Monday, January 15, 2007

Speed is not the antithesis of quality

Response to LCB’s Big Question for January

Training is a lot less fuzzy compared to education. Every training programme, if it has to make sense, ought to have a clear performance goal. If a training programme fails to achieve this goal, it should be considered a failure, irrespective of whether the programme was designed using a rapid e-learning tool or not.

In this context, a quality product means a product that enables a learner to achieve this goal (which in turn could mean long term retention and the ability to use the knowledge gained). Therefore, we must realize that the term "quality" (in the sense of “superior”) has no meaning unless defined against clear parameters. Suppose, you go through an e-learning product and say, “Hey, that’s an excellent programme,” what does it really mean? It simply means that the product meets most of the criteria that you have (ill) defined for what constitutes an excellent program.

Sometimes, the training goal could be as simple as making some relevant information (the knowledge of which is essential to performing the job) available to users in a structured, easy-to-digest manner—-which can be pulled up as and when needed in a google kind of way. Sometimes, it could be more complex, such as enabling marketing mangers to come up with an innovative marketing strategy based on available data. Whatever be the instructional challenge, the focus should be to find the most appropriate learning solution that can be rolled out in “reasonable time” (when the content is still relevant, when things have to be addressed quickly, before costly mistakes are made…)

Quality in e-learning need not be about 3D animation or fancy games. It’s about learning and performance. If 3D animation can help achieve this goal better, then that’s the way to go. But that doesn’t mean that things that are done “rapidly” will always be of poor quality. If a rapid e-learning tool can help one develop a simulation in less time compared to not using a tool, why shouldn’t one use this tool? Just look at where we are posting our responses. A blog is, among other things, also a rapid publishing tool. Can it be held responsible for the quality of our writing?


Anonymous Dave Lee, LCB Blogmeister said...

The comments on this post are being tracked and aggregated as part of Learning Circuits Blog's The Big Question for January. Thanks for participating, Anil!

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Dave Lee said...


I feel like I should just put a link with a big arrow pointing to your blog saying "What he said."

I agree with you 100% Traditionally we've been way off regarding what we called quality and what timeliness is.

But did you have to go and point out that blogs are rapid learning tools? I suppose this means I have to correct all my typos now! LOL

2:58 AM  
Blogger Aswin said...

Cant' agree more with your views!! But unfortunately, in India, MNC's or even training institutes do not seem to understand the meaning of a GOOD TRAINING PROGRAM.

If we take most of our e-learning courses created by Indian companies, you will either find jazzy multimedia presentations, or game based courses( that seldom divert the learner in to playing games rather than learning the concept) & worst of all, Page Turners( Courses with tonnes of content). Many of them are NOT-AT-ALl GOAL ORIENTED.

Coming to blogs, i just realized the importance of writing good, concise and crisp posts.
Thanks for the valuable and throught-provoking advice :-)

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Thirupathi said...

This is a good article the business men want to know about the marketing strategy. Who are interesting visit the site marketing strategy

4:03 AM  
Anonymous free ps3 said...

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4:27 AM  

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