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E-learning: What’s Really Important

In the past thirty or so years, e-learning, or computerized learning, has become a part of the widespread culture, not just in schools and universities, but in business organizations and companies as well.

During this time, hundreds of research studies were conducted in an attempt to understand how e-learning works, why it works, how it is better than traditional, non-computer-based learning, and how to improve e-learning results.

Unfortunately, a review of these studies does not lead to anything conclusive.

That’s where Dr Tal Nevo, the founder of Blossom KC, comes into the picture.

In 2007, Dr Nevo was finishing his doctoral thesis at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, a prestigious technology-focused university in Haifa, Israel. In response to the growing demand for e-learning processes in organizations and educational institutions, Dr Nevo focused on research in the field of cognitive psychology and computerized learning. What Dr Nevo discovered formed the foundation for the Blossom intra-organizational e-learning platform, which is today implemented in organizations in a range of industries all over the world.

E-learning is much more than just computerized education. It encompasses a wide variety of methods and materials, from simple digital books to complex, interactive programs. Clearly, computerized learning tools offer a range of capabilities and features above and beyond conventional learning. But it’s not just about what the technology or tool has to offer – it’s about the way people use these tools, and the ways they assimilate information learned via computerized learning tools, in contrast to non-digital ones.

 

How learning digitally is different

Does computerization change the way people comprehend information? Does it alter the way they interact with their trainers and colleagues? How to get the most from e-learning tools? These questions return us to the more basic fundamentals of why and how e-learning works.

In order to answer these questions, Dr Nevo conducted several experiments, and the results were often surprising.

Improving comprehension

The first part of the study examined the effects of various distribution methods of comprehension questions on success in tests for short- and long-term retention. The experiment used an equal number of comprehension questions, but in different configurations.

The results showed a definite advantage in learning effectiveness when using comprehension questions in contrast to not using comprehension questions. Further, the configuration of three comprehension questions, which was more challenging, was also more effective in long-term retention tests than just one comprehension question.

This showed that making small changes to the way that comprehension questions are used can significantly improve information retention. Yet at the same time, it is important not to make the computerized tasks too difficult, so the students don’t give up altogether and stop learning.

Rewarding learning

Further experiments focused on the issue of rewarding learning. In conventional learning methods, studies have shown that a low reward might be less effective for the quality of learning, than no reward at all. However, in the context of computerized learning, conventional theories about rewarding effective learning are not always valid. Providing feedback, incentives and rewards were shown to be even more powerful in e-learning environments, which makes them an important additional feature in e-learning platforms.

E-learning – A whole new world

Dr Nevo’s research showed that computerized learning is indeed a different world than traditional learning methods. And that means that organizations must adapt their e-learning tools to meet these new rules.

For example, employing minor changes in learning methods, such as the way comprehension questions are distributed, can lead to significant learning achievements among employees. Also, some of the most well-known and commonly used methods of effective learning such as giving feedback during learning or using reviews of the learnt material, have an even more powerful impact in computerized learning than conventional learning. In addition, employers can experiment with various rewards systems to enhance learning effectiveness for specific teams and modules.

E-learning offers a multitude of opportunities for convenient, effective learning, and it has a direct impact on employee performance and the company’s success. Blossom, a world leader in e-learning technology development, provides a wide range of e-learning tools as part of an advanced, comprehensive intra-organizational platform. Contact us to find out how Blossom can boost your organization’s e-learning effectiveness.

 

 

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