By Jennifer De Vries, CPT

An IT department recently asked me to develop an e-learning course about one of their applications. One of my first steps was to contact the training manager of that organization and ask her what type of course would fit into her e-learning strategy. “What do you mean by e-learning strategy,” I heard on the other end of the phone. I started to explain, but found that what she really wanted to know was, “Why do I need an e-learning strategy?”

Why Have an E-Learning Strategy?
As we talked, I realized that this manager was under the impression that her learning management system (LMS) was her e-learning strategy. Several years ago, Brandon Hall said that an “LMS is the lynch-pin of an e-learning strategy,” but technology alone is not a strategy. The reason you need an e-learning strategy is to define the goals for your e-learning program and then logically explain how you will prove that the goals have been met. Your strategy will provide you with a foundation for a cohesive and cost-effective e-learning program that can help you grow your e-learning offerings over the long haul. It provides you with a rationale, including the ROI, which will justify the budget and organizational changes you will likely need to be successful.

Elements of an E-Learning Strategy
There are six elements to include in a comprehensive eLearning strategy.

They are:

  1. Goals and reasons for offering e-learning
  2. Target audiences and content
  3. Technologies that will be used for development and delivery
  4. Support and administration of your e-learning program
  5. Marketing communication about your e-learning offerings and benefits
  6. Financial analysis to prove the ROI of your e-learning program.


JDeVriesPhotoAbout the Author
Jennifer De Vries, CPT, is the president and chief solution architect for BlueStreak Learning. Jennifer has over 25 years of experience in managing e-learning programs for companies such as Joint Commission Resources, IBM, Motorola, Galileo International, and Thomson/NETg. She is most well known for writing the groundbreaking research report for Bersin & Associates that coined the term “rapid e-learning.” In 2010, Jennifer was named one of the top 20 most influential people in online learning by Her company, BlueStreak Learning (, focuses on helping nonprofit and for-profit organizations successfully start and grow high-quality, market-focused, and revenue-generating e-learning programs.

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