Friday, September 22, 2006

URGENT! Wheel just invented!

Oh...wait... that's already been done, hasn't it?

I am in the middle of teaching my government-only "Online Trainer" course, which culminates in participants turning in a storyboard/outline/dummy version of a program the would like to put online. Drafts came in this week: Of the 16 enrolled, one's doing ethics, another 'cube etiquette', and another 'unlawful harassment'. That's great, but they're all planning to do it...from scratch. And...most of it's shaping up to be bulleted text-heavy slides.

I just googled 'free online harassment training' and got, and no I'm not kidding, no fewer that forty-eleven thousand sites to view.

PLEASE, please, watch the temptation to reinvent the wheel! Development time for from-scratch e-learning is often in the hundreds of hours. There's already plenty out there on most topics we do. Unless you are working to train on your company's how-we-make-blue-left-handed-gorilla-widgets, the odds are that someone, somewhere, has already done much of the work for you. If you can't use it outright you can at least use it for idea-starting.

Those on tight budgets must start looking at the hidden costs of creating everything from scratch, especially if something better already exists for free or cheap.