L&D: The Affordances & Limitations of Elearning

Elearning Can Address A Lot

But Not Everything.

This post is intended to highlight both where elearning is appropriate and where it is not. Mostly it’s good to go for most deployments of INFOs and DEMOs – with only a few exceptions for APPOs (Application Exercises).

And I think those exceptions are critical to know and to address via an additional Mode & Media – other than Self-Paced using elearning.


What elearning does address it often address more inexpensively – “if” the target audience is large enough and “if” reading a PDF or web page wasn’t a viable option.

You need to be thinking about Development Costs in addition to Deployment Costs – over some defined Life Cycle (which then includes Content Maintenance Costs).

And often – reading a PDF or web page – was a viable option. And a better option if it was more oriented as Performance Support. But – reading a PDF or web page – doesn’t allow the testing (of knowledge and some skills) … and tracking completions and test scores.

My 17 Categories of Knowledge/Skills

From my consulting practices since the late 1980s and in my 1999 book: lean-ISD.

The book is available as a Free PDF – find a link to that at the end of this post.

These K/S Categories were developed over the years beginning in 1979 when I first learned to use Tom Gilbert’s and Geary Rummler’s Performance Table and Knowledge Map – as data capture formats – from Gilbert’s 1978 book: Human Competence. Their categories were much too erostotic for my internal and then external clients – so I evolved the labels and made them more granular and specific.

I landed on these 17 Categories sometime in the late 1980s – based on my copies of project binders from that era. They are covered in Chapter 24 of lean-ISD.














Another Summary of the Affordances & Limitations


My 1999 Book: lean-ISD

Available as a free PDF. Click on image below to link to the download page.

Note: the cover design for “lean-ISD” was created by the late Geary A. Rummler.

Note 2: Guy W. Wallace’s book “lean-ISD” – was a recipient of a 2002 Award of Excellence for Instructional Communication from the International Society for Performance Improvement.

lean-ISD is also available as a $15 paperback book – and $7.50 as a Kindle – for more and to order – please go – here.

lean-ISD was updated in 2011 and combined with several other books into this 6 Pack:

PACT 6 Pack B

For more information about this 6 Pack’s books and other books by Guy – please go: here.

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One comment on “L&D: The Affordances & Limitations of Elearning

  1. Pingback: L&D: Get Completion Rates Up? Get Authentic! | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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