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Michael Allen's Guide to E-Learning: Building Interactive, Fun, and Effective Learning Programs for Any Company by Michael W. Allen

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CHAPTER TWO

CONTEXT—THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCCESS

It is surprising how many training solutions have no chance of success. The reason might surprise you. Although poor e-learning design is rampant, the most pervasive inhibitor to success may be the failure to scrutinize the training and performance context and take it fully into account.

The many factors that determine training and performance success include:

  • Who participates in the design of the training
  • What resources are available for training design and development
  • Who is being trained and for what reason
  • The instructional delivery media and instructional paradigms used
  • The learning support available during training
  • The performance support and guidance available after training
  • Rewards and penalties for good and poor performance, respectively

This chapter considers the importance of context. It starts by examining the prerequisites for success, then discusses the role of good design as the means to success.

Unrecognized Context Factors

Failed training programs can often be chalked up to a number of contextual conditions. The barrier can be an environment that inhibits desired performance. It can be poor training solutions developed without the essential participation of key individuals. And it can easily be a combination of both.

Costly failures may not be recognized for some time, of course. All who are responsible for getting training programs up and in operation revel at the achievement and announcement of the programs’ availability. ...

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