When you look at the business world, especially larger companies, almost all have a way of deploying e-learning content and tracking progress. Instructional designers create learning objects (aka lessons) and load them to a learning management system, LMS. They trust their adult education to this model because it is effective, available 24/7 and has a high ROI compared to instructor led training. Why are schools not eagerly adopting this model?
I am convinced school districts could save tons of money by virtualizing routine professional development. For example, think of the technical training teachers new to the district receive. Actually, they may not receive much, are undertrained and constantly need support. Or, maybe this training is instructor led. This is expensive and can’t be repeated every time a new teacher is hired. Developing learning objects that are loaded into an LMS would take care of much of this training.
Did you know you can load learning objects into a free LMS, such as Moodle, and it will track who took the course and grade embedded quizzes?
You need some tools to make this a reality. First, you need authoring software such as Camtasia (great for screencasts), Articulate (PowerPoint-based) or Captivate (great for simulations). Next, you need an LMS that will load SCORM compliant learning objects. Some free options are Moodle and Haiku. This is important because SCORM learning objects will let the LMS track progress. By the way, SCORM is a whole other discussion and not really important in this post. Lastly, you need a list of skills teachers need to learn on a routine basis. I’m sure you can make a top 10 list in under a minute. You may need to contact to get it all done but the costs will be worth it in the long run.
Let me know if your district is moving in this direction.