I'm searching for the right term for what a lot of us do when we do EPSS type solutions.This is a question I've struggled with for quite a while. I've actually had some interesting conversations with Clark Quinn about this as well. And the answer is that there is not a well known term to describe kinds of eLearning Solutions that are not typical courseware. I talked about definitions of eLearning a while ago and the basic conclusion I came to is that when you say the term, while it could mean a wide variety of possible solutions - most people think of formal training delivered electronically (virtual classroom, courseware).
We could use EPSS as a term, but it seems a bit old, and a bit engineering-like. So, for some time, we have added "ecoaching" to our "elearning" offering, to describe our electronic support options. Now, go to Google...you get plenty of hits if you search ecoaching, or eperformance, for that matter, but they mostly do not have to do with anything related to elearning.
Searching on eperformance I ran across your 2003 LearningCircuits blog entries (E-Performance Essentials) separating eperformance into edevelopment, einteraction and esupport.
Do these still hold to you (a search on esupport or e-support gets you mostly remote software support sources)? It seems like no term has taken such a firm grasp as elearning, to describe what we think is a real value-add for our clients.
So, what about these other terms:
EPSS (Electronic Performance Support Systems)
This term is still used quite a bit, but most often it refers to online job aids or a modified front-end to software systems. While I highly respect Gloria Gery's work, I think she did us a disservice by continually pointing to Turbo Tax as THE example of EPSS.
Like Jack, I find that this term is a bit tired and many people turn off when they hear it. Still, of the terms, its probably the one that is most recognized.
This is a term that I tried to put out there back in 2004 through a series of articles in Learning Circuits:
- ePerformance Essentials
- ePerformance at Work: Self-Service Action and Development Planning
- ePerformance at Work: eFollowUp
ePerformance: Improving individual performance by leveraging technologyePerformance = eDevelopment + eInteraction + eSupport
|Performance reviews |
Self-paced online learning
|1-to-1 (e-mail) |
|Tools and job aids|
I used it because I wanted to differentiate solutions where learning was not the outcome, but rather performance. For example, one of the systems that we built helped retail store managers improve customer satisfaction through planning, goal setting, communication support, eCoaching, etc. Yes, they learned, but really these were tools aimed at helping them DO more than LEARN. eLearning and EPSS as terms really are not appropriate for this kind of solution.
I personally still like the term ePerformance, but it has not taken off and it has somewhat has been overloaded by optimization and performance review applications.
Similarly the terms eDevelopment, eInteraction, eSupport, and eFollowUp have not taken off even though I similarly consider them valuable to define very particular kinds of solutions that we build. And especially when EPSS and eLearning are not appropriate definitions.
I'm open to the best approach to giving names to some of these approaches.