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Building a sustainable e-learning development culture

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to provide details on Simon Fraser University's new School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) approach to creating a culture that supports rapid development of high-quality e-learning materials, why it has been successful, and what has been learned. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Describes how, over a period of four years SIAT has had the unique opportunity to build an integrated set of graduate and undergraduate degree programs from the ground up. The organization has recognized the importance of its people ‐ both in terms of the knowledge they bring to the organization, and the added value it gains by providing an environment where all employees can continue to learn ‐ from courses, from their own experience, and from each other. Findings ‐ Because of the organization's structured, yet flexible, approach to course design and development workflow, each set of courses was ready just as the students became ready to take them. The organizational culture's combination of clear structure, openness to new ideas, and commitment to high quality courseware has enabled us to meet the needs of our students and prepare them for careers in today's high-tech workforce. Originality/value ‐ SIAT have developed best practices for the implementation of organizational e-learning strategies and the approach will be useful in informing the strategies adopted by other organizations.
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Keywords: Learning; Organizational culture; Project management; Universities

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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