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Frequently Asked Questions

Insight.  Shared.

Here, find brief answers to questions that are commonly asked - including secret decoder information about some terminology used at our website.

What are consumer advisory panels?

You want insight into your market?  You want to get key stakeholders in your market on your side - shining their light on your behalf?  You want action on difficult market challenges?  Then you should be organizing consumer advisory panels.

There are, essentially, two types:

  1. The enduring consumer advisory panel, which typically has up to 20 key players who are contracted to meet with you and provide you with advice and insight on an ongoing basis.  Typical contracts with such advisors are 12-18 months in duration, and are often renewable; and
  2. The one-time consumer advisory panel, sometimes akin to a market research focus group, although often with different types and levels of activities that truly engage advisors in co-creating or troubleshooting (an) issue(s).

Guiding Star Communications and Consulting provides expert service for both types of panels.  They can be national, provincial/state or regional in scope.  They can also have a variety of demographics, although it is always recommended that you have "some supporters" in the room!

What is rapid e-learning?

Many, many experts have actually waded in to the controversial subject of identifying what is meant by rapid e-learning.  Our take - rapid e-learning leverages technology to deliver instructional experiences, doing so with very rapid development cycles (i.e., it doesn't take long or cost a lot to build and deliver an intervention when a learning need is identified), in short bursts of content (purists say without leaving the workplace), and with real impact on behaviours and performance.

Noted one expert, "The drivers to produce more quality e-learning more quickly are things like shorter product life cycles, very quick and frequent business process changes, time-mandated compliance in a number of areas, etc."

In practice, a few tools that facilitate "rapid authoring development" have become synonymous with rapid e-learning.  But learning needs identification, learner styles, strategy, and follow-up measurement are all true partners in a rapid e-learning project.  Guiding Star Communications and Consulting does more than use tools - we find fit that allows for insight to be shared... and acted upon!

How do you structure your fees/pricing?

We work for anything but peanuts!  (There's an allergy in there somewhere...).

We want to work with your needs; usually, our fees are based on project work.  We estimate how long it will take to complete our work, consider market factors that might discount our pricing, and provide a fixed cost.  That cost will not be exceeded as long as we are "near scope".  (Hey, if you need a little more here, a little less there, we accommodate!  Rigidity is not our forte.)

Another common approach to working with us involves purchase of a block of hours, that can be used for whatever services we offer.  We offer discounts through "buying a block" that can be helpful, and get us going in a relationship.  It really does provide us the chance to get to know each other, and determine whether we are well suited for collaboration.

Finally, we do accept some work on an hourly fee basis.