Wednesday, 2 July 2008


The other day, a prospective client asked me if I was a zealot – an e-learning zealot. I thought it was an odd question. I responded that I regard e-learning as one of a number of useful approaches to learning and development, alongside classroom-based learning, work-based learning, coaching and mentoring approaches, innovative approaches, and others. This response seemed to go down well – apparently I had demonstrated that I wasn’t a zealot.

But who exactly are these “zealots” that my prospect – and perhaps other learning and development professionals – fear?

Surely there isn’t anyone out there now (there may have been ten years ago) who seriously believes e-learning is the best or only approach to learning, or should be the default approach? Surely nobody actually thinks we should abandon all – or even most – of our learning approaches and put everything online?

I used to think trainers who feared e-learning meant their jobs would be replaced by computers were hopelessly naïve, but perhaps this sort of fear is more widespread than I thought?

What sort of message have e-learning vendors been getting across for the past ten years if this sort of fear persists?

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