hands-on learning
best practice

Why doesn't eLearning include actual practice?

CrossBraining Staff

July 13, 2022

You sit through a PowerPoint, or watch a video. It purports to impart some new skill or knowledge on you, and then sends you out into the world. Only for you to forget everything the next day. And that makes sense. No one ever learned to ride a bike by watching a video. No, they learned by practice. Lots and lots of practice.

Yet eLearning doesn’t allow us to practice our skills. Sure there might be a simulation or two, but again, no one has ever learned to ride a bike in a simulator. A big barrier is technology - most eLearning is passive. It was never designed for practice.

But there is a ton of research on how humans learn skills. And that research shows that the best (and perhaps the only) way to learn a new skill is through good practice (oh, and spoiler: that 10,000 hour rule has no basis in research).

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of technologies out there that allow for practice. We’re one of them (and the best, if we’re honest). So maybe it’s something else. Maybe we’re content with just checking the training box. But if that’s the case, why do training at all?

So when you’re creating your next eLearning and you want it to stick, make sure you give trainees the opportunity to truly practice early and often. Otherwise that training is wasted.