Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Can we throw away e-Learning?

Check out this guest post by Ryan Healy just in at the Brazen Careerist's blog: "Twentysomething: Throw away e-Learning".

Here's one end-user's take on e-Learning as a boring waste of time; a choice made by companies who really don't value their employees. Says Healy, "Without discussion or one-on-one teaching e-learning is cheap, ineffective and gives the impression that a company does not care enough to invest time or money into training."

Here's what Healy says would work better:
If an e-learning tool can somehow be coupled with actual face-to-face learning
or mentoring then I am all for it. Just don’t use it as a replacement for real
teaching. I crave the personal connections that come with one-on-one or
classroom teaching, even if the rest of my life is spent online.

So. The reality of poor design. A challenge to do better. A call for more blended solutions. Will including more games do the trick? Should we just return to the classroom? Can we throw away e-Learning? I think we're in way too deep for that to happen....the benefits are there, the potential for good design and good solutions is there....

What do you think?

UPDATE: Be sure to read the comments. Some very interesting perspectives from actual e-Learning users.

UPDATE #2: Fixed the link! (Note to self - QA my own work before publishing....) Thanks, Dan.


Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

I think that this hits the point that for many people on the receiving end, elearning is synonymous with asynchronous courses. The wide and varied alternatives that we as designers contemplate are not in the the majority end user's field of vision.
But similarly, in my old job as a training manager we vowed never to replace the induction with elearning (we hoped to expand on it, but not replace) and nor would we allow it to be devolved to the regions precisely because the face to face element was important for reasons well beyond the training.

Cammy Bean said...

An interesting follow up: I had a conversation today with a prospective client who is looking to create an online piece as part of their new hire orientation. They currently do a quarterly face-to-face induction of new hires with lots of upper level folks in the company. Having just read the posting I linked to here, I was able to make some relevant points about making sure they don't do away with the f2f completely. Maybe I'm smart enough that I would have said that anyway...but maybe not. I love blogs!