It’s probably no secret to you, but most current E-Learning is a far cry from being an effective learning platform.

As a term, E-Learning has been with us for more than a decade now. So, why has it failed to meet the high expectations assigned it by American business and industry.

Why? Two major reasons.

First it has failed to meet the ROI requirements of business.

Much of the E-Learning spin has been directed at eliminating the classroom and its attendant personnel and space requirements. This has often resulted in centralized purchasing at the headquarters level while minimizing local plant involvement in the decision making.

That all sounds good, doesn’t it?

But what if the training offered is inferior to the former classroom offerings? In that case, E-Learning might actually add to the business cost if the courseware does not translate into better qualified personnel making more efficient and effective maintenance decisions when returned to the shop floor.

Secondly, the producers of most E-Learning today are not the producers of old.

Many of today’s E-Learning vendors, in their zest to put anything and everything online in order to make a buck, are permeating the training market with programs that ignore both the principles of good learning and the makeup of the learning population they purport to teach.

Just look around you. Repurposed PowerPoint presentations and adapted written procedures are passing themselves off as E-Learning. Well, they may be E-Information — but, they are a far cry from any meaningful learning. And, they certainly are not going to enhance the skills of your workforce.

Knowledgeable Instructional Designers created the training programs born in the Interactive Laser Videodisc and CD-ROM worlds but, today, have too often been replaced by overseas production houses which stamp out the courseware by template, while paying scant attention to either learning outcomes or to the needs of the American learner.

American business and industry is beginning to catch on since their major concern is the creation of value — value that goes far beyond the simple matter of reducing training costs.

Rather, American business and industry is looking for the important corporate values of dollars saved, increased revenues and market position improvement. And most current E-Learning does not meet that test.

If E-Learning turns back to the knowledgeable learning designs of the past, real corporate value will be achieved. But that means taking into account the learning styles of the modern workforce and the just-in-time, user-controlled capabilities of appropriately designed E-Learning instruction. And, that equates to courseware that is rooted in full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio.

Only then will E-Learning make significant contributions to the “business values model.”

More on Tuesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com