Getting Online: The GO Project

 

Online Content

Planning for Content Development

Initial Analysis

Although it might be tempting for some, don't just start creating your online content. It is important to first identify learning needs and constraints and then to develop a solid plan to create successful content for online learning.

To begin your analysis, here are some questions you could ask:

  • What needs are you trying to meet by offering online learning?

  • What are the overall goals and objectives for your online learning initiative?

  • Are you sure that online learning provides the best solution for your organization and your participants?

  • Who is the likely audience and what are their overall needs and barriers in terms of online learning?

  • What type of online learning would your organization offer (formal courses, professional development opportunities, general interest training, etc.)?

  • Do you have the necessary organizational capacity (financial, human resources and technology) to develop and deliver your proposed online learning initiative?

  • What technology or technologies would be best suited to the needs and abilities of your organization and its participants?

  • What type of online content will best meet participant learning goals needs?

  • Based on organizational and participant needs will all or only part of your content be delivered online?

  • If you are already offering online learning, what is working for you and what might improve the online learning experience for your participants?

  • If online learning is new to you, will you be developing content from scratch or do you have access to existing content from face-to-face training sessions that could be adapted for online?

Priya Williams of Stylus Inc. has written an excellent overview of many of the basic principles of conducting a needs analysis to design online content. This resource is called “How to Develop an Online Course” and is available at: http://stylusinc.com/online_course/tutorial/process.htm.

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