Implementation Tips: Platforms For Academia
Once you’ve determined the proper eLearning software for your academic institution, what next?
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of tips for implementing your new program. While some may seem obvious, you may want to heed others that are a bit more unusual. This is all the result of trial, and a good bit of error.
- Make sure you have the budget for it.
We know, budgeting can be a very bad word in academic circles. Funding can be tight going around, for pretty much everyone on any side of the occasion. Budgets are on a shoestring for nearly every department, and requesting more funding is never a fun task.
However, if you’re going to implement an eLearning strategy, budgeting is absolutely essential. It is essential that if you begin a program with eLearning software, you have the funding to make certain you can keep funding it, or the entire program is a waste.
- Pick a LOCAL partner for implementation.
Many companies offer support, but only long-distance. If you have questions about the product, and you have to turn to someone for answers, you will be very glad that you chose an implementation partner that was nearby.
One of the biggest benefits to this is not in the maintenance stage, but in the very initial stage. The best thing you can have is someone right next to you while you implement the program at first, making sure that you’re doing everything exactly right. If you have this kind of partner at first, you’ll find yourself needing a significantly smaller amount of maintenance in the future, which is good in the long run.
Even if a local partner is slightly more expensive, you’ll be grateful for it at some point.
- Account for Organizational Changes
There’s a law of thermodynamics about this one. Nothing is every truly at rest, and things fall apart. The academia of today is nothing like the academia of ages past in many ways, and you have to be ready for those changes.
Yes, implementing an eLearning platform is one of those changes, and it’s a very important step in a good direction.
However, one thing of which you need to be mindful is that the basic need you have for this software could change at any time. You may need to set up your entire software system not just once, but multiple times. Academia changes frequently, and so will your courses, and the courses of others at the same institution. If you’re unable to change with those shifts, you’ll find yourself with a useless platform.
Fortunately, most platforms are very receptive to change. The only issue is in whether the person implementing the changes truly understands the system. If you do understand the system fully the first time, you’ll find making changes a breeze.
- Set your budget aside.
Remember that budget we talked about? Here’s the first 25% of it, right off the top.
While most platforms are infinitely customizable, the customization you’ll be doing is going to be primarily out of your hands. You’ll work with the platform, and with your implementation partner, in order to make it reach your needs. However, this will likely not be cheap. It’s very important that whatever budget your institution or organization gives you, you immediately set aside a quarter of it for customization work alone.
- Make sure you have a dedicated support company.
If your platform stops working, do you know how to make it start working again fast?
Probably not, and you shouldn’t have to. It’s very important that you have a dedicated support company ready to help you out with implementing your eLearning platform. This company can handle technological work especially, since not every teacher is also a technical genius who rebuilds networks in their spare time.
With a dedicated support company, you’re also more free to experiment with the program itself, since every support company has at least one guy that’s fluent in “I did something and now the thing I liked is gone.” This guy can be your best friend.
With these tips, implementing your eLearning platform can be a breeze. Make sure you read them carefully before going out and purchasing an eLearning platform.