Last but not least there is the management dimension, which includes ‘coordination & control’. The obvious functions are planning, process definition, program and project management, quality control, measuring tools, budget control, risk management, etc. In this dimension, the interaction between e-learning and the rest of the organisation should be reflected upon. For example, e-learning needs to align with the company strategy, calculations and reports on the Return-On-Learning (see ROI in figure 1) need to be made, not to forget the search for sponsoring new development of e-learning units. In a nutshell, it is the task of ‘Coordination&Control’ to effectively implement the operational and management processes for e-learning.
We firmly believe that e-learning projects are more demanding than traditional educational offerings.. Since contemporary organizations are still in search of best practices for effectively managing e-learning, we emphasize the role of a review board with the different stakeholders to guide and steer when and where necessary. The ‘6C learning’ framework may be used to survey the different components or function as the starting point of a scorecard. Next to the development and contrasts between 1st and 2nd generation, there are other growing tendencies a review board needs to take into account. A first one is a far reaching standardisation. Technically speaking, we here refer to the emerging SCORM-standard, which guarantees the interoperability of developmental instruments, learning platforms and courseware. Also the didactic and pedagogical standards need to be translated in a standardised design cycle. A second tendency is architecture. People, systems and processes of e-learning need to be mapped in an accurate way. As an example of an encompassing framework of e-learning architecture, we refer to the ELF (e-learning framework).Conclusion
Second generation e-learning will have to prove that there is indeed a return on investment on the part of the learner and on the part of the organisation if e-learning wants to deliver as it has promised. At this moment the learning community is realistic enough to know that learning is a blend and that for better managing learning we need to map out better how personal styles, group contexts and learning actually interact.
The ‘6C learning’ framework aims at giving a high-level overview of the conditions that need to be met to guarantee a successful e-learning. It may serve as a means of communication, an ‘e-learning speak’ to reflect upon the conceptualization, design, implementation and outcome. As such it should also help in defining the sustainability of an e-learning investment.