The Rise and Fall of eLearning

The advancements of technology in this day and age are staggering. I have taken for granted so many times the environment that I live in today. America as a country is less than 300 years old. Let that sink in. That’s astounding! 300 years is nothing! And yet in that space of time we have gone through so many revolutions and changes in the way we live and work and accomplish.


Within 300 years of our founding we put a person on the moon. We were able to physically leave our planet. Can you imagine what the next century will bring? This may seem an interesting segue into talking about virtual learning, but I want you to know that I don’t hate technology or deny its abilities and accomplishments.


What I dislike about technology, and elearning in particular, is this idea that BECAUSE it’s new, because it’s easier, because it’s the latest thing, it must be right. I’ve worked hard to get where I am, there was no easy route to my position. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The experience I obtained, the people I met, and the knowledge passed on to me prepared me so much more than if I had gotten my position straight out of high school or college.


That’s why classroom learning will always be better. The interaction, the activity, and engagement are components that can never truly be duplicated in online quizzes or slide decks. I don’t mean to suggest that classroom training is “harder” than virtual, but we all know that virtual training is much more accessible, able to be distributed more widely, and (in some cases) cheaper than classroom training.


But it’s not just the attributes of the training itself, it’s the TAKEAWAY. You’ve heard me mention it time and again, it’s all about the results. Are you seeing an ROI in your training? Where’s the measurable sustainability?


If you want a great example, look at FIS®. A leader in financial services technology, they decided to implement business acumen training to a group of 60 leaders and frontline managers, from different departments, across the organization because they needed managers to see the big picture, align to the goals of the organization, and, be equipped to make better business decisions when running their departments.


After training was done for the day, they were asked to make an action plan. The manager of product management completed her action plan item. It was to take a big picture view of their department, and act immediately by responding with a process discovery and improvement initiative that involved not only their team, but also client relations, implementations, IT, accounting, and system administration. The result was a broken payment process.


This action plan item initiative to act immediately put more than a half a million in-year dollars directly to FIS’ bottom line. There’s your ROI. Their business acumen classroom training set in motion the actions to truly impact the organization and they saw real results.


Have you ever seen results like this from an online training or virtual course? I’m genuinely curious. Let me know! The more discussion we can have on effective training, the better prepared everyone is to drive profitable growth.


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