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BS 8426:2003 makes recommendations for e-support in e-learning systems.

This standard is applicable to e-support across all types of e-learning. It is applicable independently of the pedagogical approach to e-learning (for example, whether human tutors are involved in providing e-support or all e-support is automated, whether learners work individually or in groups, or whether the underlying pedagogy of a course involves learners in constructing their own understanding or in committing course content to memory).

Where learning programmes include a combination of e-learning and other delivery methods, this standard is applicable to the e-learning components. It is designed to enable effective implementation of the learning and tuition process, but does not make recommendations for tuition and pedagogical methodologies. It also addresses on-line tutorials, on-line documentation and intelligent system performance aids.

BS 8426:2003 is applicable independent of the type of e-learning system deployed. It makes recommendations for the e-support that is provided to learners, but does not specify whether this e-support should be provided by the e-learning system, by the learning materials, or by tutors or other human intervention.

This British Standard includes examples referring to both automated and tutor-generated e-support, but these examples are only illustrative and should not be taken to imply that the approaches described are pedagogically preferable. It also makes recommendations that could be implemented through the adoption of a learning object model (an object-based approach to the management of learning materials). However, the recommendations do not depend on the implementation of such a model.

The recommendations in BS 8426:2003 can be used in the procurement, design, benchmarking, development, evaluation and communication of information about e-learning courses, learning materials, e-learning systems and e-support services.

Recommendations concerning user guidance for users of any systems involving office work with visual display terminals are provided in BS EN ISO 9241-13:1999, which covers information additional to the regular user-computer-dialogue that is provided to the user on request or is automatically provided by the system.


1 Scope
2 Normative references
3 Terms and definitions
4 Recommendations for e-support
5 Process-related e-support
6 Concept-related e-support
7 Performance-related e-support
8 Dialogue-related e-support
Annex A (normative) Responsibilities of e-learning providers
Annex B (informative) Use cases for different types of e-support
Annex C (normative) Metadata for e-support resources
Annex D (informative) Sample procedure for assessing applicability and specifying and testing conformance

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