April 6, 2016

Today, let’s focus on the underlying reasons behind e-Learning’s failure to live up to its earlier promise.  To do so, I’m going to quote from a very interesting and valid argument put forth by Raj Raheja, “Learning Replaces Classrooms For Naptime”:

“Much like monotone lectures or subtitled movies, there’s another contender for the “most likely to put you asleep” award – eLearning courses, often embedded in a LMS (Learning Management System). And it doesn’t bode well for your company’s training efforts if you rely on such a passive method of training.

 Once upon a time, eLearning modules were praised as technological advances (and they were, briefly), but now I don’t know of many people who look forward to this mode of learning – do you? eLearning courses are hard to love, that’s for sure.  .  .  .  The typical “instructional strategy is reading text, watching a streaming video of the average instructor, or following an audio-over-PowerPoint presentation.” And “trainees often [find] the training dull, rigid, and not related to their work.”

 None of this is new. Both the instructional methods and trainee reactions have been the norm since the launch of these products. And beyond an “unwillingness to insist on measurable outcomes” typical eLearning courses particularly fail in Operations & Maintenance (O&M) training for three reasons:

1)There is NO PRACTICE. Available technology is limiting the instructional strategy and students are fed one-way instructional content like videos, images, and voice overs.

 2)  There is NO FEEDBACK. ‘Next Page’ style courses don’t allow the opportunity for the user to get feedback on what step he/she did wrong and how to self-correct. Wouldn’t it be great if an alert popped up saying “Warning: you picked the wrong tool for this step“?

 3)  There is NO relevant TESTING. multiple choice questions don’t prove a technician can remove and replace a part. You know what does? – actually removing and replacing a part!”

 This was not always so.  In the latter days of analog (IVD) and the very early days of digital (CD-ROM), simulated actual practice, tailored feedback as a result of a branching design, and tests that emphasized simulated performance were more the norm.

Not so today!  E-learning has abandoned those attributes that once made technology learning important and effective.  Among other omissions, e-Learning creators have certainly forgotten that, “ people are more likely to remember up to 90% of what they are shown versus just 10% of what they hear.”

Is it any wonder that nearly 70% of our trainees never complete their assigned e-Learning training?

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.)