e-Learning is ...
The Promise of E (for Excellent) Learning
Nancy Weingarten, Inside Technology Training
Today, companies want and need employees to acquire knowledge and
skills; that's what translates into improved corporate performance
and increased shareholder value. But companies traditionally needed
to be organized, and as they organized learning into a corporate function,
something got lost.
We ended up measuring the number of filled seats in our classrooms;
we talked about days of training as if all learning could be packaged.
Efficiency experts might have been thrilled, but we surely didn't
get the learning results we wanted. Learning is idiosyncratic.
What I want and need to learn, how long it will take me, at what times
of the day or night I'll be able to focus on learning, whether I'll
do better with a book or one-on-one coaching --- that makes up my
unique learning profile.
In the 80's, we believed that the computer would make good on the
promise of individualized and just-in-time learning. Frankly, most
CBT, even with the high production values we could get by the '90s,
didn't do particularly better than the factory-like approach of much
instructor-led training. It turns out that the delivery method alone
is necessarily what makes for learning.
I guess there's some sort of poetic balance to the fact that just
as we're entering a new century, a new millennium, we're also beginning
a new era in business, communication, commerce, and, I hope, learning.
I'm referring, of course, to the possibilities created by the Internet.
So what possibilities do I see for learning? I see content on every
subject I want, ready whenever I want it, available either in small
chunks or whole courses. I dream of asking for help and having an
expert coach always ready to answer me. I see taking an online class
with people from all over the world or just using the Web to sign
up for a class at the training center around the corner.
I imagine a community of peers interested in the same things I am;
I can swap experiences and ask questions. I see integrating what my
employer needs me to learn for my current job with what I want to
learn for my next one. I dream of creating my own Learning/Career
Account, where I can bank my accomplishments and track my progress,
just as I do with my financial IRA.
And I'm sure you can add lots more to my list.
Making Nancy's dreams a reality!