Will rapid e-learning tools go the way of PowerPoint?

When the magic rapid e-learning tool comes out, will it suffer the same negative fate at PowerPoint? That is, will the tools be misused to create bad e-learning? Of course! It will just like PowerPoint, a tool that is often mis-used and abused. Making e-learning easy makes it so that anybody can create e-learning. It doesn’t mean that anybody SHOULD make e-learning.

How do we get people and the various industries to understand that good e-learning is not as simple as the tools used to create it. When the cost of production goes down, more of the money should be transfered to effective design.

My view of the future is a lot more bad e-learning. I hate bad e-learning, it gives all e-learning a bad reputation. It is just like PowerPoint. Too many people create too much bad PowerPoint, such that the tool gets a bad rep. My prediction: E-learning made easy will make for more bad e-learning! How do we change the priority from rapid development, to well designed development?

How do we change the world such that people and organizations learn to appreciate the skill involved in designing good e-learning? Or will the speed always trump quality? When creating e-learning, we should be asking ourselves, “for this presentation, what’s more important time-to-market or learning experience?”.

4 Comments

  1. You are right, now when e-learning tools became so easy to use lots of people think that they can create a great e-learning course but this is not that easy. For those I’ll suggest the way out: use PowerPoint (the tool you got used to) and convert it to flash with the help of ppt to flash converter (let’s say with iSpring Pro).

  2. Good question. I think that poor learning design has always been an issue. Now we can do it rapidly:)

    Building on what Brent says, it’s all about the commitment to good learning. Many organizations will use the ease of the authoring tools to dump a bunch of data. This is sold as elearning, but it’s not. At the same time, I’ve seen some really nice course built using rapid authoring tools.

    I personally think that “rapid” is kind of misleading. I think that the tools are automating a lot of what we used to pay programmers to do. Right now the automation is simple.

    However, the tools will become more sophisticated and allow for better online learning environments. I think they’ll be coupled with social communication tools and some of what we see in the web 2.0 explosion.

    I also think that elearning is just a small part of the learning process. We need to find ways to integrate the information from the elearning courses to the real world interactions.

  3. There is some hope that with repeated failure comes success…

    However, e-learning already has a bad rep. My fear is that rapid e-learning tools will only make matters worse.

    That being said, the way of the future is electronic. So I guess e-learning will always be in demand, regardless of its quality. For my sake, I hope that someone appreciates good learning design!

  4. Appreciating good e-Learning means appreciating learning. Many don’t. And many don’t care too. No amount of well designed e-learning can fix that. What comes after rapid elearning tools? Learning tools. Tools of creation and experimentation. Tools that don’t tell you anything, but make you DO something allowing you to fail over, and over, and over.
    Just my quick $.02.
    Cheers!

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