Oct 282011

Online Learning is More than Learning Online

Online Learning: By Kelly Meeker, Open Sesame Community Manager

While I am often skeptical of “management gurus”, “consultants” and other self-proclaimed know-it-alls – so many platitudes, so little actionable advice! – I really enjoy Seth Godin’s work. I usually find that his advice inspiring and his words cut through the blather. Yesterday, he posted “Form and Function”, an analysis of how when the form of media or communication changes, the service must change as well.

I’ll quote it, but you should go read it in its entirety:

When the form changes, so does the underlying business model, which of course changes the function as well.
Mail —> email
Books —> ebooks

In each case, the original players in the legacy industry decided that the new form could be bolted onto their existing business model. And in each case they were wrong.

Does this sound familiar?

In the elearning sector, what we see today is this:
Training —> Powerpoint

When what we should see is this:
Training —> Online learning

The first instinct of the training organization is to simply add voiceover to a PowerPoint presentation – making that training content infinitely reusable and always available! But while that reflects change in training’s form – from in person lecture to online lecture – it does not reflect the change in function.

Ever-evolving technology presents an opportunity to alter the way learning occurs. For example, the old-fashioned form of learning required a classroom, instructor and group of learners at their desks. The new form begets a new kind of learning: Where the learner is empowered to find information as she needs it, and where information is organized, shared and accessible to everyone.

In this function, learning is a journey, an experience – where a little occurs all the time and where content is available in a variety of formats, shared in a variety of ways and is, above all, flexible.

So here’s to fighting the good fight! Let’s make “elearning” more than PowerPoint – let’s make it a new, online learning, where opportunities to improve and excel are integrated into every aspect of professional life.

Image Credit: Seth Godin

Tom McDonalds Comments:

This commentary is spot on.

There is a paradigm shift that is occuring in learning from one to many training (think lecture), to one to one learning (a customized, personalized, learning approach for each participant).

The results, for those engaging the new paradigm, are dramatically bettered individual learning and individual transfer, aligned with strategic organizational objectives:

  • More Stimulation per Minute of Study
  • 300% Improvement in Retained Learning per Hour of Study
  • 11% less study time, 22% less test time, and 95% higher test scores

Individual learning and individual learning transfer are directly and positively correlated to the degree of participant personalization and participant ongoing reinforcement [differentiated instruction and differentiated ongoing reinforcement (distributed practice/spaced repetition)].

The results for those not engaging the new paradigm are not pretty, in comparison.

Note: A one to many training approach still remains a one to many training approach even tho its individually delivered to each participant via technology (technology, in this traditional training scenario, betters individual delivery and access, but does not and will not advance individual learning performance).



To Discuss how these Solutions will add value for you, your organization and/or your clients, Affinity/Resale Opportunities, and/or Collaborative Efforts, Please Contact:

Tom McDonald, tsm@centurytel.net; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

online learning, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC