The e-Learning Revolution

I contributed a video on ‘The e-Learning Revolution’ to Bitpod’s ‘In a Nutshell’ series. The script is shown below (it started out at 700 words but was trimmed to 300 to create just two minutes of video).

To be successful in today’s knowledge economy we need new ways to learn, ways that don’t rely on us turning up in a classroom with the teacher.

E-Learning has been around for a while but is often seen as the poor relation to learning delivered in the classroom. This view is rooted in the idea that ‘teacher knows best’ and without a teacher a class is incapable of learning. This position is misguided in two ways.

Firstly the quality of the classroom experience depends almost entirely on the effectiveness of the teacher. If you have a great teacher the learning is effective. If you don’t it isn’t.

Secondly it assumes that learners aren’t self motivated; that without a guide the learning won’t get done. In practice today’s learners are much more self-directed and they need a guide only occasionally.

E-Learning, if it is well designed, can be just as effective as classroom learning but it does have different strengths.

Undoubtedly the single biggest advantage of e-learning over the classroom is efficiency. If you need one thousand people in your organisation to learn something quickly, then e-learning is the only realistic solution. That’s why pretty much all basic compliance training is done online.

E-Learning is also tremendously flexible – its available 24/7 and accessible pretty much anywhere – in the office, at home, or on the train to work. This always-on capability has fuelled the growth of e-learning and the demand for what is called just-in-time learning – learning that’s available at the moment of need.

E-Learning is also cheap – an e-course is typically a quarter of the cost of a day in the classroom. That’s Buy One Get Three Free in the language of Tesco or Walmart.

That’s a powerful driver for the e-approach.

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