Professional dilemmas

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Q My e-learning consultancy is pushing me to make more use of 3D and
video in training programmes. Will I get a better return on investment by using
whizzy graphics and moving pictures or is it just a gimmick?

A Although e-learning has often been perceived as a cheaper training
option to classroom-based courses, developments in broadband availability and
take-up mean costs for e-learning are rising as steadily as the benefits.
Indeed, e-learning has been revolutionised as increased bandwidth can cope with
masses of data accessed over the web. Your consultancy may seem pushy when it
comes to advice on using these 3D and video applications, but it may well have
a point.

In the past, learning was limited to reading a training manual or attending
a class, but now the concept of ‘Edutainment’ is proving successful. As people
use technology to learn in all sorts of ways in their spare time – for
instance, playing computer games or surfing the net – so their capacity to
understand has become more attuned to 3D graphics and complex images.

Obviously, not every individual will react to e-learning material in the
same way, but for many, 3D and video functionality in the learning process
helps reiterate key points and successfully impart information. In short, it
keeps things interesting. It is important to weigh up whether your staff will
respond positively to the latest digital learning.

It’s a question of meeting specific needs to provide the best results, as
with training there’s never a ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer. You should talk
directly with the staff to be trained and see how they’ve found courses in the
past. By evaluating your training needs you’ll find yourself in a much better
position to choose the right learning solution that’ll please both finance and
HR, and ensure the widest range of people get something out of the learning

What people need to understand about e-learning is that it’s not all gadgets
and gimmickry. The right training application delivered to the right people
could be one of the best investments you make.

Response provided by Kae Clarke, creative director at Parity

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