Crediting a person's or business name

Hi Folks,

My dept. has a question about giving credit to people paid on an hourly rate (temporary, short-term employees) and as contractors (two different employee categories in my employer's system, a university).  Is it standard practice to list the elearning developer's name or business name in projects such as self-paced learning modules?  I'm not asking about ownership but just about giving credit, say at the end of a module or whatever product was developed.

Thanks,

Rachel

9 Replies
Natalia Mueller

Rachel,

I have found it a best practice to only credit the department or project team name. The reason being, that inevitably something will happen- that person will leave, have a new role, etc. and that immediately dates the content. If a course is 5 years old but still has valid content, I don't want learners to immediately think it's outdated because they know how long ago that person left.

This was also a lesson learned for us when we found ourselves updating an entire curriculum because a person was no longer with the company. Now when a stakeholder requests that type of credit, we just tell him or her that we don't do that anymore because of the potential problems it can create later on. They are usually content to credit the project team or department once it's explained.

Good luck!

Rachel Leigh

Thanks Natalia for your perspective.  I'll explain the context a little more.  Our learners are outside my dept. and university, so external, so they wouldn't know the difference.  We have our logos for our sponsoring programs in the modules.  What I'm asking about is an elearning developer who develops modules for us either as a part-time, short term employee or as a contractor.  I develop modules for my dept., but the previous person in my position developed a module after she left the organization and we have hired another elearning developer, a contractor, to develop a module for us.  I'm the only full-time instructional designer in the dept. and I don't/wouldn't expect to put my name on modules I develop for my employer; however, I'm wondering what other elearning developers' practice is on this who either do part-time, free-lance work or who have their own business.  I hope this makes more sense.  : )

Thanks,

Rachel

Bruce Graham

Hi Rachel.

I consider that a company/business/organization buys my services and experience, and pays for me to create eLearning for them.

They do not pay me to create an advert for myself.

I would never expect any credit on a course module that I had been paid (well!) to create, however, if they wanted to recommend me in other ways fair enough.

I always ask for a reference for my website.

Bruce

Andy Bowyer

I can certainly appreciate the desire to see one's name on something one created, but I think the principle that needs to be applied here is similar to that of, say, a TV commercial:  you'll never get a credit roll for one of those...and really, does an eLearning "student" really care if "Ted Smith" provided the layout and design, or that "Andy Bowyer" provided the narration?  I really doubt it.

Typically "Brand-X Widget Capacitors Presents:  How To Install A Widget Capacitor" is all anyone cares about...

My .02.

Ted Smith

Holly MacDonald

Bruce Graham said:

Hi Rachel.

I consider that a company/business/organization buys my services and experience, and pays for me to create eLearning for them.

They do not pay me to create an advert for myself.

I would never expect any credit on a course module that I had been paid (well!) to create, however, if they wanted to recommend me in other ways fair enough.

I always ask for a reference for my website.

Bruce


Ditto - it's a work for hire for me. A larger company may want to see something like Andy has described. If your developer is also a SME (subject matter expert) who is a real thought leader and having their name on the course is either a sales technique or a credibility indicator, you may want to consider that. 

A contractor may want permission to use portions or list the work on their website/portfolio, so that would be something to explore if there are concerns about that.

Hope that helps,

Holly

Rachel Leigh

Hi Everyone,

Thank you everyone for your insights.  I'm glad the issue of how to present the work you've done for others as a freelancer or business owner was brought up too.  What I've seen on elearning developer's websites is screenshots and quotes (references) from previous organizations and employers.

Rachel

Bruce Graham

Mike Taylor said:

A different spin on this that a colleague of mine likes to do is to put the SME's who contributed on a page at the end. It helps give them a little visible appreciation and doubles as a way to tell people who the experts are to ask questions of.


The problem with this is that this also conforms to Bruce's First Law of SMEs:

"The inclusion of the SME name is directly proportional to the likelihood that the named SME will leave the company or change their name".

Bruce

PS - the second law is that "Most of what the Subject Matter Expert thinks matters does not matter".