Survey Said…“Enough with the E-Learning Already!”

This could be a rant…so hang onto something…

It’s funny that our recently surveyed learners told us to STOP forcing E-Learning on them when I just read someplace that E-Learning is on the rise as the solution of choice. The bastion of L&D and the E-Learning vendors are sold on e-learning as the answer it seems. Either our recently on-boarded performers (learners) that we surveyed at the Point-of-Work are whacked, or the folks who are supposed to be on the bleeding edge of developing effective learning solutions are smoking something.

Our learners are asking for live, interactive, discussion sessions where they can learn from one another’s experiences gained from the Point-of-Work. They want to have interactive Q&A sessions, share knowledge with one another, hear about tactics that worked, learn best practices, and avoid failures. All that sound reasonable to me…and “ain’t none of it” training!

Imagine that?

They said there was no way to effectively apply E-Learning course content. Hellooo…McFly?

Yeah, right…but what about the games…the…the…all the fun…the million dollar LMS…the micro-learning…the compelling engagement…the stinking badges? Micro-learning is a step in the right direction…but it does not have to be learning by design, it might be performance support. If it IS learning by design, at least consider an adaptive learning path capable venue to launch from. They’ve already told us “no more e-learning“, so at least minimize it through an adaptive learning path.

They also said, “Enough with the shadowing!” Instead, they want to be HANDS-ON at the Point-of-Work with a SME on tap for live guidance. Sounds a bit like we are slipping back into the days of apprenticeships doesn’t it?

And what…I ask…what would be wrong with that?

Can’t afford the headcount costs for floating SMEs to provide real-time guidance? Hmmm…odd…but we can justify the expense of mistakes, missed opportunities, material waste, business liability, [insert anything else nasty here] as routine costs of doing business???

Maybe I’m the one that’s whacked […and there are a few who would swear to that possibility] but doesn’t it sound like the performers/learners are asking for opportunities for learning and support to DO the job at the Point-of-Work?

C’mon, man! Enough with the E-Learning…let’s get downstream to the Point-of-Work…where somebody is digging the perfect hole; saving a key account; providing safe patient care; operating a POS with a line of customers waiting; or hammering out profits in some other discipline.

Josh Bersin’s Slideshare on “The Disruptive Nature of Digital Learning – 10-Things We’ve Learned” provides several key data that point to what I heard our learners say. I think it safe to say that we [L&D] don’t need to catch up to the disruptions in our digital technology as much as we need to catch up to that which our learners are asking…and a lot of it does not require expensive new bells and whistles. If we listen to “the voice of the learner/performer“…to those digging the holes…the technology part of the solution will become crystal clear.

Disruption in the digital L&D world is caused by disruption from exponentially increasing business demand and the blinding velocity of change at the Point-of-Work…and Moment of Need…and it is time for some disruption because traditional L&D solutions are MIA.

Enough with tradition already!

Gary G. Wise
Workforce Performance Advocate, Coach, Speaker 
(317) 437-2555
Web: Living In Learning