e-Learning or e-Watching?

There is a lot of e-learning out there these days.  Companies are developing more and more of it.  Statistics show growth here, there, and everywhere.

A lot of the growth can be attributed to the fact that there are so many good rapid development tools that allow practically anyone to be able to create it.

But I have to ask, “How much actual learning is taking place?”

Increasingly, I find myself viewing a purported e-learning module only to come away thinking that all I really did was just watch and listen to someone show me and tell me something.  I didn’t really learn anything.

And I’m not talking about regurgitating a fact or figure I was informed about a few slides back.  That’s not learning.  That’s short-term memory recall.  And it’s something I’m not going to have the foggiest clue about in 6 months, or probably even 6 days (because I didn’t  really learn it)

So, is it semantics?  Perhaps.  But it doesn’t do our industry any favors by calling passive videos that are mostly information sharing and/or marketing tools e-learning.

When I see “e-learning”, I am actually hoping I will learn something.  And I am more than disappointed when it turns out I was just watching something where the intent was not learning a new skill or process or something else I really wanted to learn how to do or know.  I actually get a little angry.  And sad.

Because every time someone puts out a module that is really information sharing or marketing and touts it as e-learning, I hear another voice somewhere saying “e-learning sucks and is a waste of my time.” <shudder>

Which just makes it that much harder for real e-learning to break through and do it’s job.

And it really can do a very fine job.

Until next time…