As practiced today, e-Learning, too often, fails to meet current and evolving business considerations.

Why?  Four major reasons. 

First, because of the re-purposed PowerPoints being passed off as e-Learning.  These pseudo courses are never even completed by two-thirds of the trainees assigned to take them.  They are full of lots of words and information — but have little training value.  Consequently, the skills needed for the shop floor are not readily acquired.

Second, e-Learning often fails to meet the ROI requirements of business. 

Much of the e-Learning hype has been directed at eliminating the classroom and its attendant personnel and space requirements.  This has often resulted in centralized purchasing at the headquarters level while minimizing local plant involvement in the decision making.

But what if the technology training offered is inferior to the former classroom offerings?  In that case, e-Learning might actually add to the business cost if the courseware does not translate into better qualified personnel making more efficient and effective maintenance decisions when returned to the shop floor.

Thirdly, the producers of most e-Learning today are not the training producers of old. 

Instructional Designers, who once understood learning, created the training programs born in the earlier Interactive Laser Videodisc (IVD) and CD-ROM worlds.  Today, it’s a different story.  Designers-of-Learning have mostly been replaced by PowerPoint-conversion advocates and by overseas production houses which stamp out the courseware.  Both pay scant attention to either the learning outcomes or to the preferences of the twenty-first century learner.

Finally, from a business perspective, e-Learning in bite-sized chunks, delivered instantaneously to the job site whenever needed, is paying far greater returns than is the old fashioned classroom model that was initially delivered by videotape instruction.  Much of the information and “how to’s” in such lengthy presentations are quickly forgotten.  Delivering the specific information to the actual job site whenever needed is much more useful and brings with it a greater ROI.

American business and industry is beginning to catch on since their major concern is the creation of value – value that goes far beyond the simple matter of reducing training costs. Rather, American business and industry is looking for the important corporate goals of dollars saved, increased revenues and market position improvement.  And most current e-Learning does not meet that test.

E-Learning — as a technology is capable — but, to be effective, that means taking into account the learning styles of the modern workforce and the just-in-time user-controlled capabilities of knowledgeably designed instruction.  Only then will e-Learning make significant contributions to the “business values model.”

More on Wednesday  –  –  –


            —- Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

         June 18, 2018

      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.)