Friday, June 27, 2014

Training Trouble: Why E-Learning Doesn't Work for Everyone

I took a little look back at my calendar today and it seemed high time for a blog. My colleagues and I took a little hiatus to finish up the first draft of our corporate book—a project 6 months in the making and one we are very excited to be bringing your way soon. Check back throughout the year for more information about how to get a copy of our step-by-step guide, From Here to Security.

But for now, we're back in the business of blogging—and with something a little different this time.
e-learning, online training, online courses, security awareness training
I know my blogs usually cover ITSec, security breaches, and big business blunders when it comes to securing sensitive information. But in my work on the book, I've really felt a renewed interest in covering the "Why" of all that. Why are companies struggling to close the gaps in corporate security? Why are we seeing a dramatic rise in security breaches in the news?

While I don't believe there is one right answer that covers everyone, I do think that inadequate training has a lot to do with it.

I was poking around some e-learning sites today and stumbled across this article: 5 Reasons that Everyone Should Know: Why E-learning Projects Fail. And, in fact, Sonal Paul does a pretty good job laying out a number of the pitfalls companies fall in when establishing an online training program. According to Paul, the 5 main problems are

  • Poor Need Analysis
  • Gaps in Communication
  • Poor Project Management
  • Failing to Understand the Learner
  • Wrong Instructional Strategy

Bing, bing, bing! That list hits some pretty big nails right on the head. As a company that specializes in crafting training campaigns and individual courses for big businesses, I'd say that our clients run into at least one of these in almost every project (and especially big projects usually struggle with all five).

But listing the problems doesn't even come close to solving them. Many of our e-learning clients would be ill-equipped to address these issues even if they were well aware of the problems up front. So I'd like to take Paul's article a step further and offer some practical advice on each of these points.