The #1 Criterion to Evaluate E-learning

Training Challenge Number Six: “the failure to recognize E-Learning that truly works”

Today we’re going to elaborate on yesterday’s discussion where I listed those characteristics one should expect from any knowledgeably designed e-learning solution that you either purchase or develop internally.

Recognizing that “Content Accuracy” and “A Real-time Environment” are the universal requirements of any valid training program, “Optional Word-for-Word Audio Capability” is the first essential quality specifically necessary for effective e-learning.

You want your people to learn, retain, and apply the information you present. You already know that 40% of your workforce is not reading-fluent (cannot read above a fourth grade level). And yet, you should also realize that all of your people are capable and want to learn.

They’ve grown up with television so they more readily understand spoken language. Optional word-for-word audio gives everyone the same opportunity that, traditionally, only the reading proficient have had.

Everyone needs to have the same access to all the information and learning you choose to present. All need to have the same opportunity for improved retention and efficient application of the principles and techniques they encounter in the programs you present. So, why not level the playing field for everyone? Good training should be inclusive — not exclusive.

Yet, we do not want to slow down or bore the reading-proficient. And, that’s where the “optional” button comes into play. In a well designed e-learning course, the word-for-word audio can be turned off or on depending on the learning culture and desires of the individual.

If an individual learns best by reading the material, then “goodbye” audio. But if an individual learns best by listening, then “hello” audio. This is a big, big, big advantage when you select intelligently designed e-learning that will truly allow everyone to learn – and in the process pay you larger dividends.

So your number one criterion when evaluating your E-Learning choices is to avoid any programs that either verbally paraphrase the written words on the screen or force all trainees to listen to all of the audio. And, though it really doesn’t need to be said again, you should slam the door on any program that fails to have any audio at all.

Optional word-for-word audio is the only way to go!

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning