By Diana Lowe
VP of Special Interest Groups and Communication and Sales Trainer @ Dale Carnegie of Austin
Even though I have been in the world of training for quite some time I am always amazed at the new things I am learning from Austin ASTD events with our brilliant speakers and members.
I think to myself, “I should know this” “Must Google that website” or “What's the name of that L&D guru again!”
Recently, I sat in a meeting where they were talking about rapid elearning. I was thinking “What??” So if you are like me and feel a little lost because you are relatively new to L&D, transitioning into L&D, coming back to L&D after a time out of it or if you work in training delivery and are not involved the instructional design, here is a quick glance at rapid elearning.
What is it?
Although it is a term that is not clearly defined most people would agree that 'rapid elearning' means “easy tools that let you build elearning courses without special programming skills or sharing expertise at the speed of business.”
One blogger notes that the term rapid elearning “now normally means: rapid creation of courseware by people who are less experienced with courseware development particularly subject matter experts.” In the original 2004 Bersin & Associates report rapid elearning was defined by this criteria;
· Courseware which can be developed in less than three weeks
· Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) act as the primary resource for development
· A well-known tool (e.g. PowerPoint) or user-friendly templates form the starting point for courseware
· Simple assessment, feedback and tracking are usually provided
· Media elements which enhance learning but do not create technology barriers may be included (e.g. voice)
· Learning modules can be taken in one hour or less, often in less than 30 minutes.
· Synchronous (scheduled or live) and asynchronous (self-paced) models may be utilized.
In short it is short, bit-size courses delivered via the medium of online. To my surprise it is different to web based learning. Although it is a form of web based learning. It is sited that the main difference is “After creating an instructionally sound Design Document, content is created utilizing PowerPoint rather than a traditional web-based training
(WBT) storyboard, it is then published to its final e-Learning format.” Web based training requires that “the storyboards are then brought to life by a development team that could include graphic artists, multimedia developers, programmers, and network specialists.”
Meaning that rapid elearning can achieve the same training goals with less resources, less staff and can be created in a shorter time period.
Rapid Elearning in Business
As our world grows smaller due to the internet and we find our businesses and colleagues in different cities and time zones, the need for flexible training is more evident than ever. Enter rapid elearning.
“According to research by Bersin 89% of companies need to develop e-learning solutions within 3 weeks.” Tom Kuhlmann states, “Ultimately, it’s usually about getting the right information to people at the right time while operating at the speed of business.” And our speed of business is getting faster and faster with new iterations of technology.
“A Forrester survey published in March 2010 found that rapid e-learning is the fastest growing part of the e-learning market. Forrester found rapid e-learning is ideal where:
· speed is an issue
· content needs updating frequently
· content is being repurposed from other documents
· content which has a short shelf life
· budgets are low
“Over 50% of organizations Forrester surveyed used rapid elearning for:
· Compliance training
· Process and procedure training
· Desktop Systems/application training
(Information from http://www.kineo.com/rapid-elearning/)
Pro's and Con's of Rapid eLearning
Frogkick has a great 'green paper' on the pro's and con's of using rapid elearning.
· Shorter development cycle
· No formal programming resources required
· Sharp look and feel with user friendly navigation
· Interaction and quiz capabilities
· Reporting and LMS integration features
· Easy to update and maintain
· Traditionally, lower development costs than WBT
· Limited in the complexity of animations and streaming media capabilities
· Restricted in the complexity of interactions
· Must select from interactions within the tool
· Limited learner tracking capabilities
· Must select from tracking features within the tool
· Does not facilitate a learning object approachundefinedcan not leverage specific program elements across other training initiatives
How to Start
ASTD ID/elearning SIG Leaders have noticed that more and more roles in L&D are asking for rapid elearning experience.
Members site two instances when they really need to display their elearning skills.
Firstly, that they have experience and created course work but due to proprietary information have not been able to keep it. Secondly, rapid elearning course creation wasn't a requirement in a previous role. So how can they build a portfolio to build and demonstrate their skill.
Well we have some exciting news . . . starting this month Austin ASTD are working on pilot “Rapid Elearning” program. A program that is the first of it kind for Rapid Elearning. Pilot participants will be able to learn the skills of Captivate 7, and create their own portfolio to keep, to learn more about how Captivate 7 works, to demonstrate continuing professional development, and to show potential employers.
Are you interested in signing up? If so please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or check out http://bit.ly/13v7ujOand you will be added to our list.
For additional resources on rapid elearning please find a list of site below!
Sources and Resources