The eLearning Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Online Learning
4 By Saul Carliner and Patti Shank, Editors; Pfeiffer, 543 pp., $75
In my years as an e-learning wrangler, I've often found those seeking to "do" e-learning come with an awful lot of unrealistic expectations: that people armed with an understanding of only classroom-based training will be competent at designing and managing e-learning programs, that a Learning Management System (LMS) will do everything from increasing IQs to whitening teeth, that e-learning will launch and market itself. The results: Years out, we've seen countless false starts, piles of wasted cash, and lots of really, really bad e-learning courses.
Saul Carliner and Patti Shank recognize this, too, and in response have assembled comments from the horses' mouths—Marc Rosenberg, M. David Merrill, and Margaret Driscoll, to name a few—to produce chapter-length thoughts on addressing the problems and moving forward into a better future. The book's 16 chapters fall into five sections, including context (how and why), hype vs. reality, technology, design issues, and theory and research. Content I found most relevant to my own trouble spots includes the new future beyond Web 2.0 and advice on bridging the divide between training and the information technology department. Thorough, realistic, and sometimes refreshingly honest, "The eLearning Handbook" is an excellent resource for those who really want to "do" e-learning.