April 30, 2014

All provided training is not equal in result. 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 grounded in television and/or gaming. That is why, beginning with interactive laser videodisc (IVD) in the early 1980s and CD-ROM in the early 1990s, interactive multi-sensory learning became the surest way to a training payback in retention and skills acquisition.

Today, we have evolved into an e-Learning training environment but, far too many of those creations have taken us backwards into the “reading/testing” world that preceded both IVD and CD-ROM. The much more effective multi-sensory approach has largely disappeared from current e-Learning offerings.

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 failed to insist on a continuum in the multi-sensory approach to learning. An approach that first triumphed in the days of IVD and continued to reap great rewards as we transitioned into CD-ROM.

We need to remind ourselves that the training initiatives which actually contribute are the ones that are grounded in multi-sensory presentation — and we must summarily reject those adapted PowerPoint and written procedures that never belonged in an e-Learning environment in the first place. Full motion video accompanied by optional word-for-word audio, plus the newer gaming techniques, is where e-Learning should be centered today.

However, if we continue to offer converted PowerPoint and adapted written procedures, we are throwing money into a sinkhole; depriving our workers seeking opportunity; and cheating our organization. If that type of pseudo training is incorporated into your e-Learning initiatives — then why bother!

So, “yes,” e-Learning can significantly increase skills and contribute mightily to the bottom line — but only “IF” we demand a multi-sensory approach to our training initiatives and purchases. . . . a very big “IF!”

More on Monday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning