How do you implement an online management development site?

Hi everyone.  As part of a new Management Development Programme within our organisation, we're hoping to develop an online site, where our managers could learn more about relevant subjects.  We're planning to include learning material such as articles, bitesize e-learning modules, expert interview videos and user forums. I would appreciate thoughts from people who have been involved in developing this kind of a site (or have used this type of sites as an end-user), with regards to how succesfull it was of achieving its objectives. In particular the following questions:

- Would you make the reading material mandatory/self serve? (the fear of self serve type learning might get ignored totally)

- How do you encourage managers to keep using the site?

- Does features like open forums work within organisations to improve management development?

- What type of evaluation have you used in assessing the success of such a site?

And ofcourse any other tips which you can share with me would be more than welcome.

Thanks in advance.

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I guess it would make more sense to have a Results Management System (RMS) where managers enter results of employee activities of which some are learning activities. What I'm saying is that it should be managers that track their employees and not the Academy. Sure we could say "He passed this test" but it's only the manager who can say "He's more efficient at work".

Hi John,

I've gone quite fed up with this LMS tracking completion as well. It is of course much more interesting to see if the participants change behaviour or increase the result of their team than what percentage they got on a test!

We've got "courses" that almost completely consists of tests and that's just crazy!

I think we have to accept that if we are really going to facilitate learning we need to put the onus on learning evaluation on the learners themselves (and of course their line managers). This is especially true of management and leadership type programmes.

The courses that almost completely consist of tests sound interesting but it doesn't surprise me. Most of my clients love tests (and write very bad questions for them) ;-)

We are sometimes too obsessed with tracking completion, test results etc. I too would love to get rid of half of the tests in our learning packages, but it's hard to convince most of the stakeholders to give up that practice, because I think it comes from a deeply rooted cultural practice that starts from the school education system, which depdends on final tests to decide whether their students are competent or not.

Henrik - your idea of a 'Results Management System' is a good concept, providing that the managers have the correct tools to measure performance (un-biasedly). Also performance(or result) is not always entirely dependant on the learning. Most of the times, there would be other factors affecting an individual's/team's performance, so that questions the validity of a learning evaluation based on performance.

However I do take the point made by both of you that the onus on learning evaluation should be on the learners and their managers, especially if it's management development.

Thank you both for your valuable thoughts!


Just a quick tip: Look at and their resources. Specifically the one called "The Kirkpatrick Four Levels - A Fresh Look After 50 Years". It was an eye-opener for me. In short - use the four levels when you start planning your learning campaign so that you'll know what to measure afterwards. Tracking and results will then mostly be about Results, Behaviour and Reactions and not the smallest part - the training.

Thanks for the tip Henrik. I'll defenitely give it a read. Sounds interesting.

Hi Susith,

Take a look at the website for the program I ran at a very large university in Vancouver for three years.  The lessons were too formal, but the entire concept was self-directed.  If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them if this is useful.


Hi James,

Thanks for your message and sorry for the late reply. I tried the url you mentioned but I'm getting the message "The URL you have requested does not have a web site associated with it." Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?



Hi Susith/James.  Is this it? Regards.  Annie

Hi Annie,

Yes, that is the link (sorry for the late reply...I couldn't find my links to this thread).


Hi Susith

We have a number of whitepapers that touch on this subject.  While there is always a little advertisement towards the end for CK the papers are full of useful and practicul information.  I would particularly draw your attention to Effective Learning with 70:20:10.  Charles Jennings who is a regular contributor to this site is a co-author.  There is a section towards the end that looks at involving managers in training.  The principles can be equally applied to them as a group.  The link is  I hope this is useful.



Hi Colin,

Thanks for sharing those whitepapers. I read the 'Effective Learning with 70:20:10' which has given me quite a few points to consider when designing an online toolkit, as well as training our content writers on how should they tailor their delivery. I would highly recommend this whitepaper for anyone reading his thread.





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