Crossing the ILT Bridge to e-Learning

As Director – Sales at Ideaon and over 20 years’ experience, I can honestly say Ithought Ihad heard it all, until today, while making my morning calls I spoke with an instructor that said “Patti, why would I want to outsource my own job?” I was a bit overtaken byher question. Of courseI reassured her crossing the bridge from ILT to e-Learning would not outsource her job, but make her more of an asset and help her company retain their employees. She must have found value in my statement, wetalked fora bit and I was given an opportunity to share our custom course development and our custom e-Learning solutions with her and her colleagues.

Is this how training managers think? The last thing I want to do is outsource someone’s job. Change is difficult and can beuncomfortable, but sometimes necessary. Moving educators and trainers from one method of teaching and training to another can be frustrating and intimidating for all involved. Our job as custom e-Learning solution providers is to make you look good and make the process as seamless and stress free and as inexpensive as possible.Our goal is to increase your stakeholder competency, by retainingmore of what they are learning and also have them to be able to participate and invest in the training.

Sounds great, perhaps you are thinking, what is the one thing standing in the way of the journey across the ILT to e-Learning bridge? The trainers that deliver the content. If they could just understand that this solution will add value to their own jobs and save time and cost to their company, there would be a lot more foot traffic across the bridge. All learning should be trending towards an e-Learning platform. The practice of what I call “Death by PowerPoint,” and learning strategies like it, must be put to rest. There is still a place for Power Point and other programs like it in e-learning companies still use Power Point for story boarding. It is a great tool and serves a purpose. I don’t dislike Power Point. I dislike the way it is being used and abused.

droolRecently I took a one- day ILT class, designed to teach you new and better ways to use excel. The entire class was taught using Power Point. I really felt an immediate need for change in that teaching methodology. So was it the format of the ILT? Or was it the tool? Or was it the trainer?In my opinion, no, one should be using Power Point slides as a primary way to teach or train a class. After an hour or of viewing slides I asked if he can just email the presentation(and save the lecture). I asked him if he has tried alternatives to PowerPoint. He countered that Power Point presentations speak to the “visual learners”. This may be true, but there are so many other strategies for reaching that learning modality.For example, videos or aSegwayto some self-paced work would definitely help. I said, “Bill, your class is valuable, I am enjoying the new things I am learning…but.” He gave me this funny look as he looked at the class. Everyone had glazed over eyes. He said,” Can we talk after class?”

After class I suggested that he exploresthis – make it a blended learning course, since it is a BYOD class. I advised him of how much time and money he could save and how his participants would retain more information by being given the chance to learn through self-paced modules or at least partially guided exercises. If he wanted he could create a short series of online classes as well, maybe as a follow up or a reference to something he taught in class. Bill and I are still in communication about this entire process I have strong hope that he will take a drive across the bridge and follow the e-Learning trend.

There are of course various factors that one needs to consider to transition from a pure ILT to a blended model. A few basic questions to get you kick started..

  1. Get to the fundamentals – why shift from ILT at all? Cost/time saving? No. of learners addressed? Enhance productivity by enabling positive behavior outcomes?
  2. Does the content lend itself to changed dissemination?
  3. Does the medium of online learning lend itself to teaching this content appropriately?You just cannot transfer the content. You have to transform the content to get it online.
  4. Would the performance objectives be met by a blended course, as opposed to a completely ILT or an e-Learning course? Find the format that fits.
  5. Would your audience embrace change?

At Ideaon we provide custom e-Learning solutions such as the one I suggested to Bill, to help you cross the bridge and introduce e-Learning or blended e-learning, into your establishment. Crossing the ILT to eLearning bridge is a serious process. One needs to take baby steps and evaluate and refine as you go along.

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