At a recent conference, while I stood at my exhibition booth, I overheard a conversation between my marketing person and a mid-level training manager. The conversation was about “rapid e-learning,” or what others might call “just-in-time training.”
Rapid e-learning is the need to quickly and easily train hundreds or even thousands of people about a product, process or initiative and make sure they retain that information. But not everyone gets it yet.
This particular training manager was boasting how he and his department can quickly create content through some “off the shelf” authoring tool and place the final content on their intranet—and he calls that rapid e-learning. This final content is usually in the form of static text or slides.
This sounds more like rapid authoring, or rapid authoring that is frankly flat and boring. The training manager is only considering one of the four components of rapid e-learning:
- Quickly and easily creating content.
- Delivering that content in a rich and engaging manner.
- Managing the content and the users.
- Analyzing the data to make sure the content was viewed, was engaging and was retained.
All too often, the people in charge of educating large audiences fall short and seem to focus only on the first step: They quickly create content but don’t go full circle, overlooking the other key steps. You can’t just build (the content) and expect your audience to come—let alone absorb, understand and apply what they’ve learned. This is short-shrifting the employees, the company and the bottom line.
I look forward to dialogue and upcoming articles that address how content must be engaging, whether managing the process and users is essential and whether analysis or measurement of the e-learning or information was, in fact, effective. Senior management beware and make sure your staff is not just going half circle on the critical information they need to know to do their jobs more effectively.
Director of Marketing