What did I learn about E-learning development when I worked at Netflix six months ago? Before I share some thoughts, let’s look at the numbers.  Just this year, Netflix sales have topped 910 million dollars with 414 full-time employees at the helm. Seem improbable? Welcome to the 21st century and the consumer side of information management as a service—as these numbers suggest, it can be extremely profitable. Sure, Netflix also pays workers who ship DVDs and answer customer service lines, but the main focus of the 414 full-time employees is ultimately to tame the customer-facing website that enables the latest movie titles to land in your mailbox or play on your computer.  netflix_logo_1

Is it possible to design viable E-learning courses at a company like Netflix where business moves at the speed of light? The quick answer is “yes,” and “no.”  Having an amazingly short development timeline constantly forced me to isolate the most important steps of the deliverable creation process and collapse as much of my process around these key areas.  Content review, prototype evaluation, user testing? Check, check, and check.  High-end aesthetic treatment, dynamic navigational scheme, lots of formative evaluation? Not so much. A lightning fast development model is usually the only option on the table for an environment that is adverse to process and time expenditure since its web-based “storefront” reorients itself as quickly as a desert landscape in a windstorm.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with this business model: Who doesn’t love the service that Netflix brought to the market?

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Filed Under (Baby Boomers) by crosslem on 21-05-2009

Here’s a PowerPoint presentation I posted to Slideshare about how the generations in the U.S. move through time, from 2000 – 2030, based on Census Bureau population data and projections:

U.S. Generations: 2000-2030

By Mark Crossler, OSU