In one of my earlier post, I rued about the fallacy of levels based estimation and their mis-application in real world. This post is an attempt to bring about a change from that practice through a series of thought applications that could well then give the insight for a better model.
The large difference that can be seen in vast variety of e-Learning courses is the ability of courses, irrespective of multimedia quality, assessed on following styles.
1. Are the courses "flow through" materials. Take once, visit once in a while, strike through a task, fulfill a mandatory clause.
Knowledge gained: May be! But better than having nothing or print outs or slides with text and a boring presenter.
2. Are the courses retentive enough. Internal presentations, brochures, a communication from CEO, a function, an event organization, remain talking points for quite some time in the period. They allow for enough retention of the materials and subject. Blended learning model is very critical to ensure and enhance retention.
Knowledge gained: Yes, at-least the takeaways!
3. Are the courses comprehensible? Which means, are they materials allowing people to refer, quote, and provide feedback on the actual working vs training material content.
Knowledge Gained: Goes beyond. People think about its application and contexts they fit in.
4. Do the courses change a behaviour? This is audacious to say that training alone achieved it. But when a tool/task/action is performed as it has been told vs now know why it needs to be done, then training is a factor (People can articulate the "What is in it for me" question). When a product gets a familiar greeting, then training is a factor (When people can train others on the features with minimal exposure- Think Google Wave videos). When a sub concious or an unconcious act is now executed conciously, then training is a factor (I didn't know the rules earlier. Having made to take the course, I now know fully well when I am breaking the rules.)
Knowledge Gained: Yes and Applied in situations. What crooks do is apply them towards greater sadistic pleasure, while good people apply them to ease/improve/change for good and better for the ecosystem concerned.
One important point, each of them carry equal cost and weight. The context differs. The content maturity levels decide, the availability of subject experts determine the style level of courses.
Are all 4 e-Learning ? That needs to be a discussion. Looking forward to your comments.