Good, fast, cheap…pick any two. This has been my email tagline since the mid-90’s.
I find it so fitting for just about everything and e-learning is no exception.
I bring it up today because the use of video in e-learning seems to be gaining in popularity.
And I ask myself, “Why?”
Video is a passive activity. We watch videos. We listen and we watch. Often, we read something that matches what we are listening to and watching.
Are we learning?
To me, when I feel like I have “learned” something, it is because I feel that I am comfortable being able to do something. I can manipulate a piece of machinery, I can behave in a certain way, I can recite some information. Another way of saying it is, I can demonstrate knowledge.
Can I demonstrate knowledge of something I’ve gleaned from watching a video?
Well, I suppose I can if I am given an opportunity to do so. At least, I probably could if that opportunity came within a few minutes, hours, or possibly days after watching the video.
And then, what would it take to be able to demonstrate that knowledge six months after watching that video?
I think the answer is practice. Don’t we have to “try” something before we know we can “do” something (and I mean successfully do something – where it meets some acceptable standard of performance)? Regardless of whether that “do” is in the form of manipulating, behaving, or reciting. Sure, we can think we know how to do something but we really don’t know for sure (nor does anyone else) until we actually do it.
To say you have learned something, you have to be able to demonstrate that you can do something. That is how you verify and validate that what you think you know you actually do know.
So, in the world of e-learning, where learning is supposed to be taking place, there has to be more than just viewing a video (otherwise we should just call it e-watching). There has to be an opportunity to practice and demonstrate – and not necessarily in that order.
Which gets me back to the use of video in the world of e-learning. Why is video becoming so popular and being touted as “e-learning”?
Because the two that the decision-makers have picked are “cheap” and “fast”.
Until next time…