To read about the training industry today one would think that it has become a synonym for E-Learning. More and more is being written about the growing acceptance of E-Learning. And, in terms of future potential, these writers are correct.

However — and, this is a big “However” — as a learning tool, current E-Learning courseware misses the mark! It has certain cost and availability advantages — but, fails to deliver on its promise of better learning and retention.


Unfortunately, at this time, much that passes for E-Learning has few training values. That is because the majority of E-Learning today is either PowerPoint adaptations or written procedure adaptations – neither of which teaches anyone much of anything. As a matter of fact, those adapted courses (almost exclusively based on reading proficiency) fail to stimulate or even address most of the learning culture needs of the average American worker.

On the other hand, the future of E-Learning is very bright. Those producers today that are using the developmental techniques associated with optional word-for-word audio are producing powerful e-Learning programs. And, when corporate infrastructures allow, full-motion video will bring us the best of training virtues.

However, while we wait for the current, counterfeit E-Learning producers to fade away, it is certainly worth looking at digitized, networkable CD-ROM as an excellent interim choice. And, from a learner’s point-of-view, easily the number one courseware choice you can make today. The transfer from initial training to on-the-job applicability — plus, the extended learning retention associated with full-motion, optional audio programming — give digitized CD-ROM a giant leg up on training payback.

You should be looking for six underlying traits when selecting digitized CD-ROM training: content accuracy, full audio and video at all times, instructional quality, programming reliability, administrative capabilities, and network-capable.

Complete with pre- and post-tests, easy-to-follow menus, short teaching segments based on performance objectives, simulations, practice exercises — all supported by easy-to-understand user guides, instructor guides and powerful administration software — help define the best in digitized CD-ROM courseware.

In the ideal networkable CD-ROM program, learners interact constantly, making the program more interesting while increasing comprehension and retention.

While knowledgeably designed E-Learning will be the future, well-designed CD-ROM instruction is the best present choice you can make — provided your selections can be digitized and effectively networked behind your own firewall.

More on Thursday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning