Recreating the Future


Dear Reader,

Recreating the Future

The Sermon on the Mount was an exercise in moral teaching, not online learning, but it contained many a lesson relevant to today. Recall the parable of the ?The Wise and Foolish Builders? (Matthew 7:24-26)

?Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. ? But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.?

What relevance can this parable have for the development of businesses in online distance learning (ODL)?

Well, many an institution still builds its online learning on sand, despite the lessons learned from technology-based learning and e-learning in the recent past. Many efforts relied heavily on specific, transient technologies or proprietary tools. Even the good work was wasted by following this development path, and much is being continually re-built ? on more sand.

In these earlier technology-oriented days many universities were ?creating the future? of learning. With a foundation of sand many are still continually recreating the past.

The wise institutions built on rock, and are able to continually recreate the future – taking advantage of pedagogical developments and technology.

Building in specific, perhaps proprietary, technologies proved to be the sand. Technology-based learning was exactly that: any development had to be changed every three years or so as the underlying technology changed. Previous efforts fell down. The rock is an infrastructure of proven learning materials: rich, standards-based content within an institutional digital strategy for learning – a managed infrastructure.

Good learning materials remain good even if the delivery technology changes ? as it will. Learning built on this rock is not fixed forever though. It may occasionally need a decorative facelift and/or the building of an odd extension or two, but a solid foundation allows an institution to focus on quality, fitness-for-purpose, and scalability. Institutions following this approach have their futures shaped by being able to adapt to any technology from this rock, and not to be led astray by the false shepherd of a new transient technology ? though that is another parable.

Are you building sand-based online courses, or have you found a rock to build your future on?
Scalability, repeatability and sustainability are vital, and often tested when an institution attempts to develop not just their first online programme, but subsequent ones. Are you following a strategy, backed up by repeatable development processes that create the quality desired?

This is our business and our area of expertise. We build on rock.

Some of our existing clients…

Case Study: University of the West of Scotland

If you would like to have a discussion then please contact me at 0131 477 8632, or via email at
Yours sincerely,

Ken Currie
Director at – Learning Engineers
Capture, author, publish, deliver and manage your learning materials

This newsletter was originally sent by CAPDM Ltd. on the 22. August 2016.

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