Today, the E-Learning world must be viewed with caution.  The opportunities provided by this potentially powerful training medium are being mitigated by the preponderance of adapted PowerPoints and converted written procedures.  Consequently, E-Learning is being compromised by these word-heavy “information” programs — all far removed from effective learning principles.


Ultimately, E-Learning’s future lies with knowledgeable Instructional Designers who can return training to the learning-richness of the Interactive Laser Videodisc and CD-ROM days.  Because the salient characteristics of effective E-Learning design are so complex, we’ll resort to an outline method in order to achieve a somewhat full overview:


The Need for Instructional Designers

  • Today, too much courseware creation resides with technical writers and programmers.
  • Consequently, excellent instructional design may be more important than ever.
  • Rooted in full motion video, the designer can be more creative with online offerings.
  • Optional word-word audio becomes the “secret ingredient” to effective online learning.


Why Full Motion Video is Necessary

  • We’re not a “reading culture” society – maybe never were.
  • Nearly 40% of America’s workforce do not read above a 4th grade level.
  • Barely one-third of high school graduates are traditionally literate.


Implications for Instructional Designers

  • The written words in an on-line lesson reach only a minority.
  • Hence, designers must find new ways for video and audio to bridge the gap.
  • All script language must have a “to-be-heard” option.


Design Requirements for Online Learning

  • Navigation through a lesson is simple, consistent, and intuitive.
  • Instruction is meaningful and interactive.
  • Adult learning characteristics are accommodated.
  • Industrial management requirements are satisfied.
  • Media is appropriately integrated as part of the learning experience.


Commercial End User Requirements

  • The online lesson provides adequate learning for the targeted audience.
  • The online lesson “works” on intended delivery systems: Internet and intranets.
  • The online lesson “works” efficiently with your LMS.


If the promise of E-Learning is going to be realized, a return to well designed courseware — based on full motion video and optional word-for-word audio, along with the newer gaming techniques — will be the ultimate answer.


More on Thursday – – –

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