Changing from classroom to eLearning during the COVID-19 outbreak

May 21, 2020

Ever wondered whether eLearning is right for you? This blog will help you to decide.

A couple of months ago we published our social media giveaway for our ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition Course. Our winner was Jakob Diness, who won online access plus a free exam. Here, Jakob shares his thoughts about the benefits of doing the ITSM Zone eLearning for ITIL 4 MPT.

Thank you Jakob for sharing your feedback and your your point of view about eLearning vs classroom training.

I took the course ITL MPT since I got the opportunity as a giveaway winner from an competition. First I thought that I did not have the time and energy, then Corona came and I had plenty of time (still lacking energy though).

I finally pushed through and finished the course and to my surprise passed the exam. It took me more than 2 months to complete, so I really embraced the “spaced learning” principle, where you learn a little – think about it a little – and come back to learning again.

So here I want to share my experience and compare it to other types of learning – for example classroom learning. For my own sake – and because I just love 2x2 matrix overviews – I thought of different learning options as can be seen in the diagram.

How was it then? Was it also good for me? Or is it just another badge, that I can post on my LinkedIn profile?

First, I want to set the scene – what I am evaluating here is an online eLearning class, that is asynchronous in time – meaning no live sessions with a class and an instructor.
So, my learning experience with ITSM Zone will be found at the right-hand upper corner (the orange sticky-note).

I am a seasoned instructor myself – another word for old and tired. My experience has been mainly in the left-hand lower corner with class-based courses in ITIL 3, DevOps, Prince2 and related courses. In classroom based courses you have people trapped in a room, you can actually see when they are catching on or drifting away most of the times. Interaction is high – air is thick at times and it is sometimes referred to as “rich communication”.

I have also taken a number of these classroom based courses myself, both back in school, in order to keep up and to become a trainer/instructor myself. So, it is a well-known time-tested way of learning. Compared to an online and asynchronous course it does have some advantages. You have high interaction, easy to adjust your thinking (just ask the instructor if you understand it correctly) . So, in popular terms the feedback loop is working quite fast and smooth.

Online learning on the other hand has the time advantage that you can fit in whenever you want. Also, you can go back and forth – see some sections more times and even follow the links for extra material usually provided (yeah – right , I heard about people doing that)

A scheduled webinar (online and synchronous) does have some merits that it shares with eLearning (no transportation time and no physical socializing… good for introverts), and will furthermore have the advantage over eLearning, that you can create interactivity and allow for questions. Sometimes it works, sometimes it might as well have been a recording.

The ITSM Zone eLearning course I especially liked for the variety of the content – quizzes, links to articles, small and manageable sections, able to resume where you left off – progress indicator and good quality video sections provided. I did feel at times that I had to click a lot to cover a section. Also, I really missed having a time-indicator telling me how long the module was supposed to take, and how many videos/minutes were left of the module/course.

There were a number of exercises where I was instructed to use 10/15/20 minutes to write down stuff, sometimes from a case sometimes from own experience. It would have been an advantage to have that captured in my learning space – so I did not have to keep a separate document (or even paper?) on the side. I would like for the ability to have a notepad integrated in the learning space.

Overall, the ITSM Zone ITIL MPT was a good experience, even though I used much longer than what I expected of myself.

Top Tips that Can Improve your eLearning

It can be recommended, but it takes a lot of discipline to be in the top-right corner to learn effectively. I guess that´s why classroom based courses will still be around for some time. You get a schedule and finish in a few days, sometimes even with an exam at the end of the course.

Ohh, and we have not covered the exotic lower right corner – the BOOK asynchronous and offline by nature. No technological obstructions/distractions, totally asynchronous and can hold several Kilobytes of text in usually less than ½ kg.

I hope that you enjoyed my recapture of the eLearning class I got an opportunity to take thanks to ITSM Zone – try it out for yourself.

About the author 

Jakob Diness works for BusinessNow in the group Business Advisory as IT Service Management Consultant as a certified trainer running ITIL courses amongst others. He has heavily invested in being fluent in ServiceNow ITSM and ITOM modules.

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One comment on “Changing from classroom to eLearning during the COVID-19 outbreak”

  1. cheers mate... valuable stuff. very helpful as am about to write my research paper on the uniqueness of elearning.

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