eLearning trends – quantity or quality?

Rapid development tools and applications such as iAuthor do not recognise the knowledge and skills needed to create quality eLearning. Their emphasis is on an application that can be used by anyone – quantity rather than quality.

I can relate this trend to what happened to library and literature research in the 1990s. Prior to then, the searching of online bibliographic databases was done by skilled librarians with the knowledge of the databases and how to search them. The result was precise searching and quality results.

The searching software was developed to simplify the search process and enable anyone to do the search. It became template driven. It is a wonderful achievement that so many people can search information, but the emphasis shifted from quality to quantity. The search results are no longer as precise and the searcher has to sift through hundreds of irrelevant references. What knowledge does the searcher have about the database to evaluate the quality of the search results?

Are we looking at the same trend in eLearning – lots of eLearning resources but very little quality? Learning that is driven by templates rather than a design for the learner? Where is the recognition of the knowledge and skills to develop eLearning? Can anyone do it?

Rapid development tools may simplify the process, but an understanding of learning, and skills in writing and designing for learning online, are still needed for quality.

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