Volume 4 Issue 1January 2000
What Stumps Newbies, and Veterans As Well
What puzzles those who are new to development and delivery of online learning? Some of the same things that still puzzle online-learning veterans, says Saul Carliner, an assistant professor at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Be ready for these points of confusion, cautions Carliner, who teaches human factors in information design.
- Online delivery is about more than training. Carliner discerns these functions as well: education (distinct from training), performance support, knowledge management and collaboration.
- There are dozens of unfamiliar terms, and those terms aren't entirely consistent in their meaning.
- Most large businesses now have intranets and Internet connections, but online learning requires a variety of technologies to create and deliver it.
Even those familiar with learning technology are sometimes blind-sided by rapid developments, says Carliner. Key changes in the past year include:
- The proliferation of Web-based training, and the number of companies offering their services in moving training to the Web.
- The growth of knowledge management, which lets workers learn what they need to know on the spot, sans training. "With the growth of online learning comes the growth of informal learning; learning that happens outside of a formal context such as a classroom or a scheduled course," says Carliner.
- A shortage of "content people" who can work at a high level designing "learning campaigns, involving a series of interrelated interventions that promote the desired performance.
- The rise of the online slacker. Merely putting content online doesn't ensure that people learn it. This puts a premium on marketing online learning to learners, retaining learners, and evaluating effectiveness of online learning. This also emphasized that learning requires a variety of interventions, and not just more courses.
Carliner will address these issues at TRAINING 2000 in Atlanta during his "Online Learning Primer" at 4 p.m. on February 19, a free event before the official conference opening.
Register for the show at http://www.training2000.com