Last month we discussed return on investment (ROI) in e-Learning and where to look for greater utilization of our e-Learning assets. This ROI discussion almost always migrates to identifying quality benchmark achievements or new cross-organizational applications. Any well-developed Learning Management System (LMS) may be utilized to create, communicate and track for multiple purposes, not just training, in the normal sense of the word. However, re-purposing content can create significant efficiencies in your e-Learning program, while inherently driving depth and breadth in utilization, and still greater ROI.
Re-purposing content should be foundational to any progressive e-Learning program. Let us assume the wisdom of this position is evident and focus on a few basics in implementing the concept. Though a highly structured process may be helpful for some environments or organizations, having a positive attitude about re-purposing content can be sufficient for others.
Identify all sources of content. Include those resources controlled by others in your organization. Your list should include department, point of contact and possible content assets. Sources may be external vendors, partners, regulators and other stakeholders. List as many as you can.
Log all content pieces. Start cataloging all content pieces, and get others from your source list to help identify some specifics to what they have in their possession. A PowerPoint presentation, for example, may be an excellent piece of content, but each PowerPoint may also include graphic files or slides that can be individually useful in creating other content for other purposes - re-purposing!
It can also be very helpful to note if files are in a web deliverable format. Videos in a .MOV file format may not be considered web deliverable, but they may be converted - just knowing that can help in planning. Always be aware, noting intellectual property ownership attributes, such as copyright.
Content Resource Catalog – Taking the time to identify resources and log content pieces with attributes can potentially save you lots of time. Creating or building courses, especially for multiple purposes and audiences, is much less frustrating and time consuming when you know the availability and cost of useful content pieces. Using your own internal Content Resource Catalog will be very helpful when mapping out your needs assessment for each course or communications program. Re-purposing can be your shortcut to a successful e-Learning project that comes in ahead of schedule and budget.