You may have occasion to build some of your own E-Learning courses — or, more likely, you will be instrumental in the purchase of vendor-produced E-Learning courseware. In either event, how should you proceed with your evaluations or your new production?

First we must acknowledge that effective educational programming has always been a designer’s medium. It has never been an evolving electronic gadgetry world. Instead, it has been developed and used as yet another communication tool for efficiently transferring skills and knowledge — just as the written word, printed text, and video have all been created by the hands of talented master teachers (i.e., instructional designers).

E-Learning does indeed offer the world the most comprehensive educational and training potential the world has ever known. If applications producers treat web-delivered training (both inside and outside the firewall) as another communication tool that can deliver effective learning –-then, “The Learner” will win without being sacrificed on the altar of technological whim. But, that new learning must be multi-sensory, measurable and consistent.

“Single-Minded Focus” is a term that exemplifies successful individuals. Your single-minded focus must be on the End-User. It cannot be on the technology. If all of your End-Users learn, everyone wins. If your programming (either purchased or built by you) communicates to only a few because it, mistakenly, is based on the written word, too many will lose.

If your programs also reach out effectively to those many individuals who do not learn by reading, everyone wins. If your program decisions reach only those individuals who are fluent readers, half of your workforce will lose.

Your single-minded focus must be directed toward the many –- and, variety of — End-Users you encounter. And, that means optional word-for-word audio capability!

E-Learning is the immediate future. However, as too few producers currently realize, it must be designed for the End-Users — because if they profit, so do you — and, so does your organization!

More on Thursday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning