Thursday, December 6, 2007

e-learning Adoption

There was a question in linkedin ... about the reason which holds back e-learning. Why is it that adoption of a tool like e-learning is not high. And, even in companies where e-learning has been deployed, it is only in skeletal way, more like an item on a check-list. For a tool, the value proposition of e-learning is immense ... People can learn at a place and time they choose ... So, learning doesnt have to interfere with their day to day work, and they can have learning complement profession. That its not necessary that learning happens at the expense of work. This should be music to the HR folks, but somehow, its not.

While e-learning should play a much larger role than it does, i dont think it would really achieve what has been promised as its potential ... this is for one simple reason ... and that is, we are still human beings, and learning, in large part, is a social activity, much more than it is an intellectual activity.

Which means that the primary challenge to bring the social part into learning. The solutions which are found today address the intellectual part well, but ... I guess this is why you would find that e-learning works ok when you have experienced people upgrading their skills, but if you have to learn something new, e-learning doesnt really replace face-to-face learning. Some of this can be addressed by the rich context of virtual worlds, and the way they enable creation of a social environment, which enables us to learn with co-learners, while at the same time, maintaining some of the benefits of e-learning.

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