I keep an eye on several eLearning blogs, and I noticed a convergence between a few posts this week that relate to something I discussed not too long ago (Short Bursts of eLearning).
First, Clive Shepherd wrote a post (Rapid e-learning means more than quick tutorials) where he talks about using a variety of tools for creating rapid eLearning. He emphasizes that we now have a multitude of development tools which allow novices and professionals to build job aids and other just-in-time learning materials. These tools are generally easier to use and more available than our more traditional tools that are used to create courses or tutorials.
Second, George Siemens wrote a post (A World without Courses) that has generated a good discussion. He notes that people still gravitate toward the traditional eLearning course model, and wonders aloud if this is still the best approach for all situations. He asks an important question, related to smaller chunks – or short bursts – of learning, that is still bouncing around in my head: How do we organize this stuff? In a large organization, I could easily see scores of job aids and performance support tools. How do we make all of this easily accessible for learners? Not all of these tools would talk to the LMS, I imagine. And I’m not looking for a way to track individual usage and scoring; I’m looking for a way to organize these resources for the learner. When they need help, where should they go? Is it as "simple" as creating an in-house centralized repository to house these resources? (Wow, that sounds eerily similar to an LMS.)
Do we need to apply the Google search approach to learning, and allow the learner to search for what they need? I’m guessing this is an (untapped?) area for a vendor to step up and address. If there’s a product or service that offers something like this, please chime in and let me know…
B.J. is the Founding Editor of eLearning Weekly and has contributed more than 150 articles. He works in elearning at Qualcomm, focusing on mobile learning.