Monday, October 8, 2007

Why I think eLearning is sterile

eLearning is currently sterile because a large percentage of the
practitioners and the "gurus"/analysts consider f2f (Face2Face) techniques as the
core for web instructional design. That is, if you can just bottle your
f2f presentation, and put it on the web (convert your PPT to Flash, add
narration, dancing pigs and flying bullets), you are now doing
"eLearning". It will take some time before the analysts stop looking in
the rear-view mirror when developing the advice they give their customers.

Trainers will need to see more examples of web based instruction (using
web techniques, rather than pre-Web methods) to start synthesizing what
will be successful for them.

Perhaps prototyping is a step in this direction. I recall having to
prototype presentation slides so that I could hand them to the graphics
department for creation. Is that the stage we're in for eLearning?
What changed the field for f2f presentations was that PowerPoint (such
as it is) was bundled into MS-Office 4.0, and now a large number of
office workers had this for free on their desktops. Unfortunately, as
the analysts have reported, MS has 85% (approx) of the eLearning market
simply through PPT, so they have no motivation to include a true
eLearning tool in their office suite. (I'd be happy to sell them
licensing for ReadyGo, so they can open up this field!)

So, until there is a major re-think of the "Office Suite" that also
includes web-site (and I don't mean "web-page") builders, and people
consider web training a subset of web-sites, eLearning will remain
stagnant, and will move in fits and starts. As it is now, the "graphic
designers" are responsible for implementation of web training (like it
was in the pre-Office 4.0 days for presentations), rather than the subject matter experts.

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