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New e-learning feature from Don Clark’s ‘Big Bowl of Biscuits’


One of TrainingZONE's favourite training websites has added a new section devoted to 'reflections on e-learning'. Don Clark's 'Big Dog's Bowl of Biscuits' may have an odd-sounding name, but it's packed with training and learning-related information of all kinds and is well worth a browse.

This particular section takes a comprehensive look at the theory, concepts, take-up, technical issues and prospects for the future of e-learning, presented in a number of highly readable sections.

To begin, Clark looks at three views of e-learning; 'electronic', 'internet' and 'mystical', before moving to examine the influences on the growth of e-learning, both from outside and within the organisation. There's some interesting information on e-learning in schools and the relative status of online degrees, which are starting to become more prevalent.

Don Clark then moves on to discuss the future of e-learning, considering Peter Drucker's observation that "the growth sector is learning, especially concept learning", looking at the technical issues relating to bandwidth and examining some of the myths and realities surrounding e-learning, such as the claim that 'e-learning can be done any time, any place' (Clark says it's constrained by technology and location). He also looks at the pros and cons of using e-learning, examining figures on drop-out rates and the social aspects of learning through 'Communities of Practice' and the use of collaborative tools.

He then looks briefly at the relationship between e-learning and knowledge management, before considering what should and what shouldn't be taught on the web. There are also some links useful free web-based articles and courses on becoming involved as an online instructor or facilitator, although the links in the section on 'using multimedia' seem to be unclear in focus.

All in all, this is well worth a read, whether it's to skim through or read in depth. You can read Don Clark's e-learning feature at


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