June 15, 2015

Those of you working in training or education recognize that students and our younger workforce learn best if the skills presented are packaged around full-motion video, gaming, and/or simulations.

So it was not surprising that, with the advent of CD-ROM instruction a couple of decades ago, we had a training-delivery system that was a most effective skills-communicator, but had efficiency limitations.

One either had to buy a zillion copies in order to distribute them to all involved or commit to a Learning Center concept. Since labor costs are always the single biggest training expenditure, we had a relatively inefficient system.

What original CD-ROM instruction did have, however, was the power of rich multimedia learning (currently missing from most of today’s e-Learning courseware) and effective simulations. Brilliant video that allowed trainees to practice, vicariously, the procedures so necessary to their job descriptions.

CD-ROM training was not full simulation but it was the closest thing to it.

Plus, it was affordable and was readily distributable.

Today, the unique power of multimedia learning is now achievable in an e-Learning environment. Any organization with internet capability or a training-dedicated LAN can seamlessly present to its workforce multimedia learning at a fraction of the cost of the original multi-copy CD-ROM training.

Unfortunately, however convenient, most current e-Learning instruction is little more than repurposed PowerPoint presentations, void of the multimedia learning aspects that made CD-ROM so effective.

And that is a significant weakness (actually, fatal for most of your would-be learners whose typical learning culture is centered around smartphones, tablets, televisions and computers).

PowerPoint adapted e-Learning is, unfortunately, built around “words and reading” — and those presentations are light years removed from the learning culture of most of your trainees.

As a March, 2015 posting on tribehr by Stephanie Reyes, “Advantages and Disadvantages of e-Learning” clearly states:

“If e-Learning content is not designed to make the most of the medium it can be quite ineffective. It’s important that courseware begins with an understanding of how the mind works during learning and incorporates that understanding into the course design.”

Only when returning to the power of multimedia instruction will e-Learning begin to realize its powerful promise.

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