Peter Merholz is taking some interesting notes at the HITS Conference (Humans | Interaction | Technology | Strategy) this week. The conference is focused on interaction design and business strategy, but much of what he's learning could be translated into e-learning terms without losing any value. In Part 1, he's got a great diagram showing how the needs of stakeholders in a project should be interrelated, and compares it with how it usually works, using Technologist, Client, Customer and User.
In e-learning, you could translate those to Technologist/Designer, School, Teacher, and Student. Ideally, there would be lots of communication and between all stakeholders to ensure the best learning experience:
But in reality, projects or purchases get done in waterfall fashion, pulled out of the classic venn diagram into a chain. As Peter points out, this "resembles the child's game 'telephone,' where the fidelity of the message degrades as it passes from person to person."
If the designer isn't in contact with the end user, how can the learning environment/software/course/resource be designed to optimize their experience?