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How to Plan and Manage an E-learning programme reviewed


Title: How to Plan and Manage an E-learning programme
Author: Roger Lewis and Quentin Whitlock
Published by: Gower
Date of Publication: Jan 2003
ISBN- 0-566-08424-4
Price: £49
206 pages

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This book is for organisations who want to make productive use of e-learning. Perhaps the most critical issue here is that it is in fact a book about e-learning, and it is important to decide whether a book is the best way of learning about the issues addressed, or whether there should be more use made of on-line materials. Because of the length of time taken to write sub-edit and print the average book, this text has the drawback of having rapidly dating references. The majority of the references are from the year 2000. In a field where the pace of change is so fast, this has meant the exclusion of reference to some recent developments.

The chapter headings are appropriate for any text on learning - chapters include the following: Analysing learning needs, Defining learning outcomes, Making a learning plan, managing assessment, Managing learner support, Developing materials, Managing the team and Learning management systems. The content of most chapters is of course adapted to be specifically about e-learning.

The chapter structure is clear and the layout is excellent. Each chapter starts with a definition of the goals, is well illustrated and there are dozens of checklists. At the end of each chapter is a bullet-pointed summary.

I was disappointed by the Case Studies, which are all very brief, and are examples of one very specific point in the text, rather than a broad example of an organisation taking e-learning from start to finish.

The book can be recommended as a useful tool to remind us that an e-learning programme cannot be embarked upon lightly. It needs careful consideration and appropriate investment. The authors provide a valid framework for planning an organisation's e-learning requirements. In the future, I look forward to more detailed examples of how some organisations have carried out the e-learning task.

Reviewed by Chris Green.


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