“Training should not give the employee what he wants. It should rather give him what he needs!”
Rapid eLearning doesn’t meet learning objectives, rapid eLearning results in mind numbingly, boring eLearning course. Rapid learning is all about speed not quality. These are the common statements we keep hearing in some blogs and LinkedIn discussions.
Many people think that rapid eLearning has no design; it is just dumping the content in to the rapid authoring tools and converting them to eLearning course. And the eLearning course developed through rapid authoring tools looks like a PowerPoint presentation.
Many industry experts have expressed that rapid e-learning skips the essential instructional designing steps and hence results in poor quality eLearning that does not meet learning objectives.
It may be true that rapid eLearning skips essential instructional design steps but I disagree with people who say rapid eLearning does not meet learning objectives. I have summed up my opinion on rapid eLearning and how it is a boon for every training manager.
In my opinion it all depends on how good you are with the authoring tools you have. With a little practice, a good imagination and creative graphics you can create good level one and two interactive eLearning courses. To put it straight, rapid authoring tools are really not the culprit, if you come across bad eLearning courses. It could be because the developers either have limited knowledge about the tools or lack skills and creativity to exploit the features provided by them.
Many rapid authoring tools like Lectora, Articulate and Captivate have inbuilt instructionally rich templates that help in creating pages with rich text, media and also help in building assessments quickly. You can insert any template and can customize it the way you want.
In traditional eLearning we have a very large development cycle, highly customized media elements, highly customized templates, highly customized interactions, but people think that they are not possible in rapid eLearning, but it is not true. For all those who say rapid eLearning can only create just a page turning eLearning courses, should know that these rapid authoring tools allow you to add interactivities like slide shows, roll overs, click on numbers, hotspots, media tour, watch try do simulations, click on images, scenario/ case study, carousel, audio and video.
Below are the screen shots which demonstrate the capability of authoring tools which many people are not aware of.
Carousel Interactivity developed in Articulate
Flip Book interactivity developed in Captivate
Circle Diagram interactivity developed in Articulate
My observations are that like in traditional eLearning we can have Interactivities in rapid eLearning also but maybe not as high level graphic interactivity as in traditional eLearning. Rapid eLearning can only give you good returns, if your requirement is faster deployment of courses that incurs less costs, though they skip essential instructional design steps.
I can conclude that an engaging eLearning course is in the hand of a developer, if he is creative and has good knowledge of these rapid authoring tools, he can develop courses as good as traditional learning that cost you more and consumes more time. My understanding is that there is no dilution of learning with rapid eLearning.