Final OMDE 606 Reflections

Like every other semester of the MDE program, it seems like I’m registering for my class, blink my eyes and the course is over. This semester was no different.

In my past life as an IT professional, I learned that computers, since they are designed & created by infallible people, do not always behave as expected. During pre-week, I was under the incorrect impression that this course would reveal the immutable secrets of cost analysis. But cost drivers, just like computers, are not always easy to capture and explain. It should have come as no surprise to me that costing, a methodology created by infallible people, does not lend itself to easy execution or yield perfect results.

The projects and discussions did help me gain a better understanding of cost analysis. Again, Greville Rumble’s text and visit were invaluable resources. As to the final project, my group started strong and kept going strong. Meeting attendance was high, there were great conversations throughout and everyone was persistent in getting the deliverables together.

A final thought is from a CNBC article I found online during the course of the project. The American Bar Association has approved a blended law program offered by William Mitchell College of Law in Michigan (Landsman, 2015). While other programs have offered online offerings, this is the first online offering that has been approved by the bar (Landsman, 2015). Half of the program is in the classroom and half online (Landsman, 2015).

The motivation? One that is very common to any DE practitioner, increasing access and revenue:

“We were thinking of new ways to expand access to legal education. We saw technology becoming increasingly important to the practice of law,” [Greg Duhl] said. “With the decline of lawyers and law students, we were looking for new avenues to attract students” (Landsman, 2015, para. 5).

This quote confirms that the skills I am learning as part of MDE are skills that will be demand in the coming years.


Landsman, S. (2015, April 5). Digital cracks the final frontier: Law school [Blog Post]. Retrieved from

e-Learning Always Needs a Partner

(Microsoft, 2014)

One of the things that drives learning professionals, including myself, crazy is understanding what is meant by the term e-Learning.   I have found over time that the term e-Learning, just as with ballroom dancers, is no good on its own.  This term always needs a partner.

In order to truly capture all things that eLearning encompasses, the definition must be broad:   

“e-learning is the delivery of education (all activities relevant to instructing, teaching, and learning) through various electronic media” (Koohang & Harman, 2005, p. 78).

“e-Learning … refers to education that uses the Internet” (Moore & Kearsley, 2012, p. 2).

“E-learning (or eLearning) refers to the use of electronic media and information and communication technologies (ICT) in education” (Wikipedia, 2014, para. 1).

I was talking with a colleague a few weeks ago.  She was telling me about a live (i.e., synchronous) learning event that was held and recorded using a virtual learning environment.  My practice has primarily been with creating asynchronous courses that are delivered via a Learning Management System.  A few minutes into the conversation, we were both confused. 

Why?  It was due to the fact that we were both using the term e-Learning to describe two different types of learning events.  Yes, we were both using the correct term.  But we were confused because it was two different types of e-Learning events under discussion.

I am guilty as the next person of saying e-Learning when I actually mean e-Learning course. Consider taking the challenge, along with me, to ensure that the term e-Learning is always used with at least one partner, if not more. 


Koohang, A., & Harman, K. (2005). Open source: A metaphor for e-learning. Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 8, 75-86. Retrieved from

Microsoft. (2014). Couple ballroom dancing [Digital Image]. Used with permission from Microsoft. Retrieved from|mt:2|

Moore, M.G., & Kearsley, G. (2012). The distance education student. In Distance education: A systems view of online learning (3rd ed., pp. 150-174). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth CengageLearning.

Wikipedia. (2014). E-Learning [Web Pag. Retrieved from