13 Nov 2007

Distribute and delegate

I've come across several people trying to find a solution to collaboration on e-learning projects. What often happens, is local security concerns prohibit thorough co-operation. This is due to genuine concerns. No administrator wants to allow anyone on their company e-learning workspace.

So how can we solve the availability paradox? One way to solve it, is organize our e-learning in a distributed way. This would mean e.g. not charging per person, but per use. So if I got access to an e-learning object, I would be charged not for merely seeing it, but every time I accessed it. This allows fast access for a small fee.

This is a model which encourages fast learning. Of course, it might also conflict with, for instance, a social policy of a company or institution. Slow learners would be punished for something they've no control of. And since speed of learning is generally distributed along class lines, lower class people with fewer available funds might have it harder to acquire knowledge online than higher-class people.

By this I am not saying lower class people are dumb. I am saying - and this has been proven - that lower income generally (statistically) coincides with slower pace of learning. Add to that an often lower adaptation of use of computers, and it will be clear that a pay-per-view in online learning is a flawed concept.

Unless you could distribute it, of course. If you could distribute access to learning systems, you could charge per view with a correction to the amount you charge to each participant. So for instance, I distribute my user accounts to a social organization to make e-learning content available to their public, and they pay a smaller amount per view of an object than I would normally charge, they can fulfill their social mission and I can gain customers for my e-learning.

The alternative is that I take care of the user registration for them, which means burdening my processes and business with a lot of the things I would rather not be doing, as well as having to devise systems to replicate that which they are already doing; which is to identify their clientele.

So my suggestion would be to take a solution which exists today in the management of portal sites. If I work with trusted partners, and I let them handle their user management on my system, I don't have to worry about the user access and can still diversify my marketing policies. It might take some training and some good agreements, but after that, distribution will take the bottlenecks from many systems.

It only takes some trust.

In todays world, this is sometimes hard to get, but priceless once obtained.

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