Ok, so the Learning Circuits Blog has their January Big Question out. I wonder where they get these? Are they solicited from questions real users have? That’d be cool. The reason I ask is this one seems like a no-brainer…
The question is: What are the trade offs between quality learning programs and rapid e-learning and how do you decide?
Actually, the short answer to the latter is which one will cost you less ;). If we think that by informing our learners of the reasoning and the change they’ll be able to make the change, we don’t need a full course. If we think that we’ll need to inform our learners of the change and then given them considerable practice to address reliable misconceptions in execution and hone their abilities before they won’t make mistakes that cost dollars and lives, we’ll need quality learning.
Which, of course, informs you of the tradeoffs. Quality learning costs more, but delivers reliable change. Rapid learning costs less, and works if you have compliant or expert learners who only need an information update to change their behaviors.
The point is that we need to be looking at a broader space of solutions than just elearning courses. If we move to a performance focus, we’ll see that there are times where just an update of how things have changed is sufficient, or we only need to change the references or job aids, and sometimes we have a need for a major change to skill set.