When You Do Not Need a Course
Instructional designers should be upfront about the need for an online course or e-learning solution for SMEs to teach a skill, and be transparent about the requirements and time/cost investment involved in any collaboration.
Honesty and upfront disclosure will help ensure that the project is not over or under-scoped, and that the solution is the most effective one for the situation.
It will also ensure that the target audience is provided the most appropriate learning experience.
Finally, it will help ensure that the instructional designer is able to accurately estimate the time and resources needed ahead of any collaboration.
When you might not need a course
- When the subject matter is low-stakes and can be easily communicated in a face-to-face setting.
- When the subject matter is best taught with hands-on experience, such as laboratory experiments or physical activities.
- When the subject matter is already well-covered in existing course materials or textbooks.
- When the target audience is not tech literate and/or simply not comfortable with online learning. Consider ages, previous education.
- When the target audience does not have access to the necessary technology or internet connection for online courses.
- When the subject matter is highly sensitive or confidential and cannot be accurately or securely conveyed in an online format.
- When the subject matter is too complex to be effectively communicated in a short time frame. Though it is hard to imagine many subjects with this limitation.
- When the subject matter is too simple to require an online course or e-learning solution. It could easily be a short document (.pdf).
- When there is not enough time to develop a comprehensive online course or e-learning solution.