Without question, E-Learning is the training-delivery medium of the near future. The allure of more economical and less time-consuming learning, available on a 24×7 basis, places E-Learning in the premiere position.

However, with the recent flood of new E-Learning products in the market, customers are faced with an extensive range of programs that have been developed without assurance of quality methodologies. The challenge for E-Learning courseware developers is to ensure that E-Learning courses are of the highest quality and achieve the intended learning outcomes.

Unfortunately, several misconceptions have marked the development of E-Learning. Too many courseware developers have regarded the E-Learning medium as a “reading” or page-turning activity. Of course, that resultant instruction leaves behind the nearly 40% of America’s workforce which tests below a fourth grade reading level. Examples of these E-Learning failures would include adapted PowerPoint presentations and adapted written procedures.

In addition, some early E-Learning instruction has been driven by “technocrats” who have failed to recognize the limitations of current IT infrastructures and delivery capabilities.

In striving to build a winning E-Learning curriculum, many developers have also based their strategies on limiting costs or creating flash while sacrificing the basic learning principles necessary to achieving the goals of adult learning. Although the Web has been used as a tool for delivering training, the development has been more focused on the mechanics of using the Web rather than in effectively applying Web-based technology to the intended learning outcomes.

According to Trishia Jandu, we find that: “Statistics show that 50% of learners who have begun an asynchronous online course do not complete the training. The high dropout rate has been attributed to poor instructional design and a disparity between the learner’s computer system and the technology required to run the courseware. The On-Line medium presents an opportunity for developers to harness the flexibility of the technology, tailoring to learners’ needs, styles, and preferences. On-Line courses must be created to facilitate comprehension, retention, and effective application in the workplace.”

More on Thursday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning