Why (Some) E-learning Falls Short
E-learning as a term has been with us for about a decade now but has failed to meet the high expectations of American business and industry. Clearly, at this point in time, it has fallen short of its promise.
Why? Two major reasons.
First it has failed 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.
That all sounds good, doesn’t it?
But what if the 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.
Secondly, the producers of most e-learning today are not the producers of old.
Many of today’s e-learning vendors are being guided by “money men” who, in their zest to put anything and everything online in order to make a buck, are permeating the training market with programs that ignore both the principles of good learning and the makeup of the learning population they purport to teach.
Knowledgeable instructional designers created the training programs born in the interactive laser videodisc and CD-ROM worlds, but today they have too often been replaced by overseas production houses which stamp out the courseware while paying scant attention to either learning outcomes or to the needs of the American learner.
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 values of dollars saved, increased revenues and market position improvement. And most current e-learning does not meet that test.
If e-learning turns back to the knowledgeable learning designs of the past, real corporate value will be achieved. But that means taking into account the learning styles of the modern workforce and the just-in-time user controlled capabilities of appropriately designed e-learning instruction. Only then will e-learning make significant contributions to the “business values model.”
— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning
“AMERICA WILL CONTINUE TO BE BUILT BY THE HANDS OF ITS MEN AND WOMEN”