All training is not equally effective. All courseware titles are not equal in scope or production design. All trainees do not come to you from a single learning culture.

Many studies have proven that traditional “lecture/reading/testing” training programs no longer give the payback in skills acquisition and ROI that they once did. For individuals born after 1960, their learning culture has become a TV, Simulations, and Games learning culture. That is why, beginning with interactive laser videodisc in the 1980s and CD-ROM in the 1990s, multi-sensory learning became the surest way to a training payback.

Today, we are evolving into an E-Learning training environment. But, learning and retention have not profited in the ways we expected.

That is because far too many of the current E-Learning examples have taken us backwards into the “reading/testing” world. In their zest to make a quick buck, far too many producers have taken the route of PowerPoint adaptation and written procedure adaptation into an E-Learning environment. The much more effective multi-sensory approach has disappeared from these counterfeit E-Learning offerings.

Equally ineffective are the do-it-yourselfers who have converted their company’s PowerPoints and written procedures into an E-Learning delivery. They’ve even labeled their efforts “training,” without any apparent understanding of learning or retention. At best, they’ve merely supplied “information” to their workforce without effectively transferring the “skills acquisition tools” required by both their organization and its employees.

The consequences are great. Skills are no longer being acquired as readily. The bottom line contribution of training has shrunk. And, all because we have forgotten to insist on a continuum in the multi-sensory approach to learning. An approach that first triumphed in the days of interactive laser videodisc and continued to reap great rewards as we transitioned into CD-ROM delivery.

We should all stand up and insist that those training initiatives which actually improve learning and lengthen retention are the ones that incorporate multi-sensory delivery — and we must summarily reject those adapted PowerPoint and written procedures that never belonged in an E-Learning environment in the first place.

If we don’t — but, continue to buy (or, build) converted PowerPoint and written procedures — we are wasting our organization’s money; depriving our workers who are seeking opportunity; and, cheating our company from acquiring those additional skills which will be needed in order to become more efficient and more profitable. If that type of pseudo training is incorporated into the E-Learning initiatives you purchase or build yourself — then why bother!!!

So, “yes,” effective training can significantly increase skills and contribute mightily to the bottom line — but only “IF” we demand a multi-sensory approach to the E-Learning initiatives we build and purchase.

And that, my friends, is a very big “IF!”

More on Tuesday – – –

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