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Five and Five - Inherent vs Design Flaws in E-Learning

Five  Inherent Flaws in E-Learning

  1. Loss of interactivity with instructor and the lack of motivation provided by a good instructor (insight, enthusiasm, explanation, etc)
  2. Physical demonstration of material is impossible.   E-Learning is not focused toward the tactile learner. Just seeing a circuit or water flow or pieces move into a puzzle doesn't satisfy their learning style.
  3. E-learning does not lend itself to class discussion.  Questions from the class can often spark discussion of an explanation of what the learner doesn't know but should...he doesn't know what he doesn't know so he can't ask questions to learn, or listen to others ask and then discuss.
  4. E-Learning lacks of peer-to-peer interaction with others in the same field.

Five Design Flaws

  1. Lack of emotion in most e-learning - humor, sadness, joy, mystique are often removed by the bureaucratic process.
  2. For thousands of years, people learned by listening to stories.  Most E-learning design ignores that and does not use the classic elements of story telling in its design.
  3. Dumbing down of courses to the lowest common denominator.  We don't have to explain everything.  That's what links to resources are for.
  4. Frequently E-learning course do not ask us to demonstrate true mastery.  Rather they test our  memorization of facts and some concepts. E-Learning course Evaluation is rarely a practical demonstration of learning.
  5. Most eLearning is a lecture in a "cartoon" form. It is a brain dump-type scenario from the SME, without all the accompanying side information as found in face to face instruction.
  6. Freedom to fail? too often, answers in an eLearning course are too obvious. The learner does not have the option to fail, which is one way we learn what the right way is. And often the ability to review information, or gain additional information is not available as it would be in a classroom setting. Quite a bit of learning in the real world comes because wrong choices are made and we have to learn how to fix the consequences.




Five & Five Inherent vs Design.. or 4 and 6

This insight it right on.  I can certainly identify with all of these as I am a story telling, enthusiastic classroom trainer providing hands on training for the use of computer applications.
Trying to convert that type of instruction to a distance learning delivery has proven a chalenge and most of our staff have no desire for e-learning for their skills training needs.
After a year of probing this matter, we have come to the conclusion that our best approach will be a blended training delivery.  We deliver the materials to the distant trainee and then communicate with them while they complete the excercises, as we would in a classroom.  The advantange of this method is that we can set appointments with 2 or 3 trainees at a time and break a 6-hour course into 3 sessions a week apart.  To deliver training in this manner is less disruptive to a work schedule.
The trainer links to the student computers observing their screens as they go through the practice.  This is accompanied by audible connectivity so the student can hear directions and explainations and ask questions.  Peer to peer interaction is still lost and hearing questions asked by others, unless the trainer repeats them. Our hope is to eventually have tools like Envision or GoToTraining.  We are still trying to get buy in from our management.

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