In Using Moodle for Business, I put “lack of objectivity” at the top of Common Mistakes. As with any new venture, deciding to launch an eLearning site has its risks. There will be costs, there will need to be a great deal of time invested to make it work, and the revenue stream is never guaranteed.
No matter how excited you are about the unlimited potential of having your content online, you must harness that excitement and write a business case. This business case must be based on facts and data from market research, financial considerations, and your own self-assessment. It should not be an emotionally-driven document.
This doesn’t mean that you should be dispassionate in the implementation of your plan. Passion is what makes most businesses succeed. Even the largest corporations today began as ideas of passionate people, undaunted by potential risks.
Be passionate in the work. Be objective and calculating in the decision-making.
Another Common Mistake is the lack of a budget – a realistic budget. I really did have one client tell me her budget was “angel’s wings”. I’m not really sure how many dollars or euros that is, but I’m pretty sure it meant that she had no budget at all. For a rare few, that can mean they have unlimited resources. For most of us, it means that we will need to make some choices, based on what we can afford. Failure to make those choices in the beginning almost always leads to overall project failure.
Even if you have narrowed your search and have decided on Moodle, it can cost from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars to construct a site. Know what you must have and know what you can afford!
It is intuitive to most people that a building – factory, store-front, warehouse – will be a large expense for any business moving in. There will be lease or mortgage payments, utilities, the cost of moving in and setting up. Equipment and supplies will be needed.
Rarely do I see a sign that reads “FREE WAREHOUSE SPACE. MOVE IN TODAY!”
But when it comes to eLearning (not just Moodle), we are teased and lured in by the promise of “free hosting”, “free downloads”, “free domains”. This has led many people to believe that a web presence – unlike a physical presence – is free. There is nothing to pay for; it’s all free!
As my client Kyle* says, “It doesn’t take much to do it poorly. It is, in fact, effortless”.
Quality of Your ELearning Site =
Money You Put Into It + Time You Put Into It + Planning You Put Into It
Even if you don’t have much money, you can have a great site. The better you plan and the more time you put in yourself, the less it will cost. But again, don’t let your passion drive your budget. Be realistic about your financial resources and passionate with the time you put into the planning and the building of the content.
- Using an MGPP for eLearning development – staged implementation
- Using Moodle for Business – presented at the 2011 Midwest Moodle Moot
- A Few Words About Getting Help – for open source and proprietary software
- How to Keep Your eLearning Development On Time & On Budget – *Kyle as a good example