“Past experiences can result in ‘misadoption’ of e-learning”

September 13, 2010

Is this the adoption curve for next generation of e-learning? I’m beginning to think it is. And I’m thinking it may stay that way unless there is an awareness of personal beliefs as it relates to usage of e-learning.

An older paper by Dr. Irina Elgot I recently ran across doing some research really resonated with me. Called “E-learning adoption: Bridging the Chasm“, the paper considers possible reasons for e-learning not reaching its full potential. Elgot mentions the socio-cultural, intra-and interpersonal factors, with a special focus on the personal decisions made by [instructors].


“…suggests approaching the e-learning innovation as a multidimensional process located in two planes: the plane of technology and the plane of pedagogy (or teaching and learning). Conflating these two separate aspects when evaluating the progress of e-learning adoption is counter-productive. At any given point in time both individual and institutional adoption of e-learning can be undergoing different adoption cycles; and it appears that currently the adoption of e-learning technologies, especially LMS, is located at a more advanced adoption stages compared to the teaching and learning innovation.”

“This is why research in e-learning adoption…indicates that the roots of the problems with e-learning are primarily associated with teaching and learning processes, rather than with the use of technology per se. This can be referred to as the e-learning chasm. The chasm, in this case, is not located within a linear adoption process but between the two interrelated but distinct components of e-learning: adoption of the e-learning technology innovation and adoption of the e-learning pedagogy innovation.”

So if an instructor thinks voicing over his or her PowerPoint and uploading it into the LMS is the right approach, he or she will continue to instruct that way regardless of delivery channel. Elgot says, to overcome the e-learning chasm, instructors need to make their theories explicit. I just don’t see that in corporate L&D, especially when SMEs create the content. If your e-learning is not reaching its full potential. maybe its because people don’t know they always approach instructing the same way and can’t envision another way because they’ve never been exposed to it. When you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail, right?

Curve via Scott McLeod (who’s wondering if we’re too harsh on our teacher’s kids and suggesting that over time, “we [edubloggers] begin to normalize these actions and internalize them as ‘best’ or ‘desired’ practice.” (I’d say yes to the latter.)

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