What needs to happen for us to be able to call something e-learnig, and what is needed to make it work? In this article we explain why accessibility is more important than quality. Almost unavoidable quality requirements are usually an obstacle in the way of making digital education courses that are ’good enough’ to be used in an everyday environment. Knowledge is too important to not be taken seriously!
What is E-learning?
What is e-learning really? The very simple definition is that it is education that is done on a screen, but it can also be so much more than just ’giving power to paper’. E-learning gives, amount other things, opportunities for unsynchronised learning in a different way than that available in a classroom, and is provides a larger opportunity for repetition. These are just some of the many advantages that are provided by digital media in connection to education.
"Employees have not got good enough competence with digital tools. More time is needed for education. The business often has too little capacity to be able to maintain and update IT support functions and routines"
Truths Don't Last Forever
As I mentioned earlier, there are many advantages with e-learning. Independency of time and place, for example. And the opportunity to reach as many students as possible whilst keeping costs for the course low. There are multiple reasons as to why a work day should be filled of these opportunities. Nevertheless, there are still too many things that never get done like e-learning, just because making it is considered expensive or time costly. This is something that has appeared in a project by the Norwegian DIFI (Direktoratet for Forvaltning go IKT), ”Tidstyver i forvaltningen” (Time thieves in the management). The time thief is decrieded as follows: ”Employees are not competent enough when it comes to digital tools. More time for education is needed… The business has too little capacity to maintain and update IT support functions and routines.”.
Does it need to be like this? Is knowledge worth less because few need it? Is it less important to learn something when the information constantly needs to be changed? In my opinion it is the opposite. If it is a procedure or task that constantly changes it becomes even more important to alway have access to the correct information. It becomes even more important for a task to be done the right way when only a few people are performing it.
And What About Everything Else?
It may be here that the difference between a course and daily learning is more distinct. More and more knowledge can easily be made accessible in an everyday-learning environment instead of a course that quickly becomes outdated, or that beaches unusable as an encyclopaedia. Surveys by Charles Jennings, and others, show that courses only stand for 10% of all education in an organisation. The main sources of knowledge are work experience and dialoge with colleges and other resource-personell.
It is presumably not difficult for you to quickly identify a number of routines and tasks where there should be e-learning. Every day, our customers show us that there are hundreds of things in every organisation that can be mediated better. User manuals, use of business critical and less critical software, routines, processes, mechanical equipment, work methods - the list can be as long as you want.
How is this type of knowledge mediated today? Probably in many ways, though different systems, on post-it-notes etc. And i a worst-case-scenario it may not be mediated at all.
Good Enough is Perfect!
There can be, as we have already talked about, many reasons to not create any e-learning. Insufficient time and resources may be one of them, but in most cases a lack of ambition and high expectations are reasons e-learning is not created. I cases like this ’good enough’ is perfect! It is better to be able to offer knowledge in a simple format than to not be able to do it at all. And it may happen that you will be happily surprised by how easy it is to create pedagogically good and easily read educational items, or Guides, as we call them in InfoCaption’s universe. And last but not least, maintain and share them.
By building an explorable knowledge base containing guides and other resources makes the knowledge easily accessible as a daily learning resource.