Interesting couple of articles published in the last few days about the future of elearning. On March 11th, the Rapid eLearning Blog wrote a piece called How to Create E-Learning Courses That Don't Waste Your Learner's Time.
In that piece Tom Kuhlmann writes that many learners are taking elearning courses "because they have to, not necessarily because they want to."
For them, it’s a matter of getting in and out quickly and then back to work. This is not a commentary on the quality of the course or its content. It’s just that many elearning courses are compulsory and the person taking it isn’t motivated by learning the content.
Those people only want to see the essential information, take the required quiz, and get on with their lives. They don’t want to be held hostage by a course that has them clicking all over the place. Tell them what they need to know and let them go.
He then proceeds to offer up a series of recommendations that include creating courses that are not courses and identifying course requests that would really serve a greater purpose as a reference work.
Then today I received an email newsletter from the training zone, a training association based in Great Britain. They published a an article titled: Help yourself to the elearning buffet (free registration is required to view).
This article contends that today's generation is accustomed to networked technology and "lives its life on the web and has come to expect instant gratification...[they] are less accustomed to traditional methods of training, and prefer to be in control of when and where they consume information. The writer, Julian Dable, a regional manager for Travantis, thinks that, with an appropriate tweaking of how we perceive it, elearning is the solution to meeting the new web generation's needs for information solutions.
Elearning is a perfect balance between traditional learning and self-determined 'quick-fix' internet learning. Readily accessible, expert information from sanctioned subject matter experts is the safest and most practical way of getting information into your employees' hands. These days, widely available authoring software tools put power into the hands of subject matter experts who don't need to be technologically savvy to create training courses. They can integrate the power of multimedia audio and video to create engaging learning. Even better, such tools are easy to learn and the process can be contracted to a matter of hours or days rather than weeks.
His thoughts tend to gravitate toward moving elearning away from the traditional page turner and more towards a two-way communication structure where social frameworks can be built.