We are frequently asked about the value/impact of online development programs. Certainly, as the economy continues to struggle, organizations are considering more cost effective ways to provide leadership education to their people. Often the prospect of doing some form of "online learning" seems to be the first option that receives attention.
I believe that blended learning solutions can
be a powerful means to offer cost effective development opportunities,
however getting the mix right is the real trick. This is evidenced by
years of lesser effective efforts by organizational development
practicioners that bounced from one method to another in search of the
right approach to training. For example, many firms jumped on the
oudoor experiential education bandwagon in the 80s and 90s as people
returning from "mountain top" experiences seemed energized and excited
about their training adventure; at least initially. In many cases there
was little transfer of this training to on-the-job performance
increases or behavioral change. Why did this happen? In my opinion, it
was due to a lack of content rich, robust debriefing that ties
researched principles into practical reality. Don't get me wrong, I'm a
big fan of action learning and experiential education, but it must be
anchored in organizational context and developmental content.
Similarly, I've known brilliant OD specialists
and academics that have fantastic knowledge and develop powerful
content; much of which is lost on participants. The content may be
absorbed in an academic sense, but may be difficult to apply in the real
world. Again, why does this happen? I believe that development
happens in our minds, our hands and our hearts, and all three components
must be addressed for a truly powerful development experience. A well
presented content module, coupled with individual feedback related to
the content, and an opportunity to practice new behaviors associated
with the content is the most impactful approach.
Back to the original question, can online development work. I believe the answer is yes, if
the online portion is supplemented with face to face interactions that
allow participants to practice and receive feedback. Without this
component, online learning becomes an academic exercise rather than a
Quote this article on your site | Print | E-mail
Only registered users can write comments.
Please login or register.
Powered by AkoComment Tweaked Special Edition v.1.4.6
AkoComment © Copyright 2004 by Arthur Konze - www.mamboportal.com
All right reserved