Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

The eLearning dilemma

eLearning has been around as long as the computer industry. Nevertheless it hasn't been a broad raving success story. There are success stories, but eLearning is not ubiquitous as using a spreadsheet or posting to a blog. One reason might be, that the effort to create eLearning materials mostly is grossly underestimated. A recent study put the ratio for highly interactive eLearning to 716:1. Working full time one could create 1 hour of such material in 18 weeks. That's more than 4 month for just one hour. For basic eLearning the ratio is still 49:1. So one spends one week to prepare just one hour.
From my exposure to eLearning projects, admittingly mostly in the corporate space, I had to conclude that most managers sense the magnitude but rather opt to ignore it, based on "we have a 4 month eLearning project and need to deliver" type of pressure. So the usual way out is to implement a Learning Management System (LMS) and then hope for a miracle that makes content appear. There are very good LMS systems at the market, a lot of them Open Source (you need to google the commercial ones yourself) that manage the courses rather well. They don't help in structuring and creating materials, they just look after them. They also don't tie it back to the official curriculum, since there isn't a hook to tie to. Then there are outstanding Learning providers, lot of Open Source text books and Learning communities. On the other side is the official curriculum (e.g. Singapore primary) and the vast experience of teachers and the materials they hold (in their heads, on paper or their harddrives). The dream in for eLearning would be a system that links and connects all these sources into a single blended learning experience. This experience needs to be deliverable for learning institutions (students are supposed to treat learning as their primary activity) as well as corporations (learning is ad-hock as-needed). eLearning could answer the "why do I need Phytagoras" (just watch your carpenter) and "what does compound interest do in the real world". Unfortunately these links don't exist today. Classroom learning is disconnected from online, disconnected from the curriculum, disconnected from corporate learning. The technology is there, someone needs (I would say literally) to connect the dots. Step one would be to make a curriculum machine readable and deep linkable. Unless there is an agreed upon specific format for a curriculum OPML could be a good candidate. Your feed reader already understands it. Who educates the educators about it?

Posted by on 17 October 2010 | Comments (3) | categories: eLearning


  1. posted by Patrick Kwinten on Sunday 17 October 2010 AD:
    maybe they are potential systems to store and distribute documentation of applications?
  2. posted by Paul on Thursday 04 November 2010 AD:
    Nice article. I think I agree with most of the points covered here. Emoticon biggrin.gif
  3. posted by LMS Selection on Tuesday 05 February 2013 AD:
    So many amazing resources available! Thank You.