Many believe that eLearning is all about creating PowerPoint presentations, adding narration to them, and publishing them using authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline. This, of course, saves considerable money. But it often does not yield the desired training results. So, what do these presentations lack that makes them incapable of effectively equipping the learners with the needed knowledge and skills? There are certain fundamental differences between an online course and a PowerPoint presentation. Let us now look closely at each of them.
Digital courses are intended to involve the learners in the learning process. These courses allow them to learn at their own pace. A good online course contains a variety of interactive learning elements such as drag and drop, selecting answers to questions, clicking on images and numbers and so on that keep the learners focused. These courses make the learner participate in the learning process and it is this learner participation that facilitates effective learning through eLearning.
On the other hand, PowerPoint presentations don’t allow the learners to interact and get involved in the learning process because they are a one-way communication with no consideration for them at the other end. This makes them very ineffective to impart training.
Process of creation
E-learning courses are designed keeping in view the principles of adult learning. A good online course explains how the learners benefit from the course very clearly. Its design is based on the principles of instructional design and goes a long way in facilitating acquisition of knowledge and skills. It connects the current learning to what the learners already know and helps them solve their problems.
Coming to a PowerPoint presentation, all the relevant material is collected and an outline of the topics to be covered in the presentation is prepared. Then the presentation is created, based on the outline. It merely presents information and the absence of the use of instructional principles in its development makes it unsuitable for training your workforce properly.
Evaluation of the audience
There is a solid means by which you can evaluate the learners who have taken an online course. There are assessments in the middle of the course for reinforcing learning (FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS) and at the end (SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT). These assessments are directly linked with the performance-based learning objectives that are set at the beginning of each course. As you can see in the image below, there are many question types we can use in eLearning. It need not be just multiple choice questions.
The participants of a live presentation can at best be asked a few questions that give an indication to the presenter how well his audience understood his message. But this question and answer session cannot assess whether the learner can apply the learning to his work, which is the very essence of training.
Thus, we see that an online course, unlike a PowerPoint presentation, involves your people in the learning process and is based on sound learning principles. It can be used to effectively assess your learners, something that cannot be done in a presentation. Indeed, an eLearning course is much more than a PowerPoint presentation. Isn’t it?