tutor-directed, classroom based) and upon the type and format of content offered to the learner: contact hours, web-based e-learning, Computer Based Training cd-roms, e-books, e-labs, virtual classes, discussion fora, assessment tests, training videos, interactive simulations and games, podcasts, audio books, weblectures, etc. It is obvious that the design cycle needs to be explicited in order to guarantee transparency, homogeneity and flexibility in use and has to be quality controlled. Instructional design is not a luxury. Didactic options need to be made because the user will not be able to pick and study the optimum content from this wide range of supplies, all by himself. It goes without saying that content needs to be provided by a team specialised in subject matter, in graphical and instructional design, in the business area and in cultural issues. As to the latter, there are implicit expectations as to time, place and code which are defined by the cultures of the supplier, the organisation and the learner. E.g. which language is used for instruction and communication? At what stage in learning? Where are examples of good practice drawn from? What is re-usable? How much ‘access’ is given to who? These critical success factors of e-learning are rather culturally than technically bound and as such intertwined with the other Cs.
A brief checklist of decisions dealing with the content dimension may be: (i) make-or-buy, (ii) modular building and re-usability, (iii) interactivity, (iv) meta-data, (v) channels (web, PDA, GSM, PodCast,…), (vi) technical features conform to the ICT-architecture (standards, footprint, plug-ins), (vii) dependence on the choice of the learning platform.

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