Need some advice from an experienced eLearning developer/s

May 07, 2015

I'm working with a local training company developing some content for their Moodle LMS. The qualification I'm working on at the moment is a Diploma of Community Services Work. I don't have any work experience in community service work nor am I qualified at Diploma level, as a qualified trainer myself, regulations state that I cannot deliver this course because I'm not qualified in the course I'm delivering. 

Typically, this shouldn't be an issue in the eLearning context because I would seek out a subject matter expert, in this case, a trainer, qualified in the Diploma Comm Services, who delivers this qualification and can provide advice on the course content, structure, resources so what is delivered in Moodle is consistent with what is delivered in class, it's vocationally relevant and the student experience is similar, there is no disadvantage going online over face to face. But I don't have access to a SME or a trainer that can help, I have some basic content developed by a contractor in Scotland, I can't confirm if they have any work experience of knowledge in this area, most likely not by the content I've seen from them. The training company is reluctant to purchase ready made content in book or elearning format for me to use in Moodle and so it seems I'm the one building the LMS and creating the content I have no knowledge on. Now, this doesn't seem right to me but people here are looking at me strange and I'm thinking WTF??

Have you come across situations like this? You're asked to build some eLearning but you have very little content supplied? Surely if an employer in the community services industry discovered I was building a course with no industry experience or qualifications they wouldn't give it any value.

I don't think I'm being unreasonable but I'm going a little insane over here so I was hoping you can confirm either way. 

I made the decision to purchase a resource myself so I could actually continue my work but my employer wants to continue using their offshore contractors who supply very little content compared to the resource I purchased which was written locally and is far more comprehensive. I'm not copying content word for word but I'm using it as a guide and structuring the content in my own words. I did notice though that the content from the contractors is in parts, exactly or very close to the content in the resource I purchased. 

I've been told there are time pressures to get this course online so I believe that this is the driving reason why this situation has occurred. If you rush any product to market without good planning, I believe your planning to fail and for this employer, it will be a second time their eLearning rollout has failed.

I look forward to your comments, support and advice.


2 Replies
Trina Rimmer

Hi Mark. Have you brought up your concerns to the project stakeholder(s)? I agree that there could be some credibility issues (at least) with incomplete content and minimal or no SM expertise to vet what content you do have - particularly when it comes time to market this course to your target audience. 

When course quality is at odds with an aggressive timeline or budget, it's often the first thing that gets set aside in the interest of launching something. Anyway, it sounds to me like you're in the unenviable position of delivering a reality check to whomever is holding the purse-strings. Whether they choose to listen to your advice is another story...

Hopefully some more ELH community members will chime in with their ideas as well.

Marcus Rummler


Yes, I've raised my concerns on a few occasions but it falls on deaf ears. I keep raising the issue, but it doesn't get through. I think this role will go into the 'too hard basket' and I'll have to move on or vote with my feet as they say. I'm sure it will become a source of great knowledge and learning in the future of how 'not' to implement an online learning program.

To not have an SME involved in the process is really setting you up for failure. If I was Neo from the Matrix and the knowledge I needed could just be downloaded into my brain then that's ok, that would work.

When the machines have taken over perhaps then we can do something together, until then it's a case of 'ignorance is bliss' I guess..

Thank you for your advice, I really do appreciate it.

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