What Makes Bad e-Learning?
By Robin Hoyle, head of learning at Infinity Learning
The answer to this question is "It depends?"
I know. Not that exciting is it, nor particularly helpful, but to a great extent context is all.
Let's define a few terms first of all, by e-Learning I mean a packaged application (or linked series of applications) launched on a computer, either locally or from the network. I'm not distinguishing the myriad of technologies used because I've seen amazing e-Learning content using technologies from the late 80's which blew my socks off prior to Windows being launched on the PC and I've seen fantastic...
...examples of e-Learning using the very latest high end technologies. I've also seen complete dross using terribly sophisticated technology.
The other defining feature is that an individual can use it on their own; the training or instruction is embedded into the programme or application and the computer "teaches" the user.
Now right from the off there are a whole host of issues in that sentence alone. A computer "teaching" someone something? Is this a weird dystopian vision of the future where Matrix-like we are all plugged into the network to have "knowledge" piped into our memory banks? Are we to be reduced to walking memory sticks? No, but this whole area of self managed learning is one of the most tricky areas when it comes to what makes a good or bad e-Learning programme. The willingness or ability of the intended audience to learn independently of a trainer is fundamental to whether e-Learning will work or not. And that is the crux of bad or good, surely? The worst e-Learning is found in the programmes which sit unused on the organisational intranet. Bad eLearning doesn't get used. Often that is... continued on page two >