You have developed excellent eLearning courseware. Now, you need to choose the best platform to deploy the course content. What are the criteria you need to keep in mind? By assessing your objectives and constraints of deployment, you will be able to arrive at the best possible solution.
eLearning deployment options can be based on modes of learning – synchronous and asynchronous learning or by the size of your audience. We have already covered about the deployment options based on synchronous and asynchronous learning in our earlier blog titled, “e-learning deployment strategy – a few quick tips”. Here, we will explore deployment options based on the size of the learner-base.
If the audience size is small…
If the size of your learner-base is small and there is no necessity for you to track the progress of your learners, you can consider some of the options below for deploying eLearning programs.
For larger files, you can send it as a zip file using the internet or intranet site. This could be useful for some basic learning material or product updates. Here, you will be able to track if the learner has downloaded the file or not, but advanced tracking and reporting options on completion and assessment scores will not be available.
You can also email the content to the learner directly. It can be used only if the file size of the courseware is very small (for example a PPT presentation) and does not contain any audio or video.
Another simple option is to Burn a CD ROM and distribute it. Again, this format is useful only in cases where there is no need for assessments and only information needs to be shared such as on product updates or new features in products.
LMS as an option for a larger audience:
If the size of your audience is large, hosting the courseware or training program on a Learning Management System is the only option. It will help you to monitor users and keep track of their progress. It is also the best option if you need proof of completion of the course or need to issue a certificate of completion. It may require initial investment and might take time for setting up but if you deploy eLearning courses on a regular basis, it is worth the investment. It would provide you with several user-friendly options for you to use and share your content.
If you have an existing LMS, you could simply use the same. Alternatively, you could use the services of an external provider who could host the same from their LMS platform. You could also consider various open source LMSs such as Moodle or Ganesha. If you are not in a position to use any of these options, you could even upload the course content to your website and make it available to the learners. You could have password protection in order to access the course; however, you will not be able to set up a tracking and reporting functionality with this option.
In short, choose a deployment option based on your training management goals and the limitations under which you are operating. Assess the technical requirements of the chosen method and ensure that you are suitably equipped to meet them. Also note that an LMS option need not always be an expensive affair. There are several low-cost options in the market that might meet your requirements.