By William Seidman  Elliot Masie, a speaker focused on learning and workforce performance, posed a question on his website: “Can workers really e-Learn at their desks?” In one sense, it is a silly question because the answer is: Of course they can! The more important questions to ask are: Do they learn at all? Do they learn efficiently, at least as compared to other approaches? Do they use the learning in a meaningful way? All learning is a question of attention. If people pay good attention to something and use it repeatedly, the ideas and concepts tend to get learned. This happens if they are sitting at their desks or anywhere else. But there are two reasons e-learning at the desktop doesn’t work well. If attention is divided due to distractions and other work, then the learning experience is fragmented and the effectiveness is reduced. Also, most e-learning is boring and just plain bad: reviewing slides, competing with others to complete modules, taking/gaming tests. If the material is presented in a lackluster way or set up as a game to be played, then the point of it all—true learning—is lost. However, if attention is protected and focused and the learning is purpose-driven with excellent, applied learning tasks and social support, people can learn anywhere.  ]]>

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