3 Reasons Why eLearning Fails and What to Do Instead – by Tim Slade
February 24, 20200 Comments
I remember when I was tasked with my first eLearning project. I had to create a course on the measures for apprehending that a shoplifter. While I knew a lot about catching shoplifters, I knew very little about designing and creating an eLearning course. You see, back then, I had been working in the field of loss prevention for the majority of my career. I had earned my degree in criminal justice once I transitioned to a coaching coordinator role for the loss prevention department. Little did I know it would catapult me to an entirely different direction.
The truth is that my story isn’t unique. Most of the folks fell into it by accident–one day someone said they ought to instruct others to do this thing, and they have been great at something. While this phenomenon has created a lot of diversity within our industry (which can be a great thing), it has also had direct to a lot of folks being ill-equipped together with the abilities and know-how to create engaging, performance-based eLearning.
So, what are the reasons why eLearning fails, and what can we do about it? Well, it is not complicated. We simply have to return to the fundamentals. Below are three reasons eLearning fails, and everything to do about it.
1. It’s not designed for Folks learn
The funny thing is that most of us possess a solid sense of how learning occurs. We know that learning isn’t a single event but rather a process that occur over time. However, when we’re tasked with creating learning for others, whether it be a course or something else, we do a really good job. We create a single training event where we dump on a slide, add a button that is next, then call it eLearning, and throw in a quiz. And then that is all done, we wonder why it did not deliver the performance outcome we were looking for.
Instead, we need to recognize that isn’t how humans –especially adults–understand! And we know this because of the research conducted by Malcolm Knowles around andragogy’s topic: the theory and practice of learning. What Knowles’ Four Principles of Adult Learning has taught us is that students need to be involved in their learning experience. They know when they’re challenged.
2. It’s not the solution for the performance problem
When subject matter experts and your stakeholders approach you to create an eLearning course, how can you respond? What questions do you ask? Do you question their assumptions that studying is the answer, or do you spend the request and fulfill the order? The truth is, more frequently than not, our stakeholders and subject matter experts believe everything could be fixed with training.
Instead, we need to validate the origin of a performance issue before we could make an educated choice of whether eLearning (or any learning) will address it. We do this by conducting a needs analysis and performance assessment. Yes, speaking with our stakeholders and subject matter experts but also by assessing any available information, observing and talking to workers, and evaluating best practices does this. This advice can help us determine what our workers are doing, what we want them doing they are or aren’t doing it, and whether or not training can help address it.
3. It’s not focused on functionality
You were lectured about the value of interactivity, when you’re creating an eLearning course. There is this common belief that you need to produce your courses interactive to maintain engagement. But, not all of interactivity is created equally, nor does it have outcomes. It is easy to add. And while I think there’s a time and location for click-to-reveal interactivity, the truth is–nothing is obtained out of a functionality and learning standpoint when it is the only type of interactivity included on your course.
Instead, we need to be producing eLearning that’s established in functionality not merely what they have to understand. We do this by producing interactivity and articles that challenge our students to utilize their critical thinking abilities to make decisions, and apply what they’ve been educated, in eLearning. And this assists them put to practice the skills they’ll really be performing on the job.
The bottom line
It does not need to, while a lot of fails. ELearning can be a powerful and integral part of a learning strategy; we only have to do a much better job making sure it is concentrated on how adults learn, that it is the right answer for the performance issue, and that it is concentrated on functionality.
While this isn’t exactly the end-all, be-all of producing eLearning that drives results, if you’re like me (someone without a formal learning history), these tips will certainly point you in the ideal direction.
In the editor: Learn more about eLearning that drives results
In the session of Tim, designers, and programmers will talk about authoring tools such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Storyline, and Rise while they know:
The Way to conduct a learning needs analysis if eLearning is the solution and determine
The Way to apply adult learning theory to the development of your content
Strategies for composing learning goals that are performance-based
Ways design and to plan performance-based eLearning interactions and situations
The Way to streamline production by collecting and coordinating your own learning material into a storyboard
Strategies for evaluating the effectiveness of your course
Registration to the Learning Solutions Conference and Expo 2020 is required to attend this workshop, and you can do it all in 1 stop, directly here.