Today, repurposed PowerPoint programs are populating our e-Learning platforms. Nothing could be less effective for promoting learning and longer term retention!

Instead, both CD-ROM (digitally networked) and multi-sensory based e-Learning reap the greatest returns for business, industry and education.


More than anything else, the body of multi-sensory training and education brings learning efficiency. There are several obvious reasons. Multi-sensory instruction reduces seat time. Estimates are that learning occurs 38-70% faster than with traditional classroom instruction, and course content is mastered 60% faster.

Perhaps equally important is that when compared with traditional classroom instruction, multi-sensory training and education also results in better learning. Studies show that participants increase understanding by more than 50%, resulting in greater learning gains. Participants also demonstrate 25 to 50% higher content retention, and 50 to 60% greater consistency in content understanding.

In the best multi-sensory courseware , full-motion video, dynamic graphics and optional word-for-word audio do most of the teaching. Experts agree, and the research proves, that active multi-sensory teaching is vastly more effective than passive acquisition of information acquired through tests or lectures.

Effective multi-sensory training programs are also competency-based and real-world in nature. Trainees and students learn how to perform “hard” or “soft” skills, and they are taught these skills within the context of relevant job or life situations. Being able to see how newly acquired skills or knowledge can improve one’s day-to-day life is particularly important for adult learners.

Driven by the business sector’s need to show return on investment, effective multi-sensory instruction is also measurable. It has testing elements that assess a student’s incoming skill or knowledge level, and re-evaluates progress upon completion. Most importantly, those tests can be re-used months after initial training to measure retention, the bottom-line of successful training.

Interactivity is one of the most critical factors for the success of multi-sensory programs. Almost every expert of learning agrees that doing and experiencing are the key elements in the acquisition of new skills and knowledge. Instead of being uninvolved listeners receiving information delivered in a passive environment, well-designed multi-sensory programs require learners to be active participants in their own learning process

At the heart of the success of multi-sensory training programs is “learner control.” Most high quality programs are designed and used as individualized, one-on-one instruction, with the learner controlling the sequence and path of learning.

Programs that imbed flexible and non-linear design can accommodate a wide variety of learning styles and ability levels. Slow learners, for instance, can spend more time reviewing and practicing difficult material, while fast learners are not penalized by boredom or frustration under an externally imposed pace or path. Optional word-for-word audio (a requirement in today’s e-Learning environment) allows less fluent readers an equal opportunity to learn while, at the same time, the more fluent readers can disengage the audio function and move forward at their own pace. Flexible, non-linear programs can also deliver instruction in varying depths so that it can be used for different purposes.

Without question, multi-sensory instruction is the ideal choice for training and education. And, with good reason! The research points positively to the phenomenal results that can be achieved with knowledgeably designed programs.

So, pack your repurposed PowerPoint presentations away with your outmoded textbooks. There is a much better way to increase learning and retention.

Whether you choose digitized CD-ROM or e-Learning (designed with a multi-sensory foundation), you will have chosen the best of today’s learning choices!

More on Tuesday – – –

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