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Converting to Online


Converting resources online can be a significant challenge for many existing classroom instructors. The first (and probably most natural approach) is one of attempting to take existing course materials and putting them online. This approach is not the most effective.

Online learning is unique. When moving resources online, an instructor must factor in the uniqueness of the medium. Content needs to be reviewed, and the following questions answered:

  • What do I want the student to learn?
  • What is the best way to present the content?
  • How can I use the strengths of the online medium, while minimizing the negatives?
  • How can I create interaction - student/content, student/student, student/instructor?
  • How will I assess the success of the learning?
  • What process will I use to evaluate the effectiveness of the presentation and the learning, so future courses can be improved?
Moving content online is not simply about transferring content - it is about transforming content. The online materials should be suited for both the environment and the online learning - and this process is part art, part science.


ASTD Roadmap for E-Learning
"Twelve months ago we published our first version of the ASTD Roadmap for E-Learning. It spelled out the steps for getting started-- with what was then the main application of e-learning; putting courses or programs online. This year, our experts tell us the world of e-learning is not so simple. That’s why this year’s roadmap isn't a simple country road but a multi-lane superhighway with plenty of interconnections to traditional learning methods."

Converting to Web-Based Training: Choices and Trade-Offs
"Your organization is ready to move some of its instructor-led training to the Web, but you want to make sure all systems are go. Here are questions to help clarify some basic decisions you need to make."

Tools to Convert Assets
" When moving to online learning, you must consider how to convert classroom materials to successful online experiences. Once you've outlined your new course design, you can begin converting the assets from your classroom course. Assets include anything of educational value: slides, lecture notes, handouts, exercises, and motivational stories. Some conversions may involve simply converting a file format; others may require you to recreate the asset in an entirely new form. Here's how."

Death of a Course
"Our Chief Technology Officer just returned from a three-day training session full of grumbles about the "course" she had taken. Her course began where the textbook began. Problem was her knowledge of the subject began halfway through the textbook. Our CTO’s plea: Can’t someone make a course that begins and ends where my knowledge begins and ends?"

Bringing Classroom Curriculum Up to E-Speed
"When Global Knowledge started out in 1995, the company delivered all of its courses through c-learning (traditional instructor-led classroom learning). Two years later, the company began offering self-paced asynchronous e-learning courses. In 1999, GK began offering live, interactive, online courses over the Web. As a result, the company soon recognized the need to streamline its curriculum development process and ensure that courses delivered through c-learning and e-learning would share instructional design standards, graphics, and text."

Matching Content to Delivery? Remember the Basics!
"To determine which of those tools to use when, start at a familiar beginning: Consider your learning objectives. Think through your training goals, including what level of performance you're looking for and how you'll measure achievement. Select a delivery method that will allow you to measure the accomplishment of the objectives. If you cannot measure performance with a particular delivery method, then it's probably the wrong one."


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