March 11, 2015

Within training departments, success or failure resides in the ability to understand, motivate, and adapt the learning initiatives to the workforce to-be-trained.

Who are these trainees? How do they best learn? What motivates them?

For one thing, management should tie promotions or pay increases to the training initiative being mandated.

For another, training initiatives, if successful, must fit inside the trainees’ dominant learning culture.

Unfortunately, with e-Learning being the typical solution-choice today, the results are not those that had been expected.

Why do more than 65% of trainees never complete an e-Learning course?

Easy answer.

Because it was not designed with multiple-media embedded within the content but, rather, was built around words, sentences and paragraphs. In addition, the training was not attached to a “what’s in it for me” strategy (promotions, pay increases, etc.).

With training vendors, e-Learning missteps are even more pronounced. The number of well-intentioned training entrepreneurs who have moved forward without fully understanding the wishes and limitations of their customers and prospects — is large.

For example, e-Learning brought out a lot of early technology vendors who believed they could simply convert their previous video-based products into an e-Learning environment without recognizing the instructional design characteristics different media require.

Three of the limitations that hampered these vendors were: a) the infrastructure within much of American industry did not readily provide the ideal bandwidth necessary to play those video files seamlessly; b) restrictions on internet access from within a plant environment were either limited or not allowed; and, c) many IT executives did not want compressed video files to slow down their important business networks.

Worst of all, many of these early vendors started offering conversions of PowerPoint and written procedures, under the guise of e-Learning. Those resultant courses proved totally inappropriate for today’s trainees who have grown up in a computer, tablet, smartphone learning culture.

E-Learning has a bright future but, first, we have to get beyond these earlier missteps.

More on Monday – – –

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