Founders Blog

SKILLS ASSESSMENT COMES FIRST

November 14, 2018

Far too often, trainers “put the cart before the horse.” By that I mean they, mistakenly, jump into a new training initiative without, first, determining the skills gaps that may — or, may not — exist between the trainees and the objectives to-be-taught by the new learning initiative. And, that’s the wrong way to go! Money and time will be squandered if you don’t first measure skills gaps.  For example, some people...

TRAINING PURCHASING & YOU

November 12, 2018

Years ago, I was invited by the then-President of one of the Big Three auto manufacturers to visit him in his office to discuss a problem he was having.  It seems that he had engaged a consortium of some 30+ college and university Deans and Math Professors throughout his state in order to come up with a print solution for his UAW math training needs.  The initial product was completed and, when...

BETTER RETENTION & INCREASED SKILLS

November 7, 2018

I thought I had stumbled into a time machine! Imagine my surprise when I read a long-established training vendor’s recent press release.  Omitting the organization’s name, I’m going to quote from it: “(Company X) conducted a survey of its clients to determine the effectiveness of online training.  Comparing over 100,000 pre- and post-test scores, (Company X) found that clients using (Company X’s) courses significantly increased their trainees’ technical and safety knowledge. After...

TWO WAYS TO GO

November 5, 2018

Last month, I was excited to read that many of America’s leading companies are wising up to the fact that good employee candidates don’t have to come with a college degree: “Today’s tight labor market continues to be a promising landscape for job seekers, with economists even predicting more opportunities for professionals without a degree. Job-search site Glassdoor compiled a list of top employers who are expanding their talent options by no...

HOW VITAL IS TRAINING?

October 31, 2018

How important is training investment to manufacturing companies? An international study conducted by Bo Hansson of Malardalen University suggests that, “the single most important factor associated with profitability is how much is invested in training .  .  .” Moreover, a recent U.S. Department of Education study found that by increasing an individual’s training by 10%, productivity is increased by 10%.  Compare that to only a 6% productivity increase when adding 10% to...

EDUCATION & FAIRNESS PLAY THEIR PARTS

October 29, 2018

When I was in public school “Civics” was a required course while American History courses accompanied that requirement.  I still remember the major point my Civics teacher emphasized over and over again:  “Vote for the man (sic) and not the party!”  (As a point of interest, in the first twelve Presidential elections in which I was eligible to vote, I voted six times for a Republican and six times for a Democrat. ...

LET’S GET IT RIGHT!

October 24, 2018

My career in visual-media training goes back a long way — to the earliest days of videotape instruction (the “black and white days”).  In addition, back then there was no profession called “Instructional Design.”  Rather an SME prepared the content (all factual with only the uniqueness of the camera work and rudimentary hand-drawn graphics to provide the motivational elements) and, then, the SME became the on-screen talent. Later, the beginnings of Instructional...

THE AYES HAVE IT!

October 22, 2018

I’ve posted countless times extolling the near-necessity of using full-motion video, graphic animations and, where appropriate, gaming for the bulk of your training initiatives. Why?!? It’s the learning culture of the vast majority of your trainees!  Plus, it gives them a near-simulation experience (as close to hands-on training as one can get — at a fraction of the cost)! In addition, long-term retention is significantly increased and a more productive transition from...

PHONICS IS STILL THE ANSWER

October 8, 2018

When I entered the first grade in 1939, learning to read had its bedrock based in phonics.  Skip forward to the early 1990s when ITC decided to produce an interactive reading/writing series of Interactive Laser Videodisc instruction.  We surveyed a number of universities that were actively involved with teacher training and quickly discovered that “Phonics” had become a “dirty word” and that “Whole Language Learning” and “Balanced Literacy” were now the new...

SOME POSITIVES OF e-LEARNING

October 3, 2018

It’s easy for us to find the faults with any newer technology.  Funny how that works!  I guess it’s because it is much easier for us to see the negatives than it is for us to embrace the positives. Time for a gut check when we talk about e-Learning! Do we all realize that e-Learning is singularly poised to positively impact all aspects of one’s business?!?  It is uniquely capable of making...

THE PURSUIT OF EDUCATION

October 1, 2018

The term, “to be educated” is well defined by Steve Denning in his ‘What Does It Mean To Be Educated?’ piece that appeared in Forbes Magazine: “In recent posts, I have been suggesting that being educated includes (to give a short answer): a demonstrated ability to listen carefully, to think critically, to evaluate facts rigorously, to reason analytically, to imagine creatively, to articulate interesting questions, to explore alternative viewpoints, to maintain intellectual...

INDUSTRIAL SKILLS TRAINING TODAY

September 26, 2018

Let’s take a look at some of the unique training challenges faced by American process and manufacturing companies today.  While many of the observations are also applicable to all organizations, process and manufacturing plants rely heavily on in-house skills training as central to their success. Training methods vary widely — from traditional classroom instruction, with hands-on practice, to the latest in technology-based training options.  But, which method is best? For training a...

LESS FORMAL TRAINING WORKS, TOO

September 24, 2018

While most of us think of training in terms of the formal classroom, learning center, or controlled WEB access, below are a few other uses for e-Learning that will help you get the maximum value from your training initiatives. (courtesy of G. H. Kaiz, co-Founder, ITC Learning).                                               Engineer Training...

TECHNOLOGY & VALID SKILLS TRAINING

September 20, 2018

Several years ago, I was invited to review several e-Learning courses marketed by a Midwestern vendor.  This particular vendor had a large number of offerings targeted at many industries.  And, their catalog described their solutions as “skills training.” As we shall soon see, that catalog description could not have been further from the truth! What I saw astonished me.  It was like traveling backward in time!  Looking at those courses returned me...