Magazine article The Catalyst

The Big Picture of Elearning

Magazine article The Catalyst

The Big Picture of Elearning

Article excerpt

To avoid being overwhelmed by the diversity in eLearning, start by looking at the "big picture." What changes are you trying to effect with training initiatives? Have you been successful? If not, is it because you haven't defined objectives, or is the process flawed?

Once you've answered these questions, determine where eLearning fits into the broader equation of adult learning, beginning with this self-assessment:

1. Is everyone on board with your training initiatives? Without buy-in from the C-level on down, your initiative may produce culture shock rather than culture change.

2. How do you assess competencies? The best-designed program will fail if you target the wrong skills for development. Similarly, follow-up assessments ensure the training has paid off and identify new areas needing improvement.

3. Are your asynchronous (self-paced) programs engaging and do they offer true interaction? Engaging asynchronous training is a great way for learners to acquire the basic "nuts and bolts" of interpersonal skills.

4. What's your plan for practice and application of newly-acquired skills?

Our research and experience indicate that these vital steps are best handled live. The medium, though, is flexible, encompassing telephone, virtual classroom and face-to-face interactions.

5. What support community tools do you offer? Are they used, or have they become online ghost towns? These can range from self-paced tutorials and online communities to expertmoderated forums, in both synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous environments. …

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