Friday, November 16, 2007

Online Training is Coming of Age

One of the most interesting professional journeys I’ve been traveling has been learning how to create online courses – my small contribution to the overwhelming need of more well-trained senior care providers – in a way that makes them not just equal to, but much better than classroom education.

I started this journey by studying about teaching in general. It is fascinating to me to learn how educators in past centuries thought that teaching must be done in a one-to-one setting to be truly effective; certainly tutors could only handle just a few pupils at a time. Classrooms were considered a pathetic method to conduct true education.

Of course down the road a pace we know that classrooms are challenging. The brightest students are often bored – and disruptive – while the slower learners can become frustrated – and disruptive.

Translate that to adult learning and you get a room full of people at different skill and knowledge levels, with an instructor doing his or her best to provide each person with something of value. Or maybe just shoving in a video, and leaving the room…

Online training provides an exciting new twist to the journey; one that can utilize the best of technology (a constantly evolving definition) to, in a sense, return to training people one by one, letting the more experienced learners progress quickly, while the slower learner can move at his or her own speed.

But online training must be so much more than producing PowerPoint presentations that have 2 sentences per screen.

It must be more than loading PDFs onto a website, followed by a quiz.

Online training need to show people the “what”, the “why” and the “how”; and then it needs to give people opportunities to learn their own way, using interactive coaching activities.

We can do this quickly and easily with current technology – we simply need to have the focus and the will.


  1. Do you have a list of online training resources? the only one i'm aware of, off hand, is the University of Phoenix Online.


  2. Hi Jeff,

    There are so many resources available. We have over 50 caregiver courses on our website,; you can also find resources by simply Google-ing a topic. Watch carefully for the source, though, and use only material that is accredited or comes from a recognized training source.