Dear all, This is the newspaper report in today's Times of India. Though the news report is related to students taking higher education, it is very much applicable to employee learning as well.
The HR and Training Managers have shifted the mode of learning from classroom training to e-training. However, how many HR managers have conducted a survey of the efficacy of e-learning? I have been conducting the e-training in the last one and a quarter years. My observations are as below:
a) Not many companies are able to provide broadband connections. Far from video, these connections do not take load even for the audio.
b) Outdated laptops or PCs are unsuitable for e-learning.
c) Participants are expected to come early and ensure whether any connectivity or technical challenges are there or not. Many participants consider themselves VIPs and log in exactly when the training session commences. However, because of the non-connectivity or poor connectivity, neither they learn nor allow others to learn without disturbance.
d) Many times, to save the data, the video is kept off. However, this gives a facility to the participants to keep the session on and go away. Somewhere during the session, the faculties discover the non-availability of the participant.
e) To take COVID-19 safety precautions, many companies have closed their boardrooms. This forces the participants to sit at their work desks and learn. However, they have to do the learning amidst the constant background noise created by the other office staff.
f) There is a disturbance even at the home, too. In some homes, elders are not cooperative, whereas in a few others it is difficult to control the playfulness of the children.
g) A good number of HR and Training managers believe that participants cannot have a longer attention span in the online training. To tide over this challenge, the learning is restricted to just 2-3 hours only. However, working professionals are not students, and they lose the track of what was discussed yesterday.
Any training, be it classroom training or e-training or even self-learning, concentration is a must. How many HR or Training managers have conducted a study of the concentration level of the learners in e-learning sessions?
It is high time for the HR and Training Managers to conduct a survey on the efficacy of e-learning. Right now, e-learning is organised under a lot of assumptions. The survey outcome could lay bare these assumptions.
Notwithstanding, the observations given above, e-learning is not useless per se. Because of their lesser impact, if it is stopped, then it is akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Dinesh Divekar From India, Bangalore
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