A Practical Framework to Guide the Development and Delivery of Small-Medium Enterprise Management Courses by VLEs
John White, Yeronga Institute of Technical and Further Education, Australia
International Journal on E-Learning Volume 1, Number 4, ISSN 1537-2456 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework or template of factors and considerations which need to be addressed when designing and developing courses for distribution through Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and "at a distance". Commentary on and examples of the application of these factors and considerations are included. The paper adopts the approach that the learning in which the participant takes part is made up of many elements, including: ·the distribution channel (including the information technology system) that is used; ·the educational design adopted; and ·the information design utilised. As these major elements influence the composition of the product offered and delivered to the course participant (who is the customer), then so too will they (along with other factors such as the human and financial resources required) influence the feasibility of producing and delivering the product - and sustaining the delivery throughout the product's anticipated life in the market place. For these reasons, this paper adopts a "market pull" approach. It is assumed that courses (i.e., products) are developed and delivered in response to an identified current or potential market demand or opportunity. Put another way, it is assumed that the course provider is responding to an identified and defined target market segment rather than developing a course and then making it available in the hope that some (and sufficient) customers will purchase it. This latter approach (were it to be adopted) would represent a "supply push" strategy. Adoption of a "demand pull" approach does not mean, however, that the product need be bereft of innovation in its educational strategies and techniques. It is recognised that education, by its nature, should enhance the capabilities of (and provide "added value" for) its consumers. Consistent with this, the educational principles and techniques which are applied - along with the technological delivery channel which is harnessed - can provide opportunities to exceed the expectations of the consumer by developing knowledge, skills and capabilities that endure and have application beyond the particular course, for example in the skills and attitudes of life-long learning and/or experiential and action learning. Structure From this start-point of the Market, this paper progresses to identify and discuss the following major aspects which influence the design, delivery and management of courses offered through VLEs: ·the Distribution Channel for the course; ·Education considerations; ·Developing the Materials; ·Legal Issues; ·Human Resource issues; and ·Assessment of the Course Strategy. A Summary and Conclusions section then completes the paper. Further, the sections and aspects outlined in the paper are commonly illustrated by reference to owners and managers in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within Australia - a particular market segment. This is done purely for descriptive purposes and the analysis made (including any conclusions drawn) should certainly not be seen as prescriptive.
White, J. (2002). A Practical Framework to Guide the Development and Delivery of Small-Medium Enterprise Management Courses by VLEs. International Journal on E-Learning, 1(4), 22-31. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2002 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)