The promise of E-Learning has been around for a while, unfortunately the peace – love generation of the sixties, now firmly in control of administration in the hallowed halls of learning in public and private enterprises have been very slow to adapt. For some unknown reason organizations continue to favour more costly solutions such as conferences, seminars, workshops; and all supported by low-tech legacy solutions such as DVD’s, print, web pages built largely on static content buttressed by the commitment of travelling to a single location from every corner of the country.
Apparently, the social aspect of meeting in person far outweighs the financial consideration of engaging in E-learning. Now if you ask the participants and administrators, you would get various rationales for this luddite approach; ranging from networking or lateral learning opportunities to, “this is the way we always do it.” While these explanations may have a kernel of truth, the vast majority of learning can be mirrored or encompassed within the E-Learning scenario; and if organizations take a collaborative approach, E-Learning can provide solutions to complex long term learning problems, very cost efficiently. Perhaps one of the most telling indicators of the potential for E-Learning is the fact that senior decisions makers are already significant users of mobile communications devices to interact and share information.
Today, as has historically happened , many companies new to the learning process simply transfer their development skill sets, from one medium to another and in this case from web sites to E-learning in the mistaken belief that this is simply the next evolution in online interactivity. E-Learning at its most effective is more of a three-dimensional solution utilizing a variety of media such as video, animation, simulations, live interaction, audio and print in an instructional context that mimics the exploratory nature of learning through interaction and feedback. E-Learning can be very much like a live event where participants can learn from structured content, explore ideas and hear the thoughts of visionary leaders.
This is a lot more than just the next evolution in online information of knowledge – it is a three –dimensional mirror of the learning process. E-Learning, as a technology solution seeks to mimic the process of learning by using the best practices of a classroom and removing the social aspect of learning that often bogs down the learning process. As young adults social interaction in learning scenarios is important in that we are learning a set of skills above and beyond the content. As we age and the content is more specific and we are more focused on absorbing the outcomes, social interaction becomes less important in absorbing the content and becomes more on the exchange of ideas, interaction among peers, and access to up to date knowledge.
E-learning is becoming increasingly important in a world where the validity of any web content can be called into question and the market for E-Learning is increasing exponentially each year. Organizations have a unique opportunity to become the brand in their knowledge category by developing and maintaining an evergreen approach to their knowledge base through three-dimensional E-Learning. The three dimensions of E-Learning are: 1) interactive content, 2) knowledge sharing and 3) comprehension. Currently, companies new to the E-learning scenario do not have the skill set to develop the interactive learning content in a way that allows for full three-dimensional E- learning.
Three-dimensional E-learning requires a unique skill set that includes the ability to conceptualize and produce a narrative story. This experience e is often gained through production in traditional mediums such as videos, documentaries, theatre etc. It also includes an understanding of the web medium, the tool sets used for E-learning development and how best to use them to emulate an interactive learning experience. The final tool set understands the administration/communications required to implement it effectively.
The current tool set is relatively mature and will allow for the development of three-dimensional E-Learning but do you have the creative skill sets, instructional design and technical expertise to work with an organization to implement three-dimensional E-Learning effectively?