Today, there is too much fascination with authoring software technology. “Do it yourself, and while you’re doing it, do it our way using our latest and greatest PowerPoint conversion software,” is shouted out loudly by each and every e-Learning authoring software manufacturer.

Haven’t we heard that hype before? How many wire recorders, beta players, Super 8 cameras, and similar “latest and greatest” tools are languishing in the dust of thousands of corporate closets or rusting away near the bottom of some landfill?

Software providers would like us to believe that their do-it-yourself authoring systems are the magic wands necessary to improved information flow, training, and education.

They may be right about better information flow. The newer digital technologies are already a boon to information storage and retrieval.

But they could not be more wrong when it comes to making an immediate impact on education and training. Take your choice. Teaching is either an art or a highly developed skill. Few people can teach well. And, since it follows that few people can create effective instruction, few multisensory media programs will ever teach well. The presumption that just anyone can design an effective training or education program is not only flawed — it is dangerous.

And, particularly so when the many useless PowerPoint or print conversions become the end product. E-Learning they are not — and, will never be.

Learning is not merely memorization of information. Learning is the mental response to informational stimulation, which turns into reflection and new awareness. Meaningful learning initiates action and change, which results in heightened values and skills.

Very few individuals will possess the gifts necessary to create meaningful instructional design. And that fact, coupled with the significant time and money costs associated with sound multisensory media designs, is why the “do-it-yourself” purveyors will fail.

And, we should all applaud when they do.

More on Tuesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning