Posted by: Gillian | August 10, 2009

Elearning is boring

On Friday I was asked to take a quick look at a piece of elearning and see what I thought of it.  ‘Pedagogically dire’ and ‘Ladybird book online’ were just two of the more repeatable phrases that came to mind.  If that is the quality of corporate elearning, I’m not surprised I find people who say it is boring.  There is no excuse for it as some superb interactive, interesting learning can be done for almost free using a file that is little more than a well-chosen set of hyperlinks.

In the corporate world, you may have little choice but to endure programs that leap from cartoon characters wondering if a topic is important to slides where the content does not fit on the screen but if you are going to a university or college where elearning is part of the course, you do have a choice: you can go elsewhere.  If you cannot see examples of your intended university programme’s elearning on YouTube or in an open wiki or on the departmental (not university) website, ask the Course Director for a preview. If you find yourself thinking ‘boring’ or ‘pretty pictures’ or ‘how do I stop this thing?’, try elsewhere.  You should feel like an intelligent adult involved in finding out and in charge of your own learning.  You should also get to the end feeling you have learned more about your subject area than you have about computer programs or educational pyrotechnics.


  1. I found a good site that has information for adults that are looking to go back to school but want the actual campus experience.

    • Thanks, Joy, for the link which can be a useful resource for US-residents looking at higher education. The comments in this blogpost on elearning are aimed at corporate, campus and distance experiences of how elearning is sometimes presented and I’m certainly not saying elearning is bad, nor that you can avoid it by going to a campus as the likelihood is that any campus course in the West will include some elearning.
      I’ve cited methods of finding good campus-based learning on previous occasions but, since you remind me, it is probably time I did another post on the subject for a global audience.

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