Saturday, June 27, 2015

Digital Critique: How To Develop The Best Employee Training Through E-Learning

Digital Critique:
European Commission: How to develop the best employee training through E-Learning

My focal theme for this course is corporate eLearning, a theme I've maintained throughout the various courses my Master's program. In my search of digital stories I've noticed a deluge of videos promoting eLearning companies and their solutions. I find this an interesting observation and a sign of the importance of eLearning within enterprise business. Afterall, in a capitalistic economy, a presence of supply is an indication of demand.
Amidst the many promotional ad I found this short video produced by the European Commission specifically for the Tourism industry. In fact, the YouTube channel where this is found is the Tourism Business Portal with the video originating in the United Kingdom. The description of the video is as follows:
Discover the main characteristics of e-learning as well as the advantages that this training provides to workers in the sector. You will also learn how to identify a quality e-learning course.

I chose to share and evaluate this video for a few reasons. First, the European Commission, an intergovernmental organization, is telling the story to a vast audience and I wanted to examine the effectiveness of the message. And second, I want to highlight which content is present and which what is potentially missing. To do this evaluation, I draw upon Jason Ohler's "Assessment Traits" with specific attention to story, content understanding, and presentation and performance:


The title of the video is How to develop the best employee training through E-Learning but the story is not much of a how-to. Instead, the story promotes tells of the advantages for implementing eLearning curriculum and lays out some of the different pedagogical formats of eLearning. The story is told in a visual display, almost like an animated powerpoint presentation, and contains text and illustrations with music in the background.

The story being told is logical and informative but ultimately lacks an ethos that would make the story more meaningful to those watching. Because it looks like an animated powerpoint type of presentation without any narration or live images, its hard to make a personal connection to the message. Instead, it feels more like a video brochure/pamphlet of sorts.

Content Understanding

As for the content, the information presented is laid out very clearly and concisely. The graphics with text take the viewer on a logical course to understanding the importance of implementing eLearning within the company. There is also an outline of different eLearning formats that could be explored in more detail. The text was simple and did not bog down the viewer with too much reading. And the moving graphics guided the viewer to each point with good pacing so that the information came not too slowly and not too quickly.

The content was altogether easy to understand as there did not appear to be any outside distractions to take away from the message.

Presentation and Performance

Again, the video had the feel of an animated powerpoint. There's nothing wrong with that necessarily. The presentation was clean and organized with varying movements so that it wasn't always left to right. The background music added an interesting component but did not distract from the reading or graphics. The presentation was colorful and the text was large enough to read on the displace. For a short video, the message was laid out effectively and although it addressed the Tourism industry, the video could apply to any type of company contemplating an eLearning implementation. Certainly, the presentation had a professional look and feel which gave the content validity to the viewer.

What would I change?

Really, the only things I can find wrong with this digital story is the lack of potential. I pointed out earlier that it wasn't really a How-To. It was made for the Tourism industry but didn't feel like it was really tailored that area. I think a lot could have been done to make the story more compelling. It needed a human component, perhaps with video examples or testimonial. Not a lot research was done with an overall lack of statistics or empirical data. If I was a tourism executive, I would think that eLearning is a good idea from watching this video but I don't know if it would call me to action.

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