Sunday, 19 December 2004

It’s all about rich e-learning experiences

The opening paragraph (by Maish R Nichani) is (with my emphasis):

Here are my thoughts on the current discussion between focusing on tasks and focusing on information in an e-learning course. Amy Gahran points out that a task-oriented approach is more effective in most e-learning than an information oriented approach. My point is that a decision-making or an execution-based approach is even better. Decisions are what business organizations are about. The need to perform a task or to acquire information really depends on the decision you are trying to make. Thus, know-how is equally important as know-why or know-what, it really depends on the decision.

The rest of the post tells a convincing approach to more effective e-learning.

My reflection on this is why we only think in terms of tasks and information. A memorable, life-changing experience is not necessarily tasks nor information oriented. We, human, are blessed by our ability to learn from first person, simulated, second person and third person experience. The effectiveness of delivering an experience by narration depends on how well the story-teller can relate to the previous experience of the listener, in order to really triggers the links between the narrative and the existing base of experience of the listener. In many ways, narrative is still a uni-directional delivery. Tasks require operationally measurable output which may, or may not, reflect the rationale of doing the task in a certain way.

The author has used a very good title in the post "rich e-learning experiences". Rich experience implies a blended, clever and effective use of information and tasks. E-learning is about two or many directional exchange of ideas. When all the learners (or trainees) are exchanging meaningful stories related to the theme of the training, I would say we have a rich e-learning experiences.

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