e-Learning 2.0: Proven Practices and Emerging Technologies to Achieve Real Results


When executed well, e-learning is a powerful way for organizations to save money while providing the kind of up-to-date training and information that will help employees perform better and more efficiently. Unfortunately, all too often, companies are finding that they’re spending a huge amount of money for less return than they had hoped. In e-Learning 2.0, Anita Rosen explains what works and what doesn’t, offering businesses a best-practices guide for making their investment pay off. Using examples of successful...

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When executed well, e-learning is a powerful way for organizations to save money while providing the kind of up-to-date training and information that will help employees perform better and more efficiently. Unfortunately, all too often, companies are finding that they’re spending a huge amount of money for less return than they had hoped. In e-Learning 2.0, Anita Rosen explains what works and what doesn’t, offering businesses a best-practices guide for making their investment pay off. Using examples of successful companies like National SemiConductor, Telefonica, and the Texas Department of Transportation who have made the most of e-learning, Rosen shows companies how to:

define an e-learning strategy • identify the best technologies and processes to effectively implement an e-learning strategy • manage large, complicated, or new e-learning initiatives • get buy-in from trainers, managers and learners • measure and evaluate training • calculate an ROI

Complete with up-to-date information on the latest technologies, including Web 2.0, this book will help businesses improve their performance without breaking the bank.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814410738
  • Publisher: AMACOM Books
  • Publication date: 1/7/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.28 (w) x 6.22 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Anita Rosen (Mountain View, CA) is a successful trainer and speaker on Internet-related topics.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1.0

The Business Calculations and

Business Objectives of e-Learning

For more than a decade, e-learning has been touted as the next big

thing in training. Yet most organizations are still trying to figure out how

to make it work. Perhaps part of the problem is that e-learning is a type

of training or learning in which instructors and students interact at different

times and in different spaces, with technology bridging the timespace

gap and allowing learners to access training at their own pace

and with methods that are convenient for them. A lot of companies

have spent a lot of money creating a lot of projects—but they have not

gotten what they thought they would get out of their investment in this

still new technology.

Meanwhile, corporate training organizations are looking for better returns

than they are currently receiving from their e-learning investment.

While department-level personnel wait for executives to provide vision

and goals, executives want trainers to develop a business plan to

move training into the twenty-first century. Along the way, corporations

spend billions of dollars on solutions selected on an ambiguous direction

that is provided primarily by product vendors. Specifically, corporations

decide on an initiative to move to a new technology or methodology

without understanding its implications for workers or without being able

to measure the effectiveness of its implementation. When employees

choose solutions, they tend to solve only their short-term needs—like,

“How do I get this deliverable off of my desk?” What organizations need

are clear visions, focused goals, and a better way to measure their learning


By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

• Understand the goal of training.

• Review sample ROI calculations.

• Understand how to measure and evaluate training.

• Identify your audience.

• Understand the biggest mistakes in top-down commands and

bottom-up implementations.

• Understand communication within an organization.

• Learn how to get buy-in from trainers, employees, and SMEs.

• Understand where e-learning fits in.

1.1 The Goal of Training

This book takes a realistic and pragmatic look at e-learning. Over the

last ten years, having worked with hundreds of organizations that are

incorporating e-learning into their business practices, I have found

that most training organizations have failed to achieve the expected

returns on investment. I have seen department-level personnel waiting

for their executives to provide vision and goals, while their executives,

who have no practical experience with training, expect the

trainers to develop a business plan to modernize the organization’s

training. This gap in expectations is fertile ground for vendors to

dictate solutions, tactics, and strategies, which tend to benefit the

product providers much more than their customers. Executive-level

personnel go along with the vendor-provided solutions because they

can present such solutions as “progress” to management, and contributor-

level employees are happy just to get the tasks completed so

that their managers stop asking about them. This cozy arrangement

leaves employee training and productivity enhancement as an afterthought

on the priority list. This book speaks to this current state of

e-learning practices, identifying what is effective and what is counterproductive,

and my theories and recommendations are illustrated by

real-world case studies.

The irony of this commonplace approach to e-learning is that

providing training over the Web, rather than as classroom training,

creates more opportunities than people initially think. Many organizations

initially look at moving training on-line to cut travel costs, to

ease trainer schedules, or to provide training where it has not been

available in the past. However,Web-based training is based on a different

model than classroom training. A real benefit of moving training

to an intranet/Internet-delivered model is that it provides an

organization with availability and repetition.

• The always-on availability of the intranet/Internet subtly

changes training. What was once a one-time training event

can now be a corporate resource. Once implemented,

e-learning provides homogeneous training, which is the

same training, on the same day, for all employees.

• From a learning retention point-of-view, an on-line training

event does not need to achieve as high a level of knowledge

retention as classroom training because e-learning can be

accessed at any time as a just-in-time resource. An effective

e-learning model supports just-in-time training so that employees

can refresh their memory when they need to carry

out a procedure or when they run into an unexpected situation.

With e-learning, employees can search a key word and

access a course unit instead of simply having to remember

each unit’s content from top to bottom. In effect, employees

learn how to find and access the information they need. Before

the Internet, with its inherently easy access to corporate

repositories of information, employees found that the hard

part of performing their jobs was finding where the procedures

were spelled out. The benefit of using e-courses over

other methods of providing information, such as wikis or

on-line Word or PowerPoint documents, is that e-learning,

when developed properly, explains concepts and presents

the same information multiple ways, making it easier for

employees to understand new information or to follow new


E-learning also enables organizations to tailor their training to meet

their specific goals. In a manufacturing organization, for example,

the goal is to ensure that each employee is efficient at the handful

of tasks he or she performs. In a service organization, the goal is to

increase productivity by ensuring that employees are knowledgeable

about organizational offerings and that they provide a consistent

experience. Managers undergo training to be able to properly

handle relationships and manage unexpected situations within the

confines of the organization’s culture. Training and, by extension,

e-learning provide management with a tool to create a more flexible

workforce. Employees can be trained to become intelligent

workers who know where to find information rather than to simply

memorize procedures.

Of course, all these benefits cost money, but the return on investment

is there if you know how to calculate it.

1.2 A Simple Example of Return-on-Investment (ROI)


E-learning is relatively new to most organizations. With any new

technology, service, or change in business practices, management

wants to quantify the cost and savings. Most organizations look at

return on investment (ROI) as the first step in justifying the cost of

a new service.

The ROI calculation for e-learning tends to be very simple. In

most situations an e-learning course replaces classroom training or

training workbooks. The ROI calculation identifies the current

cost to create and roll out a classroom course and compares it with

the cost of creating an e-learning course and purchasing e-learning


For example, the Division of Development and Training in the

Bureau of Human Resources is the organization in the Commonwealth

of Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry

that is responsible for managing compliance training and benefits

for all 6,000 agency employees. Employees must receive training

on a variety of mandated topics, including the State Employees Assistance

Program, HIV/AIDS, bomb threats, and the like. Originally,

all of this training was classroom based, delivered throughout

the state for agency employees at various county, regional, and

other local facilities. With tight travel budgets, the Commonwealth

of Pennsylvania was looking for alternative ways to deliver


The Development and Training Division believed that migrating

some of their courses to e-learning would lower training

costs while providing agency employees with effective just-in-time

training. They looked at their records and identified that, on average,

the cost to roll out one training course was $85,000. This

total took into account all the costs for travel, room, material, and

food for both trainers and students. Having decided that not all

courses were going to go on-line, they figured out how many

courses they would convert to e-learning. For example, if they

rolled out five classroom courses in a year, the real cost would be

$425,000. If these courses were moved to an e-learning infrastructure,

the cost would be about $200,000 for the year. Their

savings for the year would be $425,000 – $200,000 = $225,000);

their return on investment would be $225,000  $200,000 =

1.125, or 11.25%.

However, cost varies. Some organizations find that they need

large, centralized databases to handle their training needs, whereas

other organizations find that simpler solutions meet their needs.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania went with a simple solution:

With ReadyGo WCB and ReadyGo SST, for an outlay of $2,500,

they saved their department over $400,000 in training costs.

Excerpted from e-Learning 2.0:  Proven Practices and Emerging

Technologies to Achieve Results by Anita Rosen. Copyright © 2009 Anita Rosen. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

All rights reserved. http://www.amacombooks.org.

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Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1.0: The Business Calculations and Business Objectives of e-Learning 1

1.1 The Goal of Training 2

1.2 A Simple Example of Return-on-Investment (ROI) Calculations 4

1.3 How to Measure and Evaluate Training 6

Return on Investment 6

Setting the Goals to Reap the Rewards 6

1.4 Identifying Your Audience 9

Identify Learning Demographics 10

Identify the Learner Experience 12

1.5 Biggest Mistakes in Top-Down “Command” (CS) and Bottom-Up Implementations 12

Top-Down Mistakes 13

Case Study: Texas Department of Transportation 14

Bottom-Up Mistakes 15

1.6 Communications Within an Organization 17

1.7 Getting Buy-In from Trainers, Employees, and Subject Matter Experts 18

Case Study: National Semiconductor Corporation 19

1.8 Where e-Learning Fits In 22

Case Study: Hospital Liaison Committee of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Leicester, United Kingdom 22

1.9 Checklist 23

CHAPTER 2.0: e-Learning Strategies 27

2.1 Five Stages of Adopting New Technologies 28

Stage 1: Denial 29

Stage 2: Outsourcing 29

Stage 3: PowerPoint 31

Stage 4: Execution 31

Stage 5: Integration 32

2.2 Five Developmental Stages of Web Sites 32

Denial 33

Outsourcing 33

PowerPoint 34

Execution 35

Integration 35

2.3 Five Developmental Stages of Web Courses 36

Denial 36

Outsourcing 37

PowerPoint 38

Execution 39

Integration 39

2.4 Fundamentals of Creating on the Web 40

A Simple and Clean User Interface: Less Is More 40

Access to Any Information Within Three Clicks 41

Support of Global and Local Navigation 41

No Bermuda Triangles 42

A Sticky or Ping-Pong Web Site 42

Rapid and Viewable Downloads 42

The Ability to Work on Any Screen and Browser 44

A “Look and Feel”: “Branding” in Web Page Layout and Design 45

2.5 The Characteristics of Good e-Learning 46

Simple and Clean User Interface 46

Access to Any Information Within Three Clicks 46

Support of Global and Local Navigation 49

No Bermuda Triangles 51

Sticky or a Ping-Pong Web Site 51

Rapid Downloads 52

The Ability to Work on Any Screen and Browser 52

A “Look and Feel”: “Branding” in Web Page Layout and Design 53

2.6 Current State of Web Courses 53

Trainers’ Reluctance to Change 54

The Need for Feedback and Communication 54

Creator-Centric Solutions 55

False Starts 56

2.7 Checklist 57

CHAPTER 3.0: Types of e-Learning 59

3.1 Types of e-Learning 60

Synchronous Training 60

Asynchronous Training 60

A Comparison of Synchronous and Asynchronous Training 61

Who Benefits from Synchronous and Asynchronous Training 62

3.2 Creating Effective Synchronous e-Learning 64

Personal Skills Needed 64

Tools Needed 65

Difficulties to Overcome 66

3.3 Rapid and Traditional Asynchronous e-Learning 67

Rapid e-Learning 68

Traditional e-Learning 68

3.4 Projects That Are Best Suited for Traditional e-Learning 69

3.5 Projects That Are Best Suited for Rapid e-Learning 70

Content Best Suited for Rapid e-Learning: 72

3.6 Development Needs of Traditional Versus Rapid e-Learning Projects 74

Traditional e-Learning Needs 74

Rapid e-Learning Needs 75

3.7 What Traditional and Rapid e-Courses Look Like 79

The Traditional Course Look 80

The Rapid Course Look 82

3.8 Tools 82

Traditional e-Learning Tools 85

Rapid e-Learning Tools 86

Graphic and Simulation Tools 86

Synchronous e-Learning Tools 87

3.9 Checklist 87

CHAPTER 4.0: Web 2.0 91

4.1 The Basics of Web 2.0 92

4.2 Application Services 93

4.3 The Long Tail 96

4.4 Mashups 98

4.5 Enlisting End Users to Add Value 98

4.6 “Intel Inside” 100

4.7 Providing Services Above the Level of a

Single Device 102

Scalability 102

Format Specifications 103

Browsers 104

Viewing Devices 105

4.8 Social Networking 106

Networking in the Business World 107

Networking Among Adults 107

Wikis 108

4.9 Checklist 109

CHAPTER 5.0: Web 2.0 Technologies 111

5.1 Web 2.0 Technologies 112

5.2 Rich Site Summary (RSS) 112

5.3 Podcasts 114

5.4 Web Techniques 116

5.5 HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and Extensible Markup Language (XML) 119

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) 119

Extensible Markup Language (XML) 120

5.6 Web 3.0 123

CHAPTER 6.0: Web 2.0 Trends for e-Learning 125

6.1 Web Trends and e-Learning 2.0 126

Case Study: Knowledge Pills 126

6.2 Application Services 129

6.3 The Long Tail 129

Case Study: Devereux 131

6.4 Harnessing End Users to Add Value 132

6.5 Microcontent 133

6.6 Providing e-Learning Services Beyond the PC 134

When to Use Smartphones for e-Learning 135

Smartphone Limitations 136

Smartphone Screen Limitations 137

Formatting for the Smartphone 138

Testing on the Smartphone 138

Smartphone Connections and Operating Systems 139

Authoring for Smartphone e-Learning 141

Case Study: Granville Stephens 142

6.7 The “Intel Inside” Approach 143

6.8 New Technologies 144

6.9 What a 2.0 Course Looks Like 145

6.10 Checklist 146

CHAPTER 7.0: Components of an Effective Course 147

7.1 Length of a Course 148

7.2 Layout and Course Organization 149

Level 1: Course 150

Level 2: Chapters 150

Level 3: Pages 152

Level 4: Subpages 154

7.2 Presentation Options for Content Pages 156

Tours 156

Step-by-Step 156

Self-Assessment 157

Simulations 158

7.3 Why Test Learners? 159

7.4 Certification Testing 161

7.5 Tips for Writing Test Questions 162

Test-Taking Tactics 162

Test-Taking Tools 163

Storing Answers 163

Types of Questions 163

7.6 Checklist 164

Chapter 8.0: Graphics and Multimedia 167

8.1 Computer Graphics 168

8.2 Web Graphic Formats 168

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) 169

PNG (Portable Network Graphics) 169

JPEG or JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) 170

8.3 Choosing File Formats for Web Graphics 170

Web Requirements 170

Downsizing Images 170

Digital Photographs 171

Stock Photographs 172

8.4 Basics of Copyright Law 173

8.5 Guidelines for Employing Graphics 174

8.6 Audio for Web Courses 177

8.7 Multimedia Recommendations 179

Videos 179

Case Study: Highline Public Schools 180

Flying Bullets 181

PowerPoint to Flash 181

8.8 Checklist 182

CHAPTER 9.0: Standards and Integration 183

9.1 What You Need to Know About Standards and Integration 184

9.2 Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee (AICC): A Practical Definition 185

Course Server Communication 185

Course Structure Definition 185

9.3 Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM): A Practical Definition 186

SCORM V 1.2 187

SCORM 2004 188

9.4 Sharable Content Object (SCO) 189

SCO Definitions and Design Limitations 190

9.5 Sharable and Reusable Content 190

Information Access Versus Course Creation 191

LMS Compatibility 192

The Fallacy of All-Purpose LMSs 193

9.6 The Behavior of e-Learning Courses 194

Selecting an LMS and Authoring Tool 194

9.7 Questions to Ask 196

9.8 The Meaning of Accessibility 198

Ensuring That Your Tools Meet Accessibility Requirements 199

Case Study: Blair & Associates 200

Screen Readers 201

9.9 Checklist 202

CHAPTER 10.0: Conclusion: LMS/Tools with Good Implementation 205

CHAPTER 11.0: Resources 209

APPENDIX: Author Guide 211

Guidelines for Creating an Effective Web Course 211

Using Learning Objectives 212

Main Page 213

Chapter Title Pages 214

Bullet Pages 215

Tests 217

Glossary 218

Sample Course Content 218

Glossary 223

Index 227

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not the be-all, end-all, but a good resource.

    There remains disagreement in the e-Learning field about some of the best practices for the rapid creation of e-learning. Anita Rosen often doesn't disclose those other opinions, she usually sticks to her way of doing things. (As a side note, I found the numerous typos distracting. A little more proofreading is called for, if the book goes to a second edition.) While the content is valuable, this will not be my e-learning bible.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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