Did the e-learning revolution flounder because the trainers carved it up?

by Viv on July 17, 2007

I attended a Clive Shepherd webinar today and found that one of his early slides encapsulated what I’d been reflecting upon for a while. If a training identifies that learners need some learning content, it typically goes through the following process. Of course none of the enlightened L&D professionals reading this would think so simply.

It’s a pretty flow diagram that I’ll reproduce slightly more prosaically here:

Q1. Is the content really interesting? Yes: Face to face course. No: Go to Q2
Q2. Is there a reasonable budget? Yes: Comission e-learning. No: Leave it to Nellie (informal/ on the job learning).

If this process has actually been followed by lots of organisations, and on face value it’s not unlikely, then it’s not surprising that e-learning has got bad press. The face to face trainers who dominate L&D departments have been cunning enough to act in a way that preserves the value of their skillsets i.e. send boring content into e-learning and then watch e-learning take the flak for not being able to make it interesting enough (and to choose not to put their necks out to support the necessary change management/ communication).

As a face to face trainer by background, I endorse Clive’s view that having a slanging match between e-learning and training is not productive; I’m far more interested in what actually works and gives learners a good experience. However, I do wonder what would have happened if trainers had been more generous in parceling out the interesting stuff a few years ago.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Putri July 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Learning Is Not Easy When Speakers Make It So Hard Speakers talk. Audiences listen. Let me rpherase it another way. Trainers talk. Learners listen. This is one of the most powerful learning beliefs in our culture today. We embrace it as truth. We create education programming based on this conviction. Source: jeffhurtblog.com

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