Well, once again this week, I have been reading e-Learning discussion boards and on several the topic is whether e-Learning is “good”, “successful”, “better or worse than classroom”? How long will we continue to have these discussions? Yes, I work for a custom e-Learning content developer who also has one of the best learning management systems (LMS) around. But long before I became involved in the industry of online education platforms and web based training, I was a learner. Still am.
There continues to be an ongoing dialog about the effectiveness of classroom vs eLearning. Online training, eLearning, computer-based training, or whatever nomenclature serves you, is not so simple to build from existing classroom training. Most people say online learning will never be as good, as engaging, as successful. Inevitably the conversation evolves into a discussion of how custom content is developed. Most people continue to believe that many companies simply take their classroom training and convert it to “eLearning”. And, therefore, they are getting ineffective eLearning. I wish I could say that this is not true. However, in just the past 2 weeks I have spoken to at least 3 companies new to custom eLearning development and all three said they wanted to take existing classroom materials and use rapid eLearning tools to convert that content to eLearning. Even after extensive discussions around using instructional design methodology and appropriate technology to approach the content in a new, more effective way, they all held firm. No, they wanted the eLearning quickly. They did not want to spend time thinking creatively about the best use of eLearning technology and instructional design. And, they wanted the most cost effective authoring tools used. Let’s face it : they wanted it cheap and fast. They wanted to say they had an eLearning program. They wanted to click a box for completed.