You have to say that e-learning sometimes seems as popular with the training profession as a night in with Living TV.
For example, this year’s CIPD poll on a wide range of training and learning and development issues reveals that respondents feel that e-learning is the least effective way to learn. This follows other research, including one by this publication, which indicates there is widespread doubt among many training professionals about the efficacy of e-learning.
Why so? After all, e-learning has some unique advantages over other learning mediums. It offers easy access (often on a 24-hour basis), can carry all manner of courses, makes it easy for material to be updated, enables users to create content, offers interactive progress tests etc.
Of course, it lacks the one thing that learners, as centuries of education have proved, really want. And that’s the human touch.
We like to learn with the guidance of an expert, either by our side or in front of us. We usually find it motivating, effective and enjoyable. Above all, we find it familiar. It’s a format that we have grown up with. We know it works.
But life is never so simple that it allows us to stick with the tried and tested. Whatever they think, training professionals must live with e-learning, especially as senior managers seem to think it’s the way ahead. And if those in charge of training don’t think e-learning cuts all the mustard, they should be prepared to say so and offer alternatives.
Editor and training manager