Allison Rossett
Office: NE-283

New Business:
The Convergence of Learning and Technology

University of Phoenix? NetG? SumTotal? Zeroed-In Technologies? Capella? k12? Technology is changing the way learning happens and learners make choices. What are the options created by the convergence of learning and technology? How is online everything changing, even the most resistant sectors? Education could be considered one of those. Learn to navigate this new terrain and consider how you might make a business of the learning and technology business.

Join Allison Rossett and friends to think about the juncture of business, learning and technology. Chat with an elearning consultant. Meet the woman who is in charge of elearning strategy for Adobe. Interview the CEO of a local company whose entrepreneurial energy brings him to the nexus of learning, technology and business. Chat with the CEO of a company now engaged in talent management. Engage with learning executives from Fortune 500 companies. Talk to independent consultants who work from home. Meet others who deliver learning, technology and business services to the world's largest companies.

What does it mean? Where is it going? Why should YOU care?

Our goal is to use our time together to explore this emergent, diverse, and opportunity-rich world.

Meets 3/3 and 3/17.



This course is designed to be practical, current, empowering and provocative. No pat answers here. Oh, there will be data. For example, we'll examine ASTD's State of the Industry Reports. We will look at data from IDC and Forrester. We will talk to people who are IN the business, both doing it and creating it. Our purpose is to work together to construct a picture, partial and emerging, of the current and potential state of the juncture between business, technology and learning. No, it's not a how-to career development course, but it will have implications for how you think about our world and your career.


This course is for you if you are intigued with these questions: Why and how are IBM, Fidelity Investments, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Charles Schwab involved in the learning business? Is elearning a commodity? Why does that matter? What are the implications of the shift to services? What does it mean when the organization (IBM) that brought you computer science seeks to establish "services science?" How might Capella and University of Phoenix affect higher education? What might the rise of Indian elearning mean to American instructional technologists? How is consolidation affecting our business, our careers? What competences and perspectives are at the heart of success where business, learning and technology come together?

Learning Outcomes

In this course you will:

  • defne business strategy and look at some
  • trends in learning and technology-- How much technology is being used? How much outsourcing? Off shoring? Why should we be interested in certification? What topics are perceived as critical in organizations? Where are the growth opportunities?
  • engage with people who are engaged in learning, technology and business from many vantage points
  • think hard about internal and external consulting and all that is involved in creating a successful business
  • reflect on the opportunities presented by vertical and horizontal markets and perspectives
  • consider how you and a partner might make a business of the business of learning and technology and bring forward an idea with some flesh on it


A growing list of course-related links is available and will be maintained after the course is over.


Course Outline

Session 1: March 3, 2007, 8:30 AM

  • What's going on in the business? What numbers tell us.
    - Review of ASTD State of the Industry and other data from key sources
    - What the markets tell us
    - Where hiring trends point us
  • What's going on in the business of learning and technology? What people-in-the-know tell us.
    - Frank Nguyen, Intel (and soon to be joining the SDSU EDTEC faculty)
    - Sam Herring, Intrepid Learning Solutions
    -Mike Flanagan, Intrepid Learning Systems
    -Michael Allen, CEO, Allen Interactions Inc.
  • What makes a business a business?
    - The business of informal learning?!?
    - Service science-- a business? a career?
  • What is strategy? Outside/inside views of strategy
  • Work with a partner to select a world and an audience and an opportunity. Find a strategy and business in the nexus between learning and technology that interests you and has a chance of being successful.


  • Read selected resources available in the resources section of this web site.
  • Read Kevin Oaks articles available to you on Blackboard, Course Materials. Spend 15 minutes listening to Tata Interactive's Dawn Papaila. She's at Blackboard, Course Docs.
  • Review what Allison Rossett said on strategy. Implications for your "business?"
  • Work with your partner to do research, interview leaders and practitioners, visit and review related web sites and examples, and prepare a 15 minute briefing that makes your case as to why your business and strategy are winning ideas. Your team will deliver in the morning on March 17th. Details on the assignment are provided on BlackBoard, Assignments.

Session 2: March 17, 2007, 8:30 AM

  • 8:30-9:15 AM. Take an hour to do the finishing touches on your "deck" and your briefing.
  • Alison Rossett: Education as a Business Affair
  • What is UP? What is DOWN? Where are the sweet spots?
  • 10:00 AM Strategy briefs by teams. This presentation is your first public airing of your ideas. Use it to make your case and solicit ideas.
  • What people-in-the-know tell us.
    - Mark Hellinger, Xyleme
    - Michelle Halprin, Philology Instructional Design
  • Spend some time with your partner to alter and polish your deck, given what you heard today and the thinking and reading you have done since you first conceived the ideas. Submit the deck, including notes in the PPT notes section, plus an email (~500 words) explaining your strategy by March 30th, close of business.