Some of the spectacular failures of digital or e-learning has left some of us a little bruised and distrustful in terms of using technology as a way to learn. We would like to also unpack and clarify a few misconceptions or myths with regard to the digital learning landscape. Most of these are based on our own experiences and interactions with a number of companies over the past years. In this article we would unpack the final 3.
Myth #4: It is too difficult for beneficiaries to use digital learning due to lack of computing devices and network access
This is probably one of the most difficult barriers. However, it has been proven possible to overcome and work around information and communication hurdles in nearly every environment. It requires careful planning considering what is currently available that can be leveraged. It asks for the courage to open our minds and to think differently.
Myth #5: Digital learning threatens the facilitator’s job
A research study found that digital learning typically requires from 40% to 60% fewer instructor or facilitator time than the same material delivered in a traditional classroom setting (Evans, 2013). This can be seen as either a threat or an opportunity for facilitators. The freeing up of time allows the facilitator to re-skill themselves and to transition to a new way of looking how adults learn in a digital space. It also allows facilitators to undertake more one to one coaching, or engage with individuals on a personal basis in areas of specific need.
Myth #6: Digital learning is not social
This was one of the biggest mistakes made in our industry (and admittedly one we made ourselves) – we forgot that humans are social in nature and that they learn using social interaction. Successfully deploying digital learning doesn’t remove the social component of learning. Social Cognitive theory, is a formal theory of learning that asserts that people learn from observing others in their social environments. Technology increases our abilities to provide models for students/ learners to observe and to practice skills. It is also important to remember that digital learning does not replace the social interaction needs of people.