Not All e-Learning is the Same
Everybody wants to offer e-learning solutions for their staff training and development needs. But not all e-learning is the same. E-learning should go beyond reading a book on a computer screen. Honestly, if I am going to read the words on
a page, I would rather be under a fluffy blanket, curled up on the couch with a pot of hot tea and some butter cookies. E-learning should make full use of the technology of the computer. I want the instructor to talk to me, preferably, on the screen. Add some pictures, or better yet, add some live action video and animation. Provide some interaction to keep me fully engaged and challenged. Provide a handout to go along with the course so I can use that as a memory jogger after I have completed the course. E-learning developers, challenge yourself to go beyond republishing the text book on the computer screen. E-learning purchasers, demand more from your providers.
An e-Learning Black Box Warning:
Caution This Course May Be Hazardous to Your Sanity
I have taken many e-learning courses over many years. Recently I purchased an e-learning course that really needed to carry a black box warning: Caution this course may
be . . .
After purchasing the class, I signed in, and after some struggling I finally found the first lesson. I clicked the link that said
"start." Well, it did, sort of. A PowerPoint Slide popped up. Now,
I like PowerPoint presentations, if done well. However, this slide was full of text so small that I couldn't read it,
except by switching to my large screen monitor. There were two paragraphs of text. Now I must admit that I am getting a little older and perhaps the eyeglasses need an update. So I waited for something to happen. I waited and waited, until I realized this was it. Read the text
baby! So read I did,
then clicked continue, and finally got to the quiz. While taking the quiz, I wanted to review some content. No, that was not allowed. I responded to the questions the best that I could. If I missed the answer the only feedback I got was, Incorrect. After one lesson I decided that there had to be a better way to learn. I found someone
else who offered the course in a true e-learning environment.
Selecting e-Learning that is Pure, Safe, and Effective
Selecting an e-learning course is really rather simple.
Identify the course you really need. An Internet search is a great way to learn what is offered.
If they boast about being the least expensive, remember that you get what you pay
for. The best business advice I ever got from one of my accountants was, never purchase cheap.
Compare the objectives of each course versus your requirements.
Call the vendor and ask if there is a handout. If not, begin to wonder if the vendor is afraid that the lesson content may not be accurate and not stand up to a critical review.
Ask to see a preview of the course. If they do not offer a free preview, question what they are hiding. Be concerned that you will be paying a lot of money to read a book on your computer screen. Demand more!
By Allan Dewes, SkillsPlus International Inc.