Friday, January 12, 2007

Same Old Story

Learning Circuits has been following up on the question of "Quality vs. Speed". And of course, the true "answer" seems to be: quality should always be the best, whether the learning is developed quickly or slowly. You could spend a year creating an eLearning solution, and if it isn't effective, the fact that you spent a year on it won't mean anything. Conversely, if you create a solution in two days, and it works, the amount of time won't mean anything.

The one thing I've noticed, at least in the corporate world, is that when you do something fast and it's good, the next project is expected to be finished just as quickly and with the same quality. And many times, they expect it faster and better. Since I deal in the sales world, the measure of success really is quantity. How many calls have you made? How much did you bill this week? Did you bill more/less this quarter than last quarter? What can you do to get more clients next quarter?

However, this approach to eLearning is doomed to fail. It's true that I could output more modules... I could probably create a module a week, and to be honest, they'd look pretty good. When the VP goes through them, he'll think, "These are really nice-looking and they include all the information I want". But the student will probably get very little out of them. We do have testing at the end, and of course, people will pass the tests and move on... and it looks like we're successful. But I can guarantee, if I were to ask people a few months down the road what they remember, they'll more than likely say, "nothing". It can be disheartening from a teaching stand-point.

I had really hoped that this year, I could convince the higher-ups to re-evaluate the goals of our eLearning program, but sadly, that hasn't been the case. I pushed to create some genuine feedback for the modules, but the time it would take to implement that would take away from the bottom-line output.

What I think I need is some research. Sales people LOVE looking at demographics, and buying habits, and charts and graphs. I think I'm going to spend some of my breaks looking for eLearning research. Tony Karrer bought up the idea of blogs as a discussion tool... so on the off chance that someone besides me reads this --- does anyone have links to research done? Or charts or graphs? or anything?


Tony Karrer said...

Howard, I wasn't sure what you were looking for on this?

Margaret O'Brien said...

There's a diverse set of research out there. Have you got a specific topic in mind?