Why e-learning is killing education | Aaron Barth | TEDxKitchenerED

Education at scale doesn’t have to suck. If you ditch conventional e-learning’s clicky gimmicks, and focus instead on science-backed design principles and powerful human stories, your training will shift from tedious to transformative.

Dr. Aaron Barth, thought-leader and president of Dialectic, gives progressive leaders the confidence they need to tackle their hardest people problems using scientific methods. Rooted in education, Dr. Barth founded Dialectic after completing his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Western University, keen on fusing theory with application.

Dialectic uses the power of science to accelerate employee learning, transform organizations, improve employee and customer engagement and mitigate unconscious bias. Dr. Barth and his team of gifted scientists and designers have implemented interactive learning experiences for 50+ Canadian companies, uncovering workplace barriers and mobilizing impactful strategies. They work in two areas: workplace culture and learning and development. For both, their goal is to help their clients create behaviour change at scale. Dr. Aaron Barth, thought-leader and president of Dialectic, gives progressive leaders the confidence they need to tackle their hardest people problems using scientific methods. Rooted in education, Dr. Barth founded Dialectic after completing his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Western University, keen on fusing theory with application.

Dialectic uses the power of science to accelerate employee learning, transform organizations, improve employee and customer engagement and mitigate unconscious bias. Dr. Barth and his team of gifted scientists and designers have implemented interactive learning experiences for 50+ Canadian companies, uncovering workplace barriers and mobilizing impactful strategies. They work in two areas: workplace culture and learning and development. For both, their goal is to help their clients create behaviour change at scale. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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19 comments

  1. He is right. But the problem is much deeper. E-learning has a huge potential. But it is not being used to even 50% of what it can do. We are simply getting info that is way to theoretical and complex. And we cannot apply that information for it to truly make sense and stick. Just try taking a IT server or Cisco CCNP education online, without touching any gear, it will drive you insane.
    Seriously, the random stuff we all have to remember just to become a Doctor/psychologist/someone studying law is absolutely insane. And on top of that doing it online, is enough to make any sane person quit or even worse. Something needs to be done.

  2. I work an 8-5 shift remotely while obtaining my masters in Data Science online. I actually like having the opportunity to work remotely and learn online. The benefits to me is that I do not have to physically be in a classroom and can move around. If I want to travel to a beautiful city while working and studying I can do so. To me this has been very beneficial and I have saved tons of money (commuting, clothes, food at work) that I was able to reinvest in the stock market.

  3. The real problem is the modern college system hasn’t caught up with the times. They keep raising prices and curtailing flexibility to meet the teacher’s needs when they want to teach not when the students want to learn. At the end of the day people want cheaper prices and flexibility.

  4. Wow, I thought people/learner weren’t like stories because it was boring or took long time, I thought these days people easy to lost their focus or concentration

  5. This talk is supposed to be about education, but he uses social justice propaganda as a goal of supposed ‘education’. Instantly discredited.