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Friday, March 27, 2015

Bridge the Gap Between E-Learning and Compliance by Travis Waugh

Photo: Travis Waugh
"We build the courses because we have to, and our learners watch them because they have to." according to Travis Waugh, training generalist for The Georgia Institute of Technology.

Compliance learning, in too many organizations, is dangerously close to an oxymoron. No matter how rigorous and compelling our primary learning programs may be, our compliance learning initiatives, especially in e-learning, are routinely boring, stale, and lacking in any real impact. We often blame the technology, but there are deeper issues at play.
Photo: ATD (blog)

We build the courses because we have to, and our learners watch them because they have to. But no one pays any more attention than the absolute minimum required. This second-rate status is only natural. Unlike the majority of adult learning programs, which are born directly from an organizational need or opportunity, compliance-training programs are foisted upon us without any perceived need from within.

Even if we see the importance of the subject—as most of us would on issues like sexual harassment, employee safety, and business ethics—the broad mandates of compliance laws and policies often make it difficult to see where any real, individual learning will occur. Instead, we throw up our hands, check the boxes, and move on as quickly as possible to a course that we actually care about.

Such compromises are understandable. In real life, with limited resources and seemingly infinite demand, learning departments have to choose priorities. We must accept that not every course will be a masterpiece. But sometimes, priorities must shift. And now might be the time to shift a little more love toward compliance.

The need is certainly there. After years of hasty compromises, many learning programs are lost in a sea of lip-service compliance tutorials that barely even pretend to carry any real meaning. Their dead weight is a burden to designer and learner alike, posing a serious threat to the long-term health of our industry.  

If we can’t bridge the gap now between compliance and learning, we may soon discover that we’ve failed at both. Here’s why.
Read more... 

Source: ATD (blog)