Monday, February 28, 2011


The learning journey continues...

I posted this tweet this morning in an attempt to kick start discussion, not least of all with my University students (Post Graduate Masters in HRM) on my current 'Designing and Delivering Training' module.

Problems with online courses: money, quality or inertia and is this why so many are against this method of learning?

This week we are discussing how to incorporate learning 2.0 into training activity and what better way to start this off than to engage in a debate about whether online learning will really reduce the number of trainers, lecturers and professors that are needed in the various learning establishments. I am not convinced that this will be the case, despite the early warnings from the New York Times which have predicted this so eloquently

Having just secured FOUR virtual tutor/assessor/facilitator positions for 2011, covering a wide range of programmes at level 7 (Post Grad equivalent) each in part being delivered in a blended approach using trainers, open learning material, online learning material and discussion boards this highlights, if nothing else, the changing role of the trainer in today's learning 2.0 world.

So, I wonder where the problem lies? IMHO, the quality of the training products, irrespective of how they are delivered, in person or online is becoming of paramount importance. Poor content creates a negativity and possibly this is what has put many people, trainers included, off engaging in online training.

What do you think?




Unknown said...

The success of any training online or facilitator led is gauged by ROI. The learning, training and development activities in any organisation should be aligned with organisation’s strategic aims and objectives. In order to successfully deliver an online training the organisation should have good infrastructure in place in order to enable virtual or online learning for which the organisation has to incur heavy costs.Hence, to my mind what matters is the quality of deliverable.

University Student said...

In my view, the idea of creating entirely automated university courses depends on individual needs. Why is so difficult to engage people with this programs? First I believe that there is a question about validity, people is used to attend classroom events and there is a value associated with this events, it seems that online training is not as good, as real... and from my point of view this is because is something new and we are not used to it, our perceptions are created from our education, and our education did not consider technology as a mean to obtain some knowledge but as a tool to help us in our work i.e. ( excel, emails, word..)

Second, people feel alone, without support. They see online training as an individual responsibility, with that I mean that an extra effort is required to start the program and keep it going, you need to focus more and you are responsible of your self development which in a lot of cases is hard as you want a facilitator to help you to save some of your own effort into the process, to save some ( mind time).

I have experience in one of my former organisations of an online platform with more than 100 courses in different disciplines... engagement levels with this tool are very low... and some of the reasons are the ones mentioned before

Anonymous said...

There are pros and in Online Learning.

The Pros:
1. reachable for people with busy life style and commitment.
2. Flexible : saves time, resources and money.

The Cons:
1. Lack of human emotion
2. Can be time consuming to understand and might be problem to reach deadline if not understood.
3. Communication can be confusing.

Józefa Fawcett said...

Great we are getting a discussion started, hopefully the rest of you in class will post something after you have read the articles featured in the blog post. J

Yahye Siyad said...

Hello dear Jozifa, please post on my behalf my below comment.

Interesting article, but am really unsure as what to make of it

I have Mixture views about the perpus of technology. I always saw
technology as tool for socializing, making new friends and even being
part of worldwide communities such as couchsurfing and of course
finding convenient things.... I was worned by my first university
about the low quality of materials online and I thus developed that
doubtful approach between my learning style and online world and could
not take it serious enough. I also see myself as perhaps old fassion
whereby I need to go out there and study (get the whole experience)
with people rather than keep motivating myself to study alone as I do
not have much of self-discipline.

Also there is much bigger problem that to do with the education system
whereby you do not really need to learn much but instead being clever
enough in how to meet the minimum and maximum standard of academic
requirements which is largely operational exercises rather than
gaining knowledge and knowing how to apply it. So the use of online
world on top of all that to learn, simply becomes a fidly headache
that we could do without. For me there is a great deal of confusion
regarding this belief of “the wisdom of crowd” and then complaining
about how many of fake people are out there claiming to be experts,
trainer etc. I also get adikted easily to new things and I worry
about adding new things to my already full list of addictions 

In short, the whole online world and its unbelievable rapid of pace is
still too much and scary for many people. There is endless list of
advantages & disadvantages, so the more positive stories talked about
among the scepticals of us, the more serious E learning will be taken.
People need to be given their own time to embrace technology rather
than been forced & rushed into it which seems to be the mentality of
its advocates’. Having said all that, without all these wonderful
technology, for someone like myself who is visually impaired, would
find myself unable to read and write let alone doing a masters degree,
employed somewhere or even have platform for social life.


Józefa Fawcett said...

Yahye, we cannot let our first impressions completely colour our judgement forever, we have to learn to explore and expand our understanding before we make rash decisions. This is true for all walks of life, work and management.

Student said...

Hello Jozefa!

I think that the problem may lie on individual needs as well as on how well and conscient the organisation delivers the online training. Sometimes the training will impress the user by its technological resources but it won't translate the individual needs. I.e. the individual might be looking for a quick training - mostly because he/she does not have enough time to go to classroom sessions and prefers learning through online resources -, however, the organisation 'throws' lots of information and introductory manuals of how to use all those resources, which miss the point of this particular individual need. Also, it does not seem interesting to me to enroll in an online training about interpersonal relations, for instance - where interaction with other individuals seems to be necessary. By that I mean that online training should not be suitable for any subject, and even on more mechanic topics (such as computer skills training), there should be some kind of human support and coaching.