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.