There’s a long standing definition of an academic lecture that goes like this, “That which passes from the notes of the professor to the notes of the student without engaging the minds of either one.” If one looks at opinion radio or watches the opinion cable networks one might restate that definition this way: “That which passes from the mouth of one person to the ears of another without engaging the minds of either one.”

So it is with e-Learning today. Those organizations that transport PowerPoint presentations and written procedures into an e-Learning environment are guaranteeing that no minds will be engaged. Consequently, precious little learning will occur.

Rather, the workforce will be bored, disinterested and, worse of all, will not finish those lessons you have assigned. Statistically, more than 75% of e-Learning lessons that are based on the written word are never completed. And, why?

We live in a television learning culture today. Media is as much a part of the learning culture as magazines, newspapers and books were a half century ago.

Too often today, the decisions regarding e-Learning are made by an organization’s leaders who, themselves, are often unaware of the learning culture evolution and the power behind well designed media instruction.

Since more than 40% of our workforce does not read above a 4th Grade level, throwing reconstituted PowerPoint and written procedures at those individuals is doomed to failure.

Video, animations, optional full audio, music and sound effects are the necessary components of effective e-Learning today. And, the results are, often, even greater than they were in the days of that older learning culture — the one that dominated when I was a kid.

More on Thursday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning