aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

Free eLearning Strategy Book – Just be careful what you pay for

Posted by Ellen on April 6, 2008

The eLearning Guild has released The eLearning Guild’s Handbook of e-Learning Strategy. Edited by Bill Brandon, this 68-page guide provides a good general outline for creating an online learning strategy. Realize going in that you’ll need to have your usual “translator” on hand to convert what’s meaningful in the corporate world (the eLearning’s main readership and membership) to what will work for you in your association.

Like other compilations (notably one from ASAE and The Center), this suffers from the lack of overall continuity that pulling together articles from different authors can create. And by page 6 or so, most association education leaders will probably want to bail out of the book entirely.

I have a lot of respect for the eLearning Guild — have been a member and have been a speaker at their conference — so it’s not that they didn’t do a good job with the book.

It’s just that it’s designed and written for the corporate environment. I mention page 6 because that’s where you might wonder how you could manage such a process, given limited time and resources. Later, another author details vendor selection before content development methodology is discussed, which seems backwards to me.

Patti Shank’s Chapter Three: “Design Strategies for Online and Blended Learning” offers a wealth of useful information, particularly the sections on Content Forms and Slide Templates, which provide real help for working with volunteer content experts. And the illustrated examples are worth the download in themselves.

So don’t let the book overwhelm you. Extract the nuggets that make sense for you and your association, and celebrate the value you got for it, given the price you paid.

One Response to “Free eLearning Strategy Book – Just be careful what you pay for”

  1. aditya452010 said

    All great ideas but I would also add another item to it: consider doing a virtual event/meeting. Virtual events and meetings are a great way to deliver training and enable collaboration especially with travel budgets cut. These solutions are being deployed so rapidly by companies that the market is projected to exceed $18 billion by 2015. If you are interested in how you can use virtual environments attend the Virtual Edge Summit Feb. 22-23 (virtually or in-person if you are in/near Silicon Valley). There is no registration fee if you take a short survey.

    Virtual Edge Summit 2010 is the only event that focuses exclusively on providing education, training and solutions for planning and producing virtual events, meetings and communities. Over 2 days, 80 experts will share their experience with you, and be available for one-on-ones. The event also offers a rich program for featuring experts from Cisco, Stanford, IBM, Disney SAP, Oracle, Intel as well as top virtual technology and service providers like InXpo, ON24, 6Connex, Stream57, CGS VirtualEvents365, George P. Johnson, Unisfair and Digitell.

    When: February 22-23, 2010 8am until 6pm

    Where: At the Santa Clara Convention Center in California and virtually in browser based virtual environments offering 2D and 3D experiences.

    Register at

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