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e-learning: some still don’t get it

Yesterday I had to give a presentation - a pitch actually - to the director of training of a very large organization for developing an e-learning course. Here's what happened:

PLAN: this guy, being a director, would be strategic in thinking. He would want to know about the benefits of the course and the design and how to make it all work. Right?

THE PITCH: collaboration and decision-making are key. E-learning needs to be made meaningful, and by that we mean social and interesting. Learners want to see different perspectives from the ground-level not subject-matter level... and so on. Basically trying to paint the e-learning 2.0 picture without using any of the jargon.

OUTCOME: After half an hour, he says, "Can you show me animations with smooth transitions? The last vendor showed some nifty ones."

It's situations like these that make me want to pull my hair out. Screw all this e-learning bit; better to sell peanuts on the roadside. At least I'll retain the dignity of having decent conversations.

Ok. that was a vent. I must admit, not all clients are the same. I have met with many who, simply put, get it. And from my experience, these people are those who treat us not as VENDORS but as partners with whom some knowledge and experience can be exchanged. Put it simply, it all boils down to world-view: the ones that see the world as a complex, organic, bottom up, emergent phenomena and the ones that see the world as a mechanistic device, some part of which is under their control. Sadly, when it comes to e-learning, I've met more clients with the latter world-view.

RESOLUTION: next time, I'll ask more questions about the person involved. I'll Google the company involved. If I find that the world-view of the person or the company is as small as a pimple-on-the-ass-of-an-ant, then I'm walking away. I'll also walk away if its any bigger! wink

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