Train the Trainer eCourse: Microlearning Nuggets
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Typical Learner Reactions to eLearning

Written By Bushra Zaineb

Typical Learner Reactions to eLearning

Before we begin, let’s make certain assumptions about your organization. Let’s assume that your organization has a relatively mature training function and makes investments into employee development. Let’s also assume that it has well developed training initiatives such as:

  • On the job training
  • ILT courses
  • And sponsorships for training events

And now, your organization is planning to implement eLearning solutions to strengthen your training capability. But before you enter, employees typically have concerns around eLearning – here are a few reactions.

  • Will it work for me? Will I really be able to learn anything on a computer?
  • What’s in it for me?
  • I don’t care much for these fads. What is eLearning anyway?
  • The only training that works for me is classroom training, with an instructor guiding me through
  • Why should I take it up?
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Learners not exposed to eLearning usually prefer to stick to classroom training. A few of their reactions could also be based on their fears and apprehensions around this new mode of delivery of training. Here are a few more reactions:

  • How on earth will I make time for this? My job takes up every minute. And even if I do, will management acknowledge it?
  • Help! I don’t have what it takes to be a self-directed learner
  • Am I going to be thrown in at the deep end? Is there anyone out there who can help me get used to this stuff?
  • I’m not tech-savvy. And my everyday job doesn’t even demand it. So how am I supposed to cope?
  • I don’t have internet connectivity at home. And why should I?

So, how best would you address each of these concerns with the most appropriate marketing or promotional strategy?

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  • Jie Yin

    It’s really a hard situation to handle. Though we have wonderful eLearning courses online for employees to learn anytime, there are little employees will learn online unless the coures are required.

    I think if an employee is not a self-learner, it’s really difficult to make him learn by himself, especially eLearning is a new way. So maybe we can update the training policy like if someone is going to apply for classroom training, the employee should at least complete 1 related eLearning courses beforehand. Thus, the employee will have a general knowledge first and we also encourage the employee to get used to this new way.

  • I’ll agree with you whole heartedly.

    We train literate, semi-literate and illiterate. We have found that it’s not the training that they fear but the use of a computer and the fact that they are now not being spoon feed by a trainer. The training has been put in their hands so to speak no more hand holding.

    There is also the problem of feedback from a trainer which a computer has only a limited ability to give. Content is also an issue sometimes , learners believing the content inaccurate. Age plays a factor the younger generations taking to elearning more readily. Language can be a issue.

    We circumvented some of the issues by using voting systems and a projector with a PC.

    Even for the client as a whole it’s a learning curve they come up with all sorts of suggestion. The factor we stress the most is elearning is not the be all and end all of training but just a tool in their training arsenal. So there is a lot of consultation before they get going.

    Nick Smuts
    South Africa.