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Traditional eLearning is Dead

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I’m here to talk to you about a serious topic. It’s a passing, a final resting, the long sleep…But it’s not a day for mourning, it’s a day for celebration! Let’s take a minute to think about how we learn and then a moment to reflect on how the people we are struggling to train also absorb training information.  I bet it’s very different. What are you to do when you realize your method of training isn’t getting through to your audience? I’m here to talk about the death of traditional e-learning.

Let’s be frank, the days of 4-hour training modules has long been over.  eLearning moved to 2-hour courses, then came an hour, a half an hour, 15 minutes and it’s landed on micro courses. Micro courses are courses you can typically complete in 5 minutes or less. Roughly the same amount of time Neymar rolls around after he dives is “tackled”.

The internet world that we live in moves at tremendous speeds and young minds absorb materials faster than previous generations ever could because they have instant access to seeing exactly how almost anything in the world is done. They have instant video access and gratification. I have no idea what the average age is of the person who is watching this video or reading this blog but for a just a second think back how hard it would have been 30 year ago to instantly learn how to change your own oil in your car. Was this part of the car manual? Maybe you had a handy mom or dad that taught you, but this is something literally almost anyone in the world can now learn to do in the span of 5 minutes. By watching a video. How cool is that?

I watched that video and now I feel like I know how to change my own oil. I didn’t before I watched it. Actually, I didn’t have a clue. I have no idea who recorded this video and if I didn’t like it, there were lots of other oil change videos to choose from. I have zero affiliation with that video but it more than proved my point. With just a little bit of on demand training, almost anyone can change their own oil.

Time is money. We make choices on what is more important every day and we often choose time over money. Time may very well be the most valuable currency in the world. Have fun mining for crypto I’m moving full speed ahead with a time machine, Doc Brown was right.

Now that I’ve seen the changing your own oil video I know in a pinch I could learn how and re-watch it, reviewing the information every step of the way. Pause when I want, confirm that step then continue. Micro learning and videos work. In today’s rapid paced world where time is money it’s just a lot easier and more convenient to stop into your local lube-o-rama and move on with your life.

The younger generation absorbs material at such a rapid pace. This generation will have endless access to information and it’s just keeps getter faster and easier to see how to do anything. They are watching the “how” while hearing the “why” and they hunger to learn both. We must show and explain, not order and expect. In minutes they’ve mastered what took other generations weeks and hours to comprehend. We need to be teaching our young hires using methods they want and expect. We put those teaching methods like video’s into a Learning Management System (LMS) so we can track and validate learning has taken place.

If you take one thing away from this try and remember we are not training ourselves. Don’t forget who your audience is. No one has the time, desire and willingness to go through a 60-minute course that tells you how to greet a customer. Show them in minutes. Traditional e-learning is dead, RIP old fella.


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