Founders Blog

PURCHASING VALUE

January 23, 2019

Price — not, Value — is what’s driving far too many e-Learning purchases today. That’s backwards! Ultimately, that will cost your organization significantly more money in the long run. Why? Because if your trainees do not retain the information you’re trying to teach, the reasons they’re being trained in the first place will not be satisfactorily addressed.  And, those reasons include such items as routine maintenance, scrap and plant efficiencies. You need...

TROUBLESHOOTING IS KING

January 14, 2019

Several times in the past eight years I’ve posted about the importance of troubleshooting skills, the key attribute that separates the good from the mediocre with all your plant maintenance personnel.  The most succinct definition of “troubleshooting” that I’ve ever read comes from an article by Stephanie Krieger, “Troubleshooting 201: Ask the Right Questions,” which was published in TechNet Magazine: “There are two rules that always apply, whether you’re troubleshooting hardware or...

TIRED OF THE LIARS

January 9, 2019

The current political discourse troubles me.  In some ways, it brought back the ironic echoes in “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, a poem I first encountered many, many decades ago. This blog has concentrated on issues relating to training and education.  Today’s post will be short as I feel, when listening to our nation’s current political leaders speak, “education” is disrespected.  And, my education holds the highest place in my life experiences...

INDUSTRIAL TRAINING TODAY

January 7, 2019

Working in industry in 2019, in addition to job specific requirements, calls for a solid background in learning fundamentals such as safety, work practice, tool use, computer familiarity, mathematics, plus reading and writing.  These are all important elements in any modern industrial training program and particularly for those employees working in electrical maintenance, mechanical maintenance, operations, and instrumentation.  And, while the number of industrial workers has declined, the United States will continue...

TACKLING RETENTION

January 2, 2019

While there is no hard research to prove the following statements, logic will tell us that, in spite of the shaky percentages used, for most learners the conclusions are probably accurate: “.  .  . The experts generally agree that simulations boost learning retention rates dramatically.  An often-cited study conducted by the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Sciences in Alexandria, Va., found that on average, students retain 5 percent of what they hear...

POTPOURRI FOR THE HOLIDAYS

December 19, 2018

Two or three times each year, I post links to several exceptional articles I’ve read in the past couple of months.  I think you’ll find them interesting.  And, since we’re now entering the holiday season, it seems appropriate to post a few today. The first, “America is disastrously failing to educate internationally literate citizens” by Margee Ensign, president of Dickinson College, for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  She concludes: “ .  .  . in...

ACHIEVEMENT INEQUALITY IN AMERICA

December 17, 2018

“Sociologists, however, are finding that parental investment in their children has diverged sharply over the last 40 years with growing gaps between the middle and the upper classes. In a May 2018 paper published in the American Sociological Review, researchers from the University of California at Berkeley and Colorado State University found that the most affluent Americans are driving this difference, spending ever higher amounts of money on their children’s education and...

TECHNOLOGY ENHANCES LEARNING

December 12, 2018

The world is beginning to harvest the advantages achieved by bringing technology-based learning into both the academic classroom and the corporate training environment. In education, many of the foundation skills and competencies — upon graduation, so critical to the workplace — can be achieved through the use of technology in the classroom. “Students using technology demonstrate any number of improvements:  more confidence, higher motivation, peer mentoring, collaboration, and enhanced self-esteem” (Barbara Means). ...

SIZER’S IDEAS LIVE ON

December 10, 2018

With American education policy being dissected, kicked and abused on an almost-daily basis, we need to look, once again, at the giant who left us almost a decade ago.  Theodore Sizer’s influence lives on — but, obviously not in the halls of Congress nor in the Betsy DeVos Department of Education. Dr. Sizer’s view of education reform — “with a premium on classroom creativity, bottom-up innovation and multiple measures of student learning”...

THE ‘OLD’ TRAINING WAS BETTER

December 5, 2018

In the case of skills training, many of the current e-Learning offerings do not begin to compare with the learning values designed into the older technologies:  interactive laser videodisc (IVD) and CD-ROM training.  Moreover, e-Learning courseware will need to embrace those media-rich values if it ever hopes to attain the same, or better, results. And, with that thought in mind, what I mean by “media-rich” is courseware that is designed for today’s...

SUPPORT THE NON-COLLEGE BOUND

December 3, 2018

“Not everyone is academically inclined — and there’s nothing wrong with that. Preparing your kids for whatever their future brings is an act of mutuality, and one of the ways we look out for those we love. Maybe that will be college, but maybe it will be something less traditional. More than two-thirds of high school graduates go on to college , and a lot of financial resources and planning go into preparing...

BETSY IS AT IT AGAIN!

November 28, 2018

While the Constitution does not directly address education and implies that it be left to the States — it also calls for equal treatment under the law.  At best, when it comes to education, it’s ambiguous. However, the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, which mandated the desegregation of public schools, gave the executive branch a legal precedent for enforcing equal access to education.  And, we have moved on...

TECHNOLOGY: MAKING A DIFFERENCE

November 26, 2018

Ever newer technology is changing the way we live in so many ways.  We all sense these rapidly increasing changes and we all profit from it in ways unimagined mere decades ago.  Automation and instrumentation control of processes has taken over many of our industries.  Social media, tablets, computers and smart phones are just a few examples of the inroads made by technology into our daily lives. My emphasis, however, continues to...

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...