e-Learning Case Study - Eaton
A Case Study in Enterprise Courseware Development
Eaton Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio has built a solid e-Learning infrastructure represented through its award winning Eaton University.
Already managing a library of off-the-shelf courseware, and a number of other "learning activities", the training and education team needed to develop custom courseware for a number of important business functions.
Having identified the need for training and assembled the basic content elements, the question was how should the team create the formal courseware? As the following describes, a wide range of options were considered…and CourseAvenue was the chosen path.
Pros and Cons of Outsourcing e-Learning Development
When deciding on how the courseware should be developed the Eaton team explored a wide-range of options. After recently completing the corporate LMS infrastructure, the daunting task of implementing a complete Learning Content Management System (LCMS) was clearly out of scope. However, the content, assessment, and collaboration requirements were beyond the reach of the low-end authoring tools currently available. While serious consideration was given to outsourcing the effort, in addition to a high initial cost, this option was frustrating in other areas.
One frustration the team found with outsourcing their courseware was that the Eaton team themselves would have to collect and assemble the raw text, images, questions, course elements that the design firm would use to "create" the course. From Eaton's perspective, these tasks represented the bulk of the work and it was frustrating and just inefficient to then turn it over to another entity for "final" course creation. Spending time to "educate" the course development firm did not seem an efficient use of resources.
Compounding this challenge was the fact that between 5 and 20 percent of the material would have to be updated throughout the year. As a result, the costs and "material collection" tasks would be recurring and only increase as additional courses were added.
Eaton's LMS vendor has an advanced content development tool included with their product. While this tool is powerful, it clearly requires advanced training and realistically, a background in programming.
Like many other training organizations, Eaton University personnel operate with limited resources and are focused on the managing students and delivery of training. The thought of learning how to "cut and paste Java script" or any other language for that matter was not at all appealing.
Solution: Insourced e-Learning Course Development, No Programmers Needed.
Eaton Corporation is now successfully building complex courseware using CourseAvenue. CourseAvenue works along with LMS and provides all users with an "Eaton-branded" web-based development environment.
The initial users were the Eaton University training and education staff. The user community has now grown to include functional employees outside of Eaton University. While functional users are now taking the lead in developing courseware, with the common enterprise repository, the Eaton University team is always there to provide input and assist as needed.
Upon completion of the course and pending the business need, the Eaton team can decide on the delivery mechanism. For many of the courses, the work is added to the LMS catalogue using the standard AICC import function and delivered as web-based training. When launched from within the LMS, AICC information such as book marking, completion status, assessment scores, and "total time in course", is communicated and stored in the LMS.
For other business applications, the courseware may be more informational in nature and can run outside the LMS as simple web-delivered training. In still other cases, the courseware can be delivered on a CD for standalone training purposes.
Conclusion: Authorware Simplicity, Lower Cost Development, Total e-Learning Control.
CourseAvenue provides the e-Learning professional with the missing piece to effective enterprise class courseware development. Without imposing the costs and rigor required by an LCMS or the technical know-how imposed by many "authoring tools", CourseAvenue bridges the gap between simplicity and true enterprise courseware development needs.