April 4, 2016

After a SALT Conference presentation a few years ago, several attendees asked why the focus had emphasized full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio as the key ingredients for successful online instruction.

While those observations were accurate, it is also true that instructional designers must return to the basics of “Skills and Task Analyses” for the core content approach to their designs.

In addition, technology training is in real need of Instructional Designers who focus on the “who” and “what” to be taught — and, not on the instructional design formulas they learned in graduate schools.  (Good design-for-learning is not a cookie cutter activity.)

E-Learning has a critical need for Instructional Designers who understand the unique potential of the medium.

The challenge for courseware developers is to ensure that courses are of the highest quality and achieve the intended learning outcomes that parallel the results of the best instructor-led training and education.

Unfortunately, several misconceptions have marred the development of e-Learning.

Too many courseware developers have regarded this online medium as a “reading” or page-turning activity.  (Of course, that resultant instruction leaves behind the nearly 40% of America’s workforce which tests below a fourth grade reading level.)

In striving to build a winning online curriculum, many developers have also based their strategies on limiting costs by purchasing PowerPoint-conversion authoring systems, guaranteeing the sacrifice of basic learning principles.

And, while the Web has been used as a tool for delivering training, the development has been more focused on the mechanics of using the Web rather than in effectively applying Web-based technology to achieving the intended learning outcomes.

The foolishness we see with converted PowerPoint presentations results in an online experience that turns off most trainees (nearly 70% never complete such counterfeit programs).

Full-motion video, sophisticated graphic animations and optional word-for-word audio — along with the appropriate Skills and Task Analyses — remain the centerpieces of effective e-Learning design.

More on Wednesday –  –  –

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

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, 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.)