While online and blended learning is supported by a solid business case and growing scientific evidence its adoption in major corporations is still relatively low. One of the main reasons is a very simple one. Whenever managers and stakeholders hear learning they think of their own learning experiences. For most (senior) decision makers learning equals sitting in a classroom and listening to someone talking at them.
Why? Quite simply most executives went to school and to university before the internet has transformed our lives and culture. They have never experienced the power of technology enabled learning. This makes it hard for business leaders to buy into the idea that online collaboration, online classrooms, social networks, wikis, twitter and Co. will make their employees more productive and thus help their businesses succeed.
Todays executives might know of online collaboration and social networking only through having watched their kids use Facebook. They might have used Skype with their family but they have probably never experienced a high quality online classroom. Many of them have never written an entry for a wiki, constructed a website or written a blog. They might know of Twitter only that it is strange web thing for millions of youngsters to follow personal trivia by celebrities.
It is quite understandable that business leaders are still reluctant to invest into technology enabled learning. We are all driven in our decisions by our past experiences. Adopting new ways of learning is an investment into something “unknown” in an area that is not “core” to their business. Why take risks? Why deviate from the path that corporate training has been treading for the last years and years?
It takes a big leap of faith to invest into online learning. It takes a lot of trust into the learning leader proposing it. It takes a belief that learning does not equal training and can actually improve company performance.