Monday, October 03, 2005
Meet Your New Teacher
New technologies revive interest in E-learning as businesses find that online lessons let them train more people and cut costs
By J. Nicholas Hoover
Many companies that have embarked on E-learning efforts simply want to cut their training costs and do a better job of tracking who gets what training. E-learning also has been viewed as a way to cut the time it takes to train employees. "Most thought they could shortcut what had traditionally been learning," says consultant Jay Cross, who coined the phrase E-learning in 1998.
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Companies now have a wide range of E-learning options and technologies from which to chose, and they need to find the right combination to suit their needs. "There aren't any magic bullets," says E-learning consultant Cross.
One major challenge is how to handle informal learning, the typically unstructured learning that goes on each day in hallway or water-cooler conversations, company E-mails, or when employees have to learn a new task on the fly. It goes beyond what's taught in classrooms and represents as much as 80% of all learning, according to experts.