Posts tagged ‘eLearning’

A hole in the wall…

An Indian physicist puts a PC with a high speed internet connection in a wall in the slums and watches what happens. Based on the results, he talks about issues of digital divide, computer education and kids, the dynamics of the third world getting online.

New Delhi physicist Sugata Mitra has a radical proposal for bringing his country’s next generation into the Info Age

(Full article, thanks to Jim Hendersen)

the project Hole-in-the-wall looks incredible to me. it indeed is lighting the spark in learning. As a learning technologist myself, it confirms my belief that the collaborative learning is the way that world of eLearning is evolving into. the educators are the facilitators, who must have to provide the best coducive learning environment to the learners for extracting the best possible learning performance.

Things we know best are the things we havent been taught.

October 11, 2006 at 11:31 pm Leave a comment

A wonder design on making??

you’ve made designs on board, with some tool-kits. then you have upgraded to softwares like autocad n all and that probably made your life easy because you can do lot of Control Z there. but how do u know how these designs work in real time until they go into the actual production of prototypes?

What if you get a virtual drawboard where you can sketch your designs (like you do on a piece of paper), and with a touch of a button the computer shows you the real time performance of the system that you’ve designed? And you can do n number of modifications until you are satisfied with the output.

Really??? is it possible? this MIT prof says so… watch the video to see a demonstration!!

October 8, 2006 at 6:20 pm 2 comments

Waking up to the call

This may sound unbelievable to us, the knowledge professionals, but let us carefully consider the ramifications of these recent observations.

Surveys conducted across multiple organizations conclude with the following observations:

1. Training only accounts for 10.5 percent of the total potential change in worker behavior. Clarity of objectives, working conditions and other factors are more important.

2. At most, formal training only accounts for 20 percent of how people learn their jobs. Most workers learn their jobs from observing others, asking questions, trial and error, calling the help desk and other unscheduled, largely independent activities.

3. People who do attend formal training never apply 80 to 90 percent of what they learn back on the job. They forget the bulk of what they’re exposed to in a matter of days.

Now, what it says is that training might influence only a mere 1% of worker potential!!!! so, does it ring the death bell for Formal Training programs? certainly not. but it might be the time that we contemplate on revamping the current models / approaches, which are readily accepted in theory, but largely unsuccessful / ignored in practice?

And hence, it is of absolute necessity that learning professionals, who know in their heart that what their client is asking for isn’t going to solve their problem or have the desired impact, feel confident to act on their responsibility/obligation to say as much?

In short, it’s time to think beyond the Traditional approaches that have the propensity to become prosaic, and eventually redundant. or else, the gr8 eLearning diaspora may not live long..

August 8, 2006 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

eLearning ROI

As a consulting company we are often asked to participate in RFPs or to make bids for projects. The client comes to us and, with the best of intentions, hands us a thick 200-500 page book of documentation on the subject and say, “There you go, that should be everything you need. And remember, we need your final bid in 2 weeks.” A whole lot of written words, sacred words even, words that have been agreed on by many people are in that 200-500 page book. Now all we have to do is translate that into an interactive medium that might use audio, video and animation – no sweat, right? Surely there couldn’t be any disagreement about how to interpret this written content into the interactive world. This is the same problem with storyboards or design specs. Text can communicate, but not nearly as much as a working functional prototype of the actual content.

Now we could play a game with our clients, and many of the companies in our industry do. They leaf through the 200-500 pages of written content and then take a stab at how much “stuff” there is or use some Industry Standards such as 8 hours of Instructor-Led Training (ILT) = 1 hour of Computer-Based Training (CBT) “seat time”. Then they take the other Industry Standard, 1 hour of CBT costs $35-50K to produce, and decide to bid $X and hope like hell that they aren’t way off.

But what if they get the project and they were way off, what happens then? Having been on this side of the guessing game we can tell you the truth, but it ain’t pretty. If we’re going to be way over (which happens in this guessing game very frequently) then we start trying to find things to cut, ways to save our skins on the deal. In the middle of prototyping we may discover that a particular interaction could be dramatically improved if we made some changes…but we’re already over budget on this thing – do you suppose we suggest that change? That’s right, anything that might improve the end result but will cost more than the guess doesn’t get done.

What about the other side, say we are coming in under the guess, (something which happens less often than you might think, but does in fact happen), then a company can play the game of trying to make as much profit as possible by again not making any changes that might cost more. Same thing.

Guesses almost always result in the client not getting the best result.

And what about those standards?!? 8 hours of ILT = 1 hour of CBT? Is that because the ILT was so empty and devoid of value that in 1 hour you can read all of the PowerPoint slides that were presented and get the same outcome? Could 1 hour of CBT really replace 8 hours of dance instruction? 8 hours of ILT is not the same from place to place and content to content.

Neither is 1 hour of CBT. What if we could get the same results from your students in 40 minutes? 20 minutes? Considering that most CBT is done on the job during regular working hours (don’t fool yourself, few people will ever actually do it at home) isn’t it better if it takes less time? And this isn’t a movie, the user is controlling the pace of the training and good CBTs are designed to challenge different users differently; it may take 20 minutes for an expert and 2 hours for a novice. So, do you still think that hours of seat time is a good way to evaluate or bid on CBT?

And $35-50K per hour? We could dump some text into a template for a whole lot less than that, a WHOLE lot less. On the other hand, a single, very deep interaction that simulates the actual work environment of your users could cost hundreds of thousands, even millions…and be well worth it. $35-50K per hour says nothing about the quality of the media, the analysis or the instructional design and it certainly doesn’t take into account the interactivity. Do you really want to pay someone $70,000 to create 2 hours of people reading pages of text with clip art next to it? How about $100,000 for that same two hours but the graphics are prettier and there is animation? Let’s get really wild and make it a two-hour video with stop and start buttons and some multiple choice questions – woo-hooo! How much would you pay for that?!?

The truth is that none of those things are worth a single dollar. It would have been better to just print a book or make a videotape…though the value of either of those is also debatable. If you truly want people to learn something they have to have a chance to try it, to practice, to risk failure and get good, realistic feedback when they do. And the cost of good interactive learning varies.


June 4, 2006 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment



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