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History & Future of eLearning -- On the Horizon

History & Future of eLearning -- On the Horizon

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Published by jaycross

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: jaycross on Mar 02, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/09/2010

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March 26, 2004
A History of eLearningThe Future of eLearning
by Jay CrossBerkeley, California jaycross@internettime.com
D R A F T
This is a pre-publication version of two articles slated to appear in
On the Horizon
. I’m sharing it with friends for their amusement. Please don’t post this or let it escape to the net.Thanks. jay
© 2004, Jay Cross, Berkeley, California1
 
A History of eLearning
A History of eLearning ........................................................................................ 1The Future of eLearning ...................................................................................... 1Abstract ......................................................................................................... 3Keywords ....................................................................................................... 3Acknowledgements ............................................................................................ 3Preface .......................................................................................................... 3An Informal History of eLearning ........................................................................... 5What is learning? ........................................................................................ 5How do people learn? .................................................................................. 5Why do people learn? .................................................................................. 5What was eLearning? ................................................................................... 5What is eLearning? ...................................................................................... 5Heavier than air ......................................................................................... 6The Pre-history of eLearning .......................................................................... 6eLearning makes the scene ............................................................................ 7Internet Time Group .................................................................................... 7The Early Days ........................................................................................... 8Learning/Training ....................................................................................... 8eLearning Spreads ...................................................................................... 8Skeptical Executives .................................................................................. 11Next ..................................................................................................... 11The Future of eLearning ................................................................................... 12Informal Learning ...................................................................................... 12Digital Natives ......................................................................................... 13Learning and Life ...................................................................................... 14The Good Old Days .................................................................................... 15The Age of Networks .................................................................................. 15Connections Accelerate Change ..................................................................... 15An Alternative Model for Learning .................................................................. 15Putting the new model to work ..................................................................... 16Fleeting Knowledge ................................................................................... 16Enterprise learning .................................................................................... 17Emergent Learning .................................................................................... 17References .................................................................................................... 18There’s more. ................................................................................................ 19About the Author ............................................................................................. 20© 2004, Jay Cross, Berkeley, California2
 
Abstract
eLearning: snake oil or salvation? Changes in theworld are forcing corporations to rethink howpeople adapt to their environment. How do peoplelearn? Why? What’s eLearning? Does it work?This paper addresses these questions andrecounts the history and pitfalls of computer-basedtraining and first-generation eLearning. It tracesthe roots of CBT Systems, SmartForce, InternetTime Group, and the University of Phoenix. Ittakes you to five years of TechLearn, the premier eLearning conference, from dot-com euphoria totoday’s real-time realities.The subject matter here is corporate learning, inparticular mastering technical and social skills, andproduct knowledge. The focus is on learningwhat’s required to meet the promise made to thecustomer. While there are parallels to collegiateeducation, the author lacks the experience to drawthem.Corporate CEOs are finally telling the truth whenthey say “People are our most important assets.”Intellectual capital has become the primary factor of production. To raise their “corporate IQ,”managers treat workers as if they were customersof learning.We explore why people learn much more abouttheir jobs in the coffee room than in the classroom.We hypothesize that equipping peopleintellectually to prosper will become a corporatediscipline every bit as important as marketing or finance. Web services will mark the advent of workflow learning in real-time organizations.
Keywords
eLearning, e-learning, computer-based training,CD-ROM, dropouts, TechLearn, corporate training
Acknowledgements
Deep thanks to David Grebow, a visionary incorporate learning, for suggesting numerousclarifications and additions to the originalmanuscript.
Preface
Intellectual capital has become more valuable thanhard assets. Networks are replacing hierarchy.Time has sped up. Cooperation edges outcompetition. Innovation trumps efficiency.Flexibility beats might. Everything's global. Thepast no longer illuminates the future. We needfresh thinking. eLearning was supposed to be theanswer.Some of the material ahead is controversial. It’sprobably better to skip around than to plod straightthrough. I’d prefer that you take away a few thingsthan that you read all the words. There’s no test atthe end. That reminds me of a story.A group of Harvard students was given a paper onurban sociology and told, “Read this. You will betested.” A matched group across campus wasgiven the same paper and told, “Read this. It’squite controversial and may be wrong. You will betested.” The second group did much better on thetest. Why? Because uncertainty engages the mindand the senses.When you come upon an outrageous claim or misspelled word, I may have done it on purpose tohelp you learn. To engage your mind.
© 2004, Jay Cross, Berkeley, California3

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