Aug 052011

eLearning: An Impossible Dream?

August 4, 2011 by Craig Weiss, eLearning 24/7

eLearning (web based) has been in existence for more than 12 years, yet its impact in terms of the masses is still relatively low in comparison with other training approaches.

Within the elearning space, there has been fast adoption with social learning and with mobile learning.  Yet, when you explore the training space as a whole, elearning is still being seen as the ugly stepchild to instructional led training.

This begs the question, why?


We as training professionals have been brainwashed, due to years of being indudated that ILT (Instructor led training) is the superior and in some corners of the training industry, the best method for learning.

Think about it, when we attended school: HS, college, graduate school – what method did they use to teach you? ILT.

Some teachers/instructors/professors might have added groups and real life scenarios, but again, this is only a very tiny percentile.

We have been taught that ILT is the only method and thus for the masses, they still see it this way, but the facts do not support the statement, that ILT is the best method for learning.


  • Retention rates for ILT are low, on average 8% to 10%, for WBT (Web based training) rates on avg are over 90%
  • ILT forces the learner to learn at the speed of the instructor, so if the instructor is flying through the information, you as the learner have no choice but to follow that path
  • WBT enables self-paced learning, you choose the pace at which you want to learn
  • ILT requires you to follow a linear path – i.e. A to B to C to D – you as the learner cannot jump around, WBT is non-linear: the learner chooses their own path, Maybe B, then jumps to D, then goes 20 times to E and maybe the following month goes to Y


If I want to learn how to add labels to an Excel spreadsheet, why do I need to hear how to open the file and save it? Yet, when you are in a ILT setting, you follow the path set by the instructor, so until they get to where you actually need to learn, you spend the time starting at your table, checking email, playing with your mobile device – basically anything BUT learning.



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