Those of you who regularly read these Blogs know that I am a big proponent of E-Learning that:

a) Uses a multimedia instructional design (full-motion video-based) for maximum communication in today’s learning culture.
b) Avoids written language as the primary communication tool (no PowerPoints).
c) Includes an Optional Word-for-Word audio button in every training course you purchase or create.

If you question these requirements, please take a moment to examine the following facts.

The majority of “reading tests” today primarily measure vocabulary recognition. But, does vocabulary recognition mean very much?

Of course not! The ability to form opinions from what individuals read is the only real test of reading ability — and, that depends upon reading comprehension.

Only 24 percent of this nation’s fourth graders are able to form opinions from what they read, and only 34 percent of our high school seniors can. The majority of our working adult population cannot successfully comprehend beyond a third- or fourth-grade reading level.

Whether we like it or not, our learning culture has changed. We must realize that we are no longer a nation of avid readers. It may be that we never were, but reading today continues to shrink as the most effective way by which the majority of us can assimilate knowledge and form opinions.

But ours is not a stupid nor uninformed society.

On the contrary! Only our primary means for communicating information has changed.

Where then do most of us get the majority of the information we assimilate today?

From television, of course! And yet, for all of the advances made in linking technology with learning, too many organizations today still rely on the old traditional methods of stand-up lecturing and reading. The result is that the learning needs of nearly two-thirds of our citizens are being largely ignored through the use of these traditional methods.

We are sensory beings. The more of our senses that can be involved, the more completely and enjoyably we learn. Even better, the more of our senses that become involved with the learning experience, the greater our retention.

Nobody is trying to exclude the one-third of us who are comfortable in a reading-based learning environment. We’ll respond favorably to multi-sensory E-Learning, too. But for the two-thirds in this nation who have no learning culture choice, the incorporation of full-motion video, animations, optional full audio, music and sound effects into our E-Learning designs and programs will prove pivotal.

More on Thursday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com