If you’re connected with Training or Education in any way, you’ve been inundated with the hype surrounding E-Learning. If one chooses to believe everything one hears and reads, E-Learning is the learning technology of choice.

You may think you know what that term, E-Learning, means — but, I would ask you to think again. Courses that run successfully over the Web may, or MAY NOT, be effective training/education for your trainees/students. In far, far too many cases, E-Learning (as it is practiced today) puts the bulk of its emphasis on the technology, ignoring the principles of effective learning. And yet, we all know that good learning should place applicability and retention at the forefront.

It seems that the more you learn about E-Learning, the less simple it becomes.

Sure, it’s available 24×7 from almost anywhere. And, it’s extremely cost effective.

But, just what is it?

The hype says that it includes adaptations of PowerPoint presentations and/or adaptations of written procedures.

But, as we all know by now, none of these claims are true. While those adaptations can successfully play within an E-Learning environment — they teach next to nothing and are, therefore, counterfeit and a waste of good money. (Never forget that almost half of our workforce reads below a 5th Grade level and that fully two-thirds of our high school graduates cannot assimilate or form opinions from what they read.)

However, some few courses are specifically designed for E-Learning, using the best in instructional design. And, it is these specifically designed E-Learning courses that actually teach — because they are incorporating multi-sensory learning techniques.

Teachers have understood the value of multi-sensory learning for centuries. You’ve probably heard the rule of thumb about retention and methodology — that reading alone yields 10% comprehension, adding hearing yields 20%, adding visuals yields 30% and so on. While a classroom teacher has to put on quite a show to provide multi-sensory learning, interactive E-Learning programs have the potential to challenge learners with a variety of stimuli for each learning objective.

With Training, for example, knowledgeably designed E-Learning, that incorporates workplace situations and terminology, provides an atmosphere of practicality for the employee. Consequently, employees will understand the course material faster and retain more, allowing them to apply more of their newly acquired skills.

And, that’s what we all want from any good training/education program! Better learning and greater retention!

Quality E-Learning courses are capable of delivering both. They’re just in short supply today!

More on Tuesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning