For organisations looking for the first time at e-learning in training, the first step is to get a clear idea of what e-learning is—and what it is not. Ideas that were true some years ago might not hold now. Here are five notions about e-learning as a training solution—some true, some false.

#1. “An e-learning course demands that learners be self-motivated”

Myth or Reality: Myth

We’re all aware that fonts have a psychological impact, even if we aren’t sure exactly what the impact of a particular font is. I’ve always suspected that the psychological effect translates to an effect on cognition, or learning. (Some of you reading this might say that’s obvious.) It turns out that there have been a couple of studies along these lines.

Probably the most common complaint about e-learning courses is "long, boring bullet lists."

For writers, it's all too tempting to put together many lines (from the source material) on one page and segment them into bullets. It takes work to organise the info, and a little more to reduce on-screen text. But it's worth the effort!

In terms of attitudes to Internet use, we see all sorts today. Some still use paper and pen, only occasionally looking up information online, while others do everything online. Just the same way, some read print newspapers, others read their news online, and so on.

By “knowledge checks,” I’m referring to the short evaluations that punctuate a learning package. They’re also called recall screens, recall exercises, quizzes, or something else. Here’s a mix of ideas, random thoughts, and tips about knowledge checks.

“Knowledge checks are boring and useless...”?

I’ve seen people dismiss recall quizzes for various reasons:

It’s sometimes an important question for a course/presentation designer: “How long is the average attention span?” or “How long can a person stay focused on a topic?”

It’s a practical question, and you can make important decisions based on that elusive answer. But stay on the question long enough and you’ll see that there isn’t an answer. “How long is the average attention span?” It depends—on too many things.

YouTube EDU is news to me. I'm still wondering how I missed it—it’s pretty much like TV channels and classrooms right on the funny-videos site! So I took a good look, and here are the channels I liked best.

If you’ve decided to use an e-learning course for your training needs, you might hear the terms “Level 1 course,” … up to Level 4. These numbers indicate many things — the level of interactivity in the course, the complexity, the sophistication. Maybe you’ve been told that a Level 3 course is the best, while being the most expensive to develop. Or, maybe you’re just wondering what “level of interactivity” means. Here’s a primer.