Monday, March 23, 2009

Market Differences in eLearning

I'm a fan of the number 42. So it seems significant that my post The Value of Instructional Designers just got its 42nd comment. Amazing how a post from a year ago can still generate conversation!

Sreya Dutta (Instructional Design: On the road to learning) responded to a thread in the comments about the eLearning market in India:

Cammy, thanks for this interesting post. I agree with Rupa and Poonam on the elearning industry in India but there are variations too. But I know of few variable cases too:

1. I know of companies who only hire instructional designers and buy Rapid elearning tools and expect the ID to do it all themselves to reduce the cost and over head of hiring graphic designers as well. One of the reasons is also that Graphic Designers often may not have much work, as sometime people just want ILT, or a few recorded sessions, other other delivery formats like remote training, that do no require heavy graphic or programming work.

2. Large MNC companies like IBM Deloitte (in India), sometimes just hire IDs and outsource the graphics/development work to elearning companies who have specialized graphics and development teams.

3. Microsoft in India, just hires content development managers, whose core skill sets is ID, but their role turns out to be that of a vendor manager and content reviewer, as Microsoft (in India) outsources elearning work to 3rd parties.

4. Oracle has Oracle University that provides services or graphics, editing and publishing to the other Business Units who need this for a price, but several times the BUs choose to have only IDs who would be required to create their own content, whether ILT, elearning, demos, etc using rapid development tools, to optimize the cost and get maximum output. Here IDs sometimes work as technical writers and TW sometimes write courses to optimize the cost. I was wanting to bring this up as a discussion in my blog sometime.

I hope this gives you a picture that once multi-nationals have entered they have changed the way in which companies work on elearning.
Is what Sreya sees going on in the Indian eLearning market any different than what you're seeing in your market? What differences are there in the different markets that stand out to you?

Photo Credit: Corner Pocket - Day 42 by Vox Efx


KarROX said...

According to the reports there has been a substantial growth in hiring of IT professionals in India related to Oracle, Web-Designing, and other courses. As regards to eLearnig there is a long road to cover.

Mark Britz said...

Loved the post. Always do. I see the changes happening in my industry as well as if nothing else the thought of exporation of ID (for elearning)perks up once in a while. No real need yet.

I need an answer to your love of 42 however. What gives. Did my wikipedia scan and saw much, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Oddly, I once awoke having a dream (vision) of the number 42...

Cammy Bean said...


I wondered if the Wikipedia entry would be too obscure. Scroll down the page until you find the section on Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The answer will be revealed...or rather, the question....

Sreya Dutta said...

Hi Cammy, yes I've recently got into the blogging scene more whole heartedly and spotted that post as late as a year!

A lot of this is true and frustrating sometimes when you want to focus on your ID work and leave the development to someone else. Several times due to such business centric strategies, you even get limited to only creating certain kinds of content and don't have any other option as the companies I named have pre-established standards and strategies that you cannot really deviate from if you want to create courseware for them. You have to stick to the approved models and if you have ideas other than those you have to go through a long chain of approvals spanning different business units.

So my suggestion to people who want to learn ID work for starts, is to join a pure learning company like NIIT, Tata in India get trained and have hands on exposure, and later more to such companies, as here you can almost never learn more than you already know. I think Tony's Big Question of this month on being stuck, speaks about how people feel in such setups :)

I'm waiting to get more traffic in my blog before I throw questions on IDs into tech writing. Do watch out, I'm very keen to know what people would say.

Thanks so much for creating a post on my comments. Looks like I'm 2 weeks late here as well :)


Cammy Bean said...


The great thing about blogs is that the conversation never ends. So it doesn't have to matter when you show up, as long as you do. Well, sometimes it matters, but not always...

I think this month's Big Question is true for almost everyone. I work for an eLearning vendor, but we still have to 'answer the mail' from our clients and deliver what they ask for. Sometimes I can push the envelope a bit with them, but not always. Sometimes you want to do more than there's time for. Sometimes you want to do more than there's budget for.


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