I stumbled on an interesting post today by eLearning Designer Jeffery Goldman called "Perceived Advantages and Disadvantages". Goldman has compiled the results of some recent input from trainers and training managers at a classroom-based session he conducted, on what they perceive to be the advantages and disadvantages of eLearning.
Here are the 12 disadvantages (or challenges as Goldman sees them -I agree) the trainers raised and a look at how valid they are:
- Not for all learners - you could argue that classroom-based learning is not for all users either
- Not for all types of content - LMS' cater to so many types of content, but it would be difficult for a hands-on, group creative task to be replicated, except through the use of 3D learning software. In this instance, a blended learning program may be the answer
- Development time/cost - again, you could argue that class-room based learning also has initial development time/costs and ongoings as well. (But at least with online learning there's no more travel, meeting room hire, and lunch costs!)
- Need an LMS to implement - this goes without saying that an LMS is needed to roll out an online learning program and choosing the right one will take some time
- Out-of-date content (if not reviewed regularly) - the same is true for classroom-based learning material which needs to be updated regularly as well
- Not for computer illiterate - True, but the numbers of homes with a computer are growing rapidly e.g. in 2007 70% of homes in the UK, in 2007-2008, 75% of homes in Australia. Perhaps we could put a positive spin on this 'disadvantage' because the trainee will a) familiarize themselves with a computer while b) learning the course content