Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is eLearning 2.0 Going to Replace eLearning 1.0?

Definitely not.

eLearning 1.0 (WBT/CBT) and eLearning 2.0 (social/informal learning) are two different solutions for two different workplace learning requirements. The former addresses specific performance-based learning objectives, whereas the latter caters to broad, unspecified learning needs. Although eLearning 2.0 has become crucial in the constantly-changing knowledge environment of today, it is certainly not going to replace either synchronous training (ILT) or asynchronous training (eLearning 1.0). There will always be certain learning needs in the workplace that would be best met through training interventions.

In a recent blog post Kevin Jones described training and social learning as subsets of a broader category, namely, workplace learning. Each of these subsets has a unique and irreplaceable role. Kevin's post has a nice graphic too.

As I see it, eLearning is a subset of Training is a subset of Learning is a subset of Performance Improvement is a means to the end: Accomplishing goals – in this case business goals, but more often personal goals.

There are many ways to learn. Training is one way. Whether that be eLearning or ILT (instructor led training). Other ways? Social learning (of course), job aids, experiential discovery, mentoring and a thousand other subtle ways.

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