e-LEARNING: a self-examination

January 11, 2016

It’s a pretty safe assumption that most of you have moved at least some of your training initiatives into an e-Learning environment. An equally likely assumption is that most of you have been experiencing some disappointing results with your e-Learning initiatives.

In the introduction to “The Illusion of e-Learning: Why We Are Missing Out on the Promise of Technology” by Frank L. Greenagel, Ph.D we find a summary of the failures associated with current e-Learning:

E-learning has not kept pace with the development of increasingly rich IP-based delivery platforms because the e-learning experience is far too often puerile, boring, and of unknown or doubtful effectiveness.

• Developers don’t seem to be aware of how people learn, for they continue to use mostly flawed models.

• Corporations are more interested in throughput and low unit cost, so solid measures of effectiveness are infrequently developed or applied.

• The available platform drives the instructional strategy, which may not be appropriate to the learning style of trainees or to the learning objectives.

• The cost of development is high, so bad (cheap) programs drive out the good ones in the absence of any commitment to measure effectiveness.

• Effective e-learning experiences for complex competencies are rarely scalable.

Along with those valid observations on the state of current e-Learning, I think you also have to meet three major overriding objectives in order to be successful with your initiatives.

First and foremost, for e-Learning to prove successful it must have top management “buy-in.” No initiative is going to be very successful if it is not wholeheartedly endorsed by the leaders within your organization. If, on the other hand, your management regards e-Learning as a “something to do only if there’s sufficient time” activity, chances are it will fail.

Secondly, are the e-Learning initiatives you are contemplating designed for the modern learner? Today’s learner expects multiple-media instruction. They have grown up in a smartphone/tablet/computer world — and they expect the same media-rich experiences from their e-Learning instruction.

Thirdly, have you checked the e-Learning content you’re using with a subject matter expert in your organization? Does the content promote the necessary skills for the tasks to be assigned?

E-Learning is both the present and the future. But, only the e-Learning initiatives that meet these criteria will give you the payback your organization expects.

More on Wednesday – – –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Mondays & Wednesdays)

(This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner, jhbillwalton@gmail.com, an independent consultant. They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)