Stop tracking your learners. Care for them instead.

The focus on data just got so much out of hand in the e-learning sector that there is now a new(ish) buzz word: ‘big data’. Yep. The e-learning machine isn’t yet data-focused enough – now we found a way to run harder/faster in the wrong direction… we’re going ‘big’.

Folks who know me – or have been following my blog – know I’m highly sceptical when we spend more time on data tracking (harvesting, mining, analysing…) than on creating and nurturing the magic of good/deep learning. You can’t track magic. Along the same lines, I never fell into the Return On Investment (ROI) obsession either. I’m totally with Craig Weiss, who explains better than I could that there is no such thing as ROI when it comes to training.

Data obsession is one of the clearest signs that we have gone off track. Learners are telling the sector loud and clear that the vast majority of e-learning courses aren’t inspiring them, but we prefer putting our heads in the sand and keep harvesting data. And you know what? That data is telling us a lot about things that don’t really matter. The things that do matter can’t be captured.

So stop tracking your learners and listen to them instead. Why do they still prefer the old face-to-face workshop (especially if it used to be a good one) to the e-learning course they got instead? What’s missing to bring the magic back? No big data will tell you that.

So e-learning can’t emulate (good) face-to-face training?
If you can’t package the knowledge, then don’t package your courses.

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