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What is rapid elearning?

Rapid elearning was one the hot topics at Learning Technologies 2010 but it's not entirely clear to...

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Pete Howard
2 March 2010

Rapid elearning was one the hot topics at Learning Technologies 2010 but it's not entirely clear to me what rapid elearning is - or more correctly, how it differs from traditional elearning development. OK, obviously it means developing more quickly but that's just progress and efficiency improvement isn't it? It seems to me that to develop elearning rapidly you have a couple of options:

a. carry out the same sequence of development activities (Consultation, Content development, Instructional Design, Build, QA) over a shorter period of time; or

b. discard the process (and probably some of it's constituent parts) and take a more organic approach, combining activities as you go.

There are a number of rapid development tools on the market and elearning outfits like Kineo and Epic are using these for development. However, when in the hands of a professional developer, Flash or Photoshop shouldn't take any longer to use than Articulate or Captivate.

Having had direct experience in lots of different elearning development processes I'm still not sure to differentiate "rapid" development. Does this mean that it's really just a buzzword or is it something that is here to stay?

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