October 14, 2015

There is a creative aspect of effective learning that is often overlooked.

Particularly with most current e-Learning examples we see courseware that has been “engineered,” with little capability to motivate the trainee either to learn or remember.

“Cookie cutter” e-Learning (repurposed PowerPoint and written procedures) proliferates all around us —- with disastrous consequences. (These reading-based courses have abysmal retention results, if for no other reason then the fact that 65% of our students/trainees never complete such an e-Learning course.)

We’ve seen a marked decline in creative instructional design from the halcyon days of Interactive Laser Videodisc (IVD) to the early days of CD-ROM —- and, then, an off-the-cliff drop as we have transitioned into e-Learning.

Yet, this decline of exciting, motivational technology-based instruction doesn’t have to continue. Understanding our modern learning culture and applying creative imagination to the process can do wonders.

Imagination is the single catalyst that drives creativity. Robert Edmond Jones, the brilliant twentieth century scenic artist, defined that process most appropriately when he wrote, “Imagination is the faculty for realization.”

No one can create anything meaningful unless their imagination can foresee that created object or concept already realized in their own mind.

Currently, we have three learning media that cry out for imaginative, creative design: e-Learning that is designed around video and optional word-for-word audio, as well as Gaming and Simulations.

At this particular moment, those are the three broad classifications of training that can actually succeed in markedly improving learning outcomes. The second and third have embraced the creative imagination and learning culture awareness — so lacking in the first (e-Learning).

It’s past time for the instructional designs associated with e-Learning to catch up with the more effective work being done in Gaming and Simulation.

Pay attention to the common denominators: visual and audio components that are imaginatively constructed for the benefit of the learners.

Today’s e-Learning does not meet that test.

More on Monday – – –

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