Many people see online training courses as a cheaper and more convenient alternative to traditional learning methods.
But when it comes to adult training, is e-learning still a preferred option?
We posed this question to followers of one of our LinkedIn group and were surprised by the amount of responses. Here's what some of them had to say.
“I'll give you a complaint that I didn't hear but experienced myself. Undertook the Google Analytics elearning course recently and the voice over was talking so so fast you'd think his head was on fire. Had to pause, again and again and again to understand what was being taught and it was near to impossible to take notes while listening. This was a major weakness/ disadvantage within the course and I gave the same feed back that it should be improved if people are to get any benefit out of taking elearning lessons.” Says Richard.
“I recently attended a webinar on an online language learning program It was a special "new version launch" webinar with considerable fanfare. I was greatly disappointed, as the screenshots of the program in operation were blurry at best and, as mentioned at the top of this thread, the speaker spoke FAR too quickly for true comprehension, never mind note taking. Call me an ol' purist, but I have yet to experience (as presenter or attendee) an e-learning experience that could compare to an in-person one.” Says Peter.
Many respondents like Mark and Graham feel that online content is not always of a high quality :
“Sometimes driving the package is not easy. And like any type of training, the content is not always high quality.”
“Tedious e-learning content that consists of click and read content, with poor interactivity and engagement of the learner. Most recently, e-learning that isn't compatible with multiple devices.”
Interactivity, engagement and their cross platform compatibility are just few of the other issues that online training faces. The length of the module can also put off some people like Joseph and Susan when content is not relevant to the learner.
“Static and too long narration increases the drop out rate. It is always better to have short learning modules compare to long duration lessons/courses.”
E-learners also face problems with even simple pieces of technology which are not readily available for use. Stephen for one, faced troubles while conducting an online marketing seminar when he needed to use microphones for interaction.
“When I asked for comments from the group on a question, the mikes were silent. I drop the request to use the mike and asked them to use group chat. That got great responses.”
But the biggest issue that most adult learners face is the lack of human interaction. Monica and Jim felt that learning in front of a computer is never the same as that of a classroom..
“Long term retention seems to be an issue. People demonstrate knowledge via an assessment or test of some sort but the long term behaviours do not reflect retained learning.”
“The feeling of isolation, the platform being used might not be as user friendly as one would like, no human interaction, little direction and support, monologue tone, having to go back to pages that are open and finding that they have dissapeared.....”
The 'training room' environment provides for an experience that helps in retaining knowledge through examples and anecdotes. Tracy however, makes some good points regarding the benefits of online training.
“Benefits of online training are the ability to empower the employee to take the training when there are lulls in schedule (or even in off-time, if desired), and the ability to create modules that are targeted to highly specific audiences.”
We can fairly infer that there are many aspects of e-learning that still need work, and even though e-learning training may be convenient for some, it still can't replace classroom training.