A Critical Evaluation

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A Critical Evaluative Report On The Topic E-Learning

A Critical Evaluative Report On The Topic E-Learning


The Guide provides an overview of the processes and some of the things to consider when developing content for e-learning and describes some useful resources that may assist. This Guide is particularly targeted at those working in the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector.

“Content development” can cover activities of varying scale and complexity - for example, an individual teacher or trainer developing material for a single class, through to large scale projects managed by a multi-disciplinary team. This Guide looks at generic processes applicable to large or small scale projects, however the emphasis and importance of a particular stage or consideration may vary according to the nature and scope of the development undertaken.

Why is it important?

The development of teaching and learning resources has always been integral to education and training and largely the domain of teachers. Several factors have led to an increased emphasis on content development now as a separate and more specialised activity, and often involving a consultative approach or team effort, or undertaken by people who may or may not be involved in the teaching.

The product development cycle

This section describes the various aspects of the development of e-learning resources in terms of a product development cycle. The cyclical representation is used to emphasise that developing learning resources is an iterative process that builds on existing resources, and that product needs to be evaluated and the results fed back in to future activities.

The Useful Resources section describes just some of the resources available relevant to particular topics within this cycle.


Establishing the team

Establishing the right team, in terms of balance of skills and ability to work together is a key success factor. The range of skills which might be represented include:

instructional design

content matter expertise

technical expertise

expertise in resource discovery and information management

project management.

Skills audit

Doing a brief skills audit will enable you to assess the existing skills and expertise of your team and identify any additional expertise you might need. The gaps might then be filled by internal professional development, contracting out certain tasks, or seeking extra team members.

Locating financial resources and obtaining support

A commonly reported issue when reading evaluation reports and experiences of teachers is the under-estimation of both the financial resources and time resources required for online content development. It is important to be clear where funds are coming from (all sources), and gain management support for time release for staff to be involved, before a project begins. When estimating expenses, factor in all costs including on-going maintenance and testing.


The planning phase is probably the most important. Steps involved include:

Articulating learning objectives - being clear about and communicating to others in the project team the learning aims and objectives. This includes what you want your students to see, do, and experience, as well as learning outcomes.

Characterising user (student) requirements - knowing your intended audience, their circumstance, and particular needs.

Locating and assessing existing learning resources - what materials do you already ...
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