October 22, 2014

If you are employed in the professional field of Training, you’ve been inundated with the hype surrounding e-Learning.

You may also think you know what the term, e-Learning, means — but, I would ask you to think again.

Courses that operate successfully over the Web may, or may not, be successful learning opportunities for your trainees.

What is true, however, is that in far too many cases, e-Learning (as it is practiced today) puts the bulk of its emphasis on the technology, ignoring the principles of effective learning.

It seems that the more you learn about e-Learning, the more confusing it becomes.

Sure, it’s available 24×7 from almost anywhere. And, it’s cost effective.

But, just what is it?

Present practice says that it includes adaptations of PowerPoint presentations and/or adaptations of written procedures.

But, as we all know by now —- while those adaptations can successfully function within an e-Learning environment — they teach next to nothing and are, therefore, counterfeit —- masquerading as “learning” and a waste of good money. (Never forget that almost half of your workforce only comprehends information written below a 5th grade reading level and that fully two-thirds of our high school graduates cannot assimilate information or form opinions from what they read.)

However, some few courses are specifically designed for e-Learning. And, it is those e-Learning courses that actually teach — because they are incorporating multi-sensory learning techniques into an instructionally sound environment.

Classroom teachers have understood the value of multi-sensory learning for centuries.

You’ve probably heard the rule of thumb about retention and methodology — that reading alone yields 10% comprehension, adding hearing yields 20%, adding visuals yields 30% and so on. While a classroom teacher has to put on quite a show to provide multi-sensory learning, interactive e-Learning programs have the potential to challenge learners with a variety of stimuli for each learning objective.

When we are committed to media-based e-Learning —- learning that incorporates workplace situations and terminology —- it provides an atmosphere of practicality for the employee. Consequently, trainees will understand the course material faster and increase retention, allowing them to apply more of their newly acquired skills when on-the-job.

And, that’s what we all want from any good training program! Better performance through greater retention and understanding!

Media-based e-Learning, rooted in full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio, is capable of delivering both. It’s just in very short supply today!

More on Monday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning (Mondays & Wednesdays)