Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Don't tell me you sell 'learning'

I totally agree.

What learning is NOT is a product. It can NOT be shrink-wrapped. It can NOT be updated to version 1.2. It does NOT rely on a particular OS or even give a crap about what version of the Web we happen to on.

I agree we should encourage semantic accuracy. Start to say
Sell training. Sell systems that manage training or resources. Sell hardware or software but don't tell me you sell 'learning'

Unfortunately, a lot of money in elearning comes from corporate training (or big system sold to education institutes) and everyone in the market is chasing after the money. LMS is a good example. The correct term should be "Learner management system". But it does not sound as good as "Learning" management system. So the marketing people decides to use the latter - which is absolutely abuse of language.

Since when we started hearing about ROI in training - when big business (and the managers who supported the buying of training) needs to justify the cost to their boss who has no idea of what is learning. ROI is coined and given numbers - artificial numbers.

If we want to continue to sell to business for their training dollars, unfortunately, the word "learning" will coninue to be abused.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our team at the Gilfus Education Group just released this white paper to provide critical insights to practitioners while clarifying "Social Learning" as a concept.

Social Learning Buzz Masks Deeper Dimensions Mitigating the confusion surrounding “Social Learning” (Download Here)

It is our hope that by leveraging socially based technologies the education industry can shape a new educational technology paradigm that realizes the promises of true “Social Learning”.

By understanding its applications we can create a unique opportunity to improve student engagement, student retention, academic success and overall educational outcomes.

– Stephen Gilfus, Gilfus Education Group (Founder Blackboard Inc. left the organization in 2007)