Call me a spoil sport, call me a traditionalist desperately holding out against new trends, but terms such as “Speed is King” and “Rapid Creation” in the context of e-learning sends a chill down my spine. To me, speed often means “plain vanilla” and “no jazz” and “no fun”, because there is just not enough time or resources to add such elements.
I do understand the compelling business requirements that drive Rapid e-Learning. I appreciate the needs of businesses to deliver rapidly-changing information such as the latest product knowledge, competitive intelligence, and corporate initiatives that help employees to respond quickly. We are all living in “future shock” zone and acceleration has become a way of life.
But whither fun learning? What about learning that is engaging, interactive and exciting? What about the amazing things that can be done on the (not so anymore) new medium that adds to the learning experience?
My angst is that of a learner, not of a developer.
When I was 10 years old, my all-consuming passion was to learn Indian classical dance. Fearing that I will waste away with the longing, my parents arranged for an instructor in great haste. She came with excellent credentials—she was a product of one of the premier performing arts institute and had a lot of successful students.
enterprise lasted for a tenuous 18-month period despite my high levels of
motivation because the instructor just failed to engage me in the process. In
fact, she managed to de-motivate me with her unimaginative,
“don’t-ask-questions-because-it’s-the-way-things-are-done” approach. I think
both of us heaved a sigh of relief when I dropped out in the end.
been more-or-less the story of my life. Suffice to say that I was never popular
with my teachers.
This is perhaps why I am always pushing the envelope when it comes to participative learning experiences.
Give me games; give me case studies that I can sink my teeth into; give me “wow” concept diagrams to fix my mental models; give me an exploratory learning experience that sharpens my “aha” moments; give me humor—in short, give me fun!
(Priya Thiagarajan is a Senior Instructional Design Consultant at TIS)