eLearning at EASY – is this for real?
The word “eLearning” keeps coming up in our discussions as we are beginning to re-structure EASY Training Academy. And immediately there are as many ideas about what eLearning actually is as there are discussion participants. Of course, we could just go ahead and check out what Wikipedia has to say about this term. Perhaps as a most notably German enterprise in the German-speaking market we should do just that.
“Nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.”
But as an internationally growing enterprise in the English-speaking market, this is not really an option for us because there is no definition of eLearning on the English Wikipedia pages: Nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Just a great void. Instead, our query is re-directed to “educational technology”. Wait – “educational technology”? But that’s not the same as “eLearning”! That’s right, it isn’t! So, how will we define eLearning, or does it actually exist only outside the English-speaking world?
Active or passive?
That’s a good question. We might take this a step further and consider the following: “Does eLearning exist at all”? We will get a bit closer to an answer to this question if we agree that “training” is a passive process for trainees (I am being trained), whereas “learning” is an active process (I am doing something). In this context, speaking about eLearning does, in fact, sound a bit odd. Just conceive of the following rather abstruse statements: “Please don’t pull the plug, I’m learning electronically” or “I can only learn mechanically today because my batteries for electronic learning are dead”. Such statements may at best be somewhat embarrassing excuses for a lack of knowledge in foreign language tests at school. Yet they force us to admit that an active learning process that is done electronically, hence “eLearning, as such, does not exist. It is not for real. Nowhere, including EASY.
Giving maximum support to learners
So what are we talking about when we discuss the introduction of eLearning courses at EASY Training Academy? Basically, we want to point out that we have begun to put a lot more emphasis on “instructional design”, i.e. the development of training products that are optimized for educational success. Of course, this implies that we understand both the content that we teach and our training participants — and well enough at that to be able to ensure maximum support to these learners through our training products.
That’s why we’re talking about educational technology
Whenever we start a conversation with “we create eLearning courses”, it quickly becomes a confused, boring, or even uncomfortable conversation, but when we skip to “We create interactive training videos”, people light up. And at that point we start talking about “educational technology”…