The Art of Knowledge
We're Selling Snake Oil
I got this from Gord over at ELearning Eclectic. It's a link to a diatribe about how the eLearning industry doesn't work and the vehicles that are being created attract more money than learners and do a better job of capitalizing on a fad rather than training people to perform at a higher level. He has some gripping stats. Here are some quotes and my young thoughts on them:
- "The data is mounting that very little of training makes it back to the workplace. The noise inherent in the knowledge transfer to learning transfer process obliterates up to 80-90% of any usefulness of the training on the job. Less than 30 percent of what people learn is actually transferred to the job in a way that enhances performance. (Robinson and Robinson) 85-90% of a person's job knowledge is learned on the job and only 10-15% is learned in formal training event. "
-->My Comments I still think that most people look at the idea of learning completely backwards. They try to pigeonhole objectives and work into classification and labels. The main issue of human capital weakness is market volatility and how it directly relates to the staff not being able to realign their core competencies with how the company needs to evolve. The stagnant and oppressing idea that most education professionals put on the workforce, and students, is that they are labeled to do their one certain task or objective. They are never taught to think that they could help marketing by knowing technology, that they could solve process issues. With overbearing infrastructures revolving around antiquated ideologies of "it's not my problem" or "I wasn't trained to do that" of course eLearning has a long road to climb. Stop thinking as though eLearning is simply a repository if information that is pertinent to one person's job. People understand search engines, they understand intranets by this point. They can find information. Try developing tools that can expand knowledge and weave a lifestyle instead of one that just fills in paint where there is a little rust.
I also think that these numbers are conglomerated. I think that there are companies out their attempting to do it correctly and are achieving results. Companies like Cisco and IBM have turned out ingenious initiatives based on loose fitting agendas that people are able to run with given the proper availability of resources and the rewards program to encourage them. I have my doubts about these stats because I think they take into consideration the companies that do not do it correctly. There are companies out there (big companies) still installing off the shelf software and handing out CBT's instead of really getting at the root problems.
"eLearning does not work. We have been in denial about this for about two years. The dropout, no-show rate is peaking at 70-80% and we continue to ignore this. Users hate it because it is a learning product that is fundamentally incompatible with the workplace. just-in-time really means do-it-in-your-own-time. Work always trumps any other activity. First-generation eLearning is snake oil. Snake oil vending machines (LMS and LCMS) work perfectly. The snake oil cures nothing, the snake oil vending machines work flawlessly."
-->My Comments Why do people not like school? Why do people look back now and realize that if they would have liked school they could be different? I assume people don't like school for a whole bunch of reasons. Personally I didn't like school because I could never see the direct benefit that school would have on my life. I could never ascertain what could be accomplished by my ability to learn. These people are being asked to interact with a system that is more than likely not fun, does not draw beneficial guidelines on how it will help, and most importantly does not show where they can go and what they can accomplish after they learn certain things. If you interacted with one of these LMS systems and found an answer, you would use it again. If you interacted with on of these systems and found it boring, time consuming and mimicking of what you had when you were in high school you would probably choose to fight it like the plague. I think there are systems that work (or that could work). I do agree that most people do sell snake oil. But when you don't have the answers and people have the need you throw whatever you have into a jar and say "look this will work". Make the systems better. Make the user understand why the system is there. Draw people definite added value scenarios to their job and life if they learn how to interact with their own potential to learn.
There are a lot more stats in there and most of them outline how the industry needs to point away from lecturing and instruction and focus on cost saving initiatives. I agree with this totally but find that it misses the bigger picture. The bigger picture is always how to make people stronger, not how to eliminate people from the equation. On one hand you have the idea of efficiency being propelled by technology and eventually eradicating human error. People are still needed to run these machines and work these systems. It's not as though the last recession came about because we had too little efficiency in the technology. The problem was the human capital inefficiency. Too many machines and not enough people to understand them, run them, and fix them. New gadgets producing better results is the path that human evolution has taken since our inception. Now that it has become exponential to the point of no return we find that our learning also has to take this same formula. Don't be blindsided by the idea that the machines or new systems will fix everything. Last time I checked my refrigerator still doesn't talk to me and my car doesn't drive itself. Keep people developing new systems, running the systems and fixing the systems in mind and you will find yourself breeding technology that helps rather than technology that takes advantage of a trend.
Link posted by JVMM : 4:04 PM