Wednesday, October 3, 2007

If the CFO knows the waste of non-reusable e-learning content, would they approve the budget?

REUSABILITY is not a technical term; it should be a term for the learners.

Those of us who design systems use the word "reusability" from a technical view without understanding what the learners really want or need.

What does reusability mean to learners?

It means that the learner can reuse content when it is needed. When? Instantly, and as needed.

Most LMS and LCMS providers claim their software allows content reusability and that users will be able to revisit content after they have completed their online courses. The problem is that content is assembled into huge packages of files delivered in enclosed formats like Flash, HTML or PowerPoint. So, if I were the learner and I want a quick solution to a problem, I would want to reuse a small idea or knowledge, and not the whole content. This is where the crux of the problem lies. Huge content is not reusable. After one-time learning, learners don't reuse them on the job.

This is like buying an expensive dress (e-Learning content and LMS) and throwing it away after one use. Sad but true. It is costly. Most e-Learning programs are for one-time use. If CFOs know the truth behind this capital investment, it would be disapproved.

Instructional designers, leaders, and managers should rethink how they assemble e-Learning content? Can they make them into snippets, vignettes or smaller lessons? Will this aid in easy retrieval for the learners to use?


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