e-LEARNING HAS TAKEN OFF
Last week, along with ITC’s Adam Kovic, I attended the “Training 2013” Conference & Expo in Orlando. Without question, we met more knowledgeable and interested attendees there than we had ever before encountered.
As you can easily guess, the hot subject continues to be e-Learning. “Less expensive,” “always available,” and “easily distributable” were the drivers for most of the attendees. Missing were concerns relating to “content accuracy & completeness,” as well as questions relating to, “does it teach?” (can my trainees really learn?).
Which brings us around to the most important question: “What constitutes effective e-Learning?” And, by “effective” I mean training that positively impacts retention.
Today, too many of our current e-Learning courses are being designed by individuals who apparently have forgotten that full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio are the keys to successful learning for the majority of our population. Instead, the e-Learning courseware world is getting populated by re-purposed PowerPoint and written procedure adaptations – neither of which will successfully contribute to successful training or education.
Today’s e-Learning world must be viewed critically. Instructional Designers have abandoned the wonderful uses they had made of both full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio during the CD-ROM and Interactive Laser Videodisc days. They need to return to the dominant learning culture of the majority of our citizens — “TV” — as exemplified by full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio capability.
It is just as incumbent with e-Learning as it was in those earlier technology training days that knowledgeable Instructional Design must continue to be the focal point of all courseware (in any medium) that are designed for learning and, most of all, will improve retention. Let’s look at the basics that were true yesterday; true today; and, will be true tomorrow:
WHY THE NEED FOR INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNERS
• Today unfortunately, courseware creation resides, all too often, with technical writers and
• Yet, excellent instructional design may be more important than ever.
• Our learning culture has evolved. Full-Motion Video and Optional Word-for-Word Audio are the keys
to reaching today’s learners.
WHY VIDEO AND AUDIO ARE NECESSARY
• We’re not a “reading culture” society today – maybe never were.
• Nearly 40% of America’s workforce does not read above a 4th grade level.
• Barely one-third of our high school graduates are traditionally literate.
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNERS
• The written words in an on-line lesson reach only a minority.
• Adapted PowerPoint & adapted written procedures are death to today’s learner.
• Designers must find new ways for video and audio to bridge the gap.
• All script language must have a “to-be-heard” option.
THE DESIGN REQUIREMENTS FOR e-LEARNING
• Navigation through a lesson is simple, consistent, and intuitive.
• Instruction is meaningful and interactive.
• Adult learning characteristics are accommodated.
• Corporate management requirements are satisfied.
• Multi-Sensory Media is appropriately integrated as part of the learning experience.
THE BUYER’S REQUIREMENTS
• The on-line lesson provides adequate learning for the targeted audience.
• The on-line lesson “works” on intended delivery systems: Internet and intranets.
• The on-line lesson meets SCORM requirements and will, successfully, meld with SCORM-based LMS needs.
Both Adam and I were encouraged by the many visitors to our booth at “Training 2013.” The interest was great. The commitment to e-Learning is near-universal. But now, it is time to separate the e-Learning that will positively impact retention from the e-Learning that is nothing but a pretender.
More on Tuesday – – –
— Bill Walton, Founder
“ THE WORLD RELIES ON THE HANDS OF ITS MEN AND WOMEN ”