Judging the e-learning awards

by Viv on September 6, 2007


This year I had the privilege of being a judge for the e-learning awards. I found the whole process fascinating, giving me a whole new take on how the e-learning industry is operating and who is doing what…not that I’m allowed to tell you much more…

The good news is that there were loads of entries (the bad news is that I had to read well over 100,000 words in the process). I’m pleased that the e-learning industry is maturing and that as a learning channel, e-learning is continuing to build wider credibility and acceptance. The flipside is that innovations appear to be being made in smaller steps rather than radical changes occurring.

Whilst there were many excellent entries, there were a surpising number of entries that had simply not addressed the criteria that were published in the awards entry process, or made it quite difficult to find the key messages that the panel was expecting to hear. As someone who had to get through over 70 exams during the course of becoming an ACA, I am probably more acutely aware of how important it is to answer exam questions directly. Possibly the PR/ marketing departments of e-learning consultancies are more inclined to answer questions at the end of the spectrum nearest the politicians i.e. I’ll take your question, not answer it and tell you something I was planning to say anyway. A fine approach in everyday life, but not one that inclines a judge to give you many points.

Hard evidence was the other area where there was a mismatch between the entries and what we were expecting. Whilst meaningful evaluation data for both training and e-learning can be difficult to capture, this is an area where having robust data can really make a case study stand out. As other commentators have said before, is this lack of data a collusion between the learners and the commissioners of learning?…as long as it looks good and entertains learners, lets not be too fussed about measuring how it’s actually changed learner behaviour?

Looking forward to the presentations in early October (and any attempts to bribe me), particularly from the people who have tried to make compliance e-learning exciting.

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