Although e-learning has become an important element of training and development in many industries, it has not yet become a significant factor in law firm training. I believe that is going to change, for the following reasons:
- E-learning platforms allow synchronous e-learning sessions to be highly varied and interactive, using features such as polling, chat and shared whiteboards.
- Polling tools allow immediate assessment of what associates know and don’t know, without risking embarrassment for anyone.
- E-learning allows training to be delivered in shorter increments, providing associates time to absorb and practice what they have learned.
- E-learning permits more effective leveraging of training activities. Instead of videoconferencing a live program to all of a firm’s other offices, an e-learning session ensures that every participant will have the same learning experience. No one feels like a second-class citizen.
- Travel and administrative costs can be significantly reduced.
E-Learning is unlikely to replace live learning, but I think it is going to become an important tool in the arsenal of law firm professional development departments.
This fall, I am conducting boot camps for two national law firms where the participants are being given six 20-minute recorded e-learning sessions that introduce some of the basic concepts that are going to be built upon when we meet in person. “Flipping the classroom” in this manner frees up more time when we meet for group activities.
I will soon be rolling out e-learning versions of some of my workshops. Stay tuned.