I just can’t seem to get my head wrapped around why some people think that e-learning is the best thing since sliced bread. Popular in the late 1990’s, I believe that once upon a time it may have been the cat’s meow…but with all of the (newer and more advanced) learning technologies on the market today, not so much. Is an investment in e-learning still beneficial for companies? Sure, e-learning technology may be advancing – but will it ever be good enough? Or do fancier PowerPoints capture the learner in ways that other more advanced learning technology can? The vast majority of companies are looking to lower-cost alternatives while also providing more efficient training. With more and more computer-savvy employees (read digital-natives) the demand for immersive training is here to stay…and only growing! The ability “to-do” something in a virtual environment, rather than the monotonous point and click feature that e-learning offers is a huge benefit across all generations of the workforce. So why are many still stuck in the rut of e-learning? The real answer is:
People don’t know, what they don’t know!
The real challenge is educating decision-makers that better, lower cost and lower life cycle cost alternatives exist now. The decision-makers are usually advised by constituencies heavily vested in traditional e-learning technologies and attendant instructional design philosophies. The biggest hurdle we see is one of getting the instructional design folks up to speed on advanced vw design and proven vw world benefits for learning/training sims. Once they see the light, there is no going back!
The major selling point of e-learning was flexibility – train anytime, anywhere. Now a host of other vw based options offer that same flexibility and much, much more for less. So long boring e-learning, it’s been nice knowing you!