Breaking Down Training Barriers with E-Learning
Adult learners differ from traditional students in many ways: the most obvious being the breadth of experience adults
bring to the table, and the responsibilities they must balance against the demands of learning. When these responsibilities
are not in sync with learning demands, barriers arise, making it difficult for employees to actively engage. As proactive
leaders, we must identify these barriers and address them in ways that free employees to maximize the benefits of training.
Time is often cited as the greatest barrier to corporate learning. With ever increasing workloads, employees complain
that they do not have sufficient time to devote to training, especially when training requires employees to leave their work
environment and enter a classroom. This barrier can be surmounted with the use of e-Learning. Courses can be available
at all times; allowing employees the flexibility needed to complete modules, as business needs allow.
Low motivation and fear of failure are other barriers to adult learning. Employees, who have had bad classroom
experiences in their youth, may be resistant to and frustrated at the prospect of becoming a student again. There is
also the fear of admitting, in front of their peers, that they might not know something when in a classroom together.
This can be mitigated by keeping learning objectives as closely tied to work functions as possible. Through the use
of e-Learning simulations, employees can develop confidence in their skills, in a nonthreatening environment.
Simulations also allow for practice, which can reduce learner anxiety.
Though e-Learning can remove many of the barriers to adult learning; it also creates barriers in its own right. Most
notably, these are barriers involving technology and support. While most adults have access to computers in their
professional or personal lives, not everyone is comfortable learning new software. Break this barrier by using
user-friendly modules that require employees to use the technical skills they already possess. Support can be
provided by leaders who are engaged in the learning process, and by technology that is functional and easy to navigate.
Keeping these barriers in mind while designing e-Learning training, will ensure higher employee participation and
motivation for your corporate learning initiatives.
For more information on TrainingFolks custom eLearning practice, please click here.