Professional eLearning Guidebook
Som Naidu, University of Melbourne
This guidebook will help you to systematically approach your engagement with e-learning, irrespective of the educational sector or level within which you may be working. The content of this guidebook has been carefully prepared to enable you to consider all the issues in relation to e-learning. Besides the great deal of resources in this guidebook, its unique feature is the opportunity it offers us to “tell a story” about our experiences in relation to the issue or subject under discussion. Telling a story enables us to pause and reflect upon, and share our experiences or connect with others in a meaningful way. These opportunities are designed to remind us of our relevant experiences, which will enable us to reflect upon our experiences and those of our colleagues. They will enable us to make better sense of what we are reading in this guidebook.
Using this guidebook
The simplest way to make the most of the content in this guidebook is to start with chapter one. However, the order of the chapters in this guidebook does not represent any particular sequence. Your engagement with e-learning like any other educational or training activity is an iterative process, and as such there is always a great deal of backtracking and forward planning involved in the process. Of course, you are free to use this guidebook in whichever way you like or in whichever way it suits your needs.
Content of the guidebook
The content of this guidebook is organized under several key chapters. Each chapter approaches its content in a similar manner. Each comprises a discussion of key principles and procedures, which are interspersed with a number of critical questions for you to reflect upon.
The content covered in the guidebook includes a comprehensive reference list on the subject, which I hope you will find useful for further reading on the subject. Many of the references are used to cite the source, or direct you to additional sources on the points that are being made. It also includes a glossary of commonly used terms on the subject.
A unique feature of this guidebook is the opportunity it offers you to tell your own stories. We all have stories to tell, which we often do through our books, movies, drama and music etc. Stories comprise a powerful form of communication. I believe that a good story can engage readers in many ways and beyond what I may have imagined. I also believe that teaching and learning can be significantly enhanced with storytelling. For more on storytelling, see http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/archives/000257.html
We hope and expect that the discussions in this guidebook will remind you of powerful stories, which will enable you to make sense of new information, and in turn enable you to expand your knowledgebase. In that regard, we expect that this guidebook will serve as a growing resource for you and your colleagues, as long as you continue to use it.
Som Naidu, PhD
Melbourne, Australia (April, 2006)