Recently I chanced upon meeting a gentleman who had spent over 15 years developing e-learning courses. When I casually asked him about his outlook on the future of e-learning, surprisingly he seemed to be totally lost!
On probing a little, I came to know from him that he had spent many years developing e-learning courses using Flash. He was having a good time till a couple of years ago when the wind went off his sails due to active proliferation of Rapid Authoring tools like Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate etc. coupled with the “mobile revolution” and the incompatibility of flash files with mobile devises.
As rapid authoring tools are easy to learn, I was wondering what actually could have gone wrong with this person?
Some of the answers I could identify are:
1. Living in denial: not able to accept change
2. Living in a comfort zone : I will still have enough to do
3. Resistance to learning something new; I am good at this but I am not sure if I can do well with that
When I look at these points, I find that they are equally true for both organizations and individuals.
If you have an e-learning course developed a few years ago, and there seems to be no problem (at-least on the face of it), the usual tendency is to let it continue as is.
However, with changing lifestyles, the learning styles are changing very fast too.
If you don’t constantly adapt to the latest happenings; one small step at a time, you will be left far behind and will have to rely on a “giant leap of faith” to cope up, which may not always land you on terra firma.
So if you have legacy e-learning courses running in your organization, it is time for you to UPDATE them with the latest contexts and UPGRADE them to be compatible with the latest technology being used by the learners to achieve the desired results.
What is good today; may be obsolete tomorrow!
When it comes to upgrading and updating legacy e-learning courses, the common tendency is to dump the courses on to the e-learning department (or vendor) and ask them to revive them.
While this may seem to be an easy solution, it may not always yield the best results.
For every course, it is important to gauge
1. How much of the content has changed in today’s context?
2. How well can some of the newer technologies be used to provide a better learning experience of the topic (eg. Simulation, gamification etc.) ?
3. Cost Vs Benefit Analysis (of modifying Vs creating new)
Once answers to these three questions are in place, you are ready to make the decision to refurbish an old course or create a brand new one (many times, cost and benefits of creating a new course far outweigh modifying an old one)
As we race forward year on year, its time to take a quick look at our courses and decide which of them are “future proof” and which of them need to RIP and be replaced with new wonderful Responsive Learning modules to last the next few years!