Ever since the advent of eLearning, it has been haunted by many who question its authenticity. People’s opinion about eLearning keeps changing every now and then. Some form their opinions, based on their experiences and others on hearsay. The fact remains that there is still a bit of apprehension attached to this style of learning.
Traditionalists argue that eLearning can never be as effective as the classroom. A lot has been said, and it is time to get back at our detractors and compare the myths with the real scenario that exists today. In this post, we will look at the four most common myths about eLearning. We will do a reality check!
Myth #1 – E-learning is too expensive
This is something that I have kept hearing, since the day I started working in this field. Albeit nothing good ever comes cheap, eLearning is considered to be an expensive medium of instruction because it involves the ‘online’. If it’s on a computer, well, then it’s costly. This common yet irrational belief has led many to consider that eLearning may not be a viable option to proceed with, resulting in a loss to both prospective eLearning consumers and eLearning businesses.
Reality Check – E-learning is Cost Effective
Not many people are aware that eLearning is a cost effective medium, which helps organizations save millions of dollars, when it comes to cross cultural and geographical training. The USP of eLearning is that it has a wide reach and breaks the barriers of time and space. When it comes to teaching or training a large group of people, hiring a trainer and classroom supplies have to be done at least a dozen times until everyone gets a chance to attend the class. This is when eLearning can come to your rescue. What people don’t realize is eLearning is a one-time investment, and once you have your course you can use it as many times as you want and save precious dollars by eliminating the need for the repeated presence of the trainer.
Myth #2 – Dumping PowerPoint is E-learning
Just because most instructional designers choose to make their storyboards in PowerPoint, it is assumed that instructional designing is all about dumping the content in a PowerPoint presentation and that’s it! Not everyone who knows how to use PowerPoint is an instructional designer. There is much more to instructional designing than just dumping content and making it look attractive.
You can’t actually just make use of a PowerPoint presentation and create a course; if that is the case, then we would never have instructional designers in the field of eLearning. Many a time, I have come across people who think the storyboarding is just copying the content and pasting it on the PowerPoint slide and voila your course is ready!
Reality Check – Not a Child’s Play
It is not true that eLearning is just dumping the content in PowerPoint. There is a series of steps to be followed; at times, this is complex and challenging. Before you start storyboarding, you need to comprehend the content and try to make sense of it. Once you have got the hang of it, you then need to set the learning objectives to describe what the learners will achieve after completing the course. Then you need to formulate an instructional strategy that decides the tone of the course. It is a process that goes on, until the final course is on the LMS.
Myth #3 – E-learning Development is Time Consuming
Many prospective eLearning clients believe that although eLearning is a good one-time investment, its development is time consuming. They think that an online course takes months to be developed and cannot meet immediate training demands. It is also believed by many that by the time the course is developed, the training needs and market trends change. This makes the developed course irrelevant.
Reality Check – Not with Rapid Authoring tools!
As the name suggests, rapid authoring tools, eLearning development time and spend and reduced dramatically! Gone are the days when you had to rely on Flash to create your eLearning course. Rapid authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline, Lectora and Adobe Captivate have made eLearning development easy and quick. You can create your eLearning course within a couple of days without missing your deadline. . Rapid eLearning is the ideal solution for every training manager.
Myth #4 – An Engaging Course Means Just Clicks
Many instructional designers think that adding an interactive click option on screen makes the course engaging. Making the learner click a couple of times doesn’t make a good course or the learner interested. It is usually assumed that click on interactivities adds that x factor to the course, hence instructional designers don’t not think beyond clicks when it comes to creating an engaging course.
Reality Check – Engaging means Hooking the Learner
If you’re asked to create a course that is engaging, then every aspect of the course must be utilized. A well engaged course has a strong interactional script, audio, visuals, animations, and most importantly an effective instructional design strategy, which will be the backbone of your course. An engaging course goes much beyond click and next buttons.
It is important to know the fact from the myths to be well informed and open minded. Hope this post has helped in busting few myths. Please do add, if you have come across any such myths.