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Trina Rimmer

Community Manager



10 creative alternatives to

an e-learning course

Humans have an innate tendency to focus on

using familiar tools-regardless of whether

they're the best fit for the job. This is famously

known as the "Law of the Instrument," which

Maslow summarised as follows in his book

The Psychology of Science:

Hmm. Why does that sentiment sound so


If it rings a bell with you too, odds are you've

had a boss or a project stakeholder who

approaches every business need as a training

need. And many organisations nurture this

perspective by limiting learning practitioners

to three options for addressing real (or

perceived) training needs: instructor-led/

classroom training, job aids, and e-learning

courses. That's it.

It's no wonder a full-fledged e-learning course

becomes everyone's favourite go-to! It's

typically quicker and less costly to create, and

much easier and more cost effective to deliver

than classroom training. It's also more robust

than a simple job aid.

What's more, today's authoring apps make

creating e-learning so much faster and easier.

Why not just pop the content into your app,

publish it as a course, and push out to the


Then you can knock that item off your to-do

list and move on to the next thing. What's

wrong with that?

Well, for one, lengthy e-learning courses

aren't always the best approach. If the risk of

a learner failing to perform a task correctly,

like filling out their timesheet, doesn't put your

organisation or its clients in serious jeopardy,

forcing your learners to take a 30-minute

course on 'How to Complete a Timesheet'

might be overkill. More so, if you frame every

outreach to your learners as 'training', they

and their managers are quickly going to tire of

the constant demands on their time and

attention-especially if the courses you're

making them take aren't particularly helpful,

or could have been covered via a less

disruptive mechanism.

So, what can you do if you or your

organisation is guilty of treating everything as

if it were a nail to be hammered with another

e-learning course? For starters, take a few

moments to focus on your training goals-

and think about what else you could create

that would be most helpful to reaching those


"If all you have is a hammer,

everything looks like a nail."


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