The e-learning pie is a simple tool that can help you assess the success of your e-learning projects.
When my clients ask me to help them assess their e-learning projects, I use a quick and simple process with eight criteria. To help you picture it, I’ve developed the e-learning pie.
Because I've identified eight key elements of e-learning implementation, I've sliced the pie into eight pieces. Each slice represents a critical element based on my experience. In your organization, you might name the pieces differently or decide that you need more or fewer than eight pieces to capture the implementation process. It's your pie; you can do with it what you wish.
Use these questions about each slice of pie to rate your company’s e-learning processes.
Business case. How well aligned is your e-learning with organizational goals and objectives? How compelling is the evidence that e-learning will help achieve those? How well have you made the business case?
Culture. What is the appropriate culture for e-learning? Does your organization have it? If not, are you doing what you need to do to get there?
Quality of content. Is the information being delivered through e-learning relevant to learners’ needs? Is it provided in the right amount? Is it instructionally sound?
Resources. Are sufficient financial resources available for e-learning projects? If not, how can you obtain more?
Speed. Can your e-learning material respond quickly to change? Can it convey new information fast enough? Are you doing what you need to do to increase your capacity to act quickly?
Talent. Do your people have the skills to implement e-learning on the scale required? If not, are you doing what you need to do to groom them?
Technology change. Is your organization responsive to new advances in e-learning technology, or are you constrained by existing IT infrastructure and security or compatibility issues? Have you tried to resolve those issues? Have you involved IT?
Leadership. Are leaders well briefed, supportive, reasonable, and available? What can you do to ensure that leaders provide the clarity and vision to get stakeholders marching to the same drum?
Here’s how to use the e-learning pie to assess the current state of your e-learning projects.
1. Revise the pie as you wish to reflect the issues in your organization. For example, some of the organizations I work with prefer to use the term human resources for talent, number 6. Some organizations add additional pieces to the pie such as off-the-shelf courseware and LMS.
2. Assess each criterion on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest. Use the sample questions above to help you.
3. Draw a line across each piece of pie according to your assessment. (For example, if you give resources a rating of five, you would draw a line as I have done across the resources piece of pie.)
4. Reflect on what this pie tells you about e-learning in your organization. What does it suggest about how you can improve e-learning (and get larger pieces of pie)? Why are some areas rated higher than others? Can you learn anything from the highly rated areas that you can apply to the lower-rated areas? For example, if you give technology a high rating, is there something about the way it achieved that rating that you can incorporate into another area?
5. Based on the ratings you gave items and the relative importance of each item in your organization, answer the following questions.
- The e-learning implementation issues that I need to work on are ______________.
- The issues that I need help with are ______________.
- People or other resources that can help me are ______________.
- The person who will hold me accountable in this process is ______________.
- The actions I am going to take are ______________.
- My simple work plan for taking action, with dates, is ______________.
- The person holding me accountable will know that I have achieved my goals when I have taken the following actions ______________.
- I will celebrate my success by ______________.
We all want to have successful e-learning projects and larger slices of pie. Assessing your e-learning progress and taking steps to address issues will help you succeed with e-learning. And that’s yummy.
Published: May 2003