Founders Blog

CHANGING THE METHOD OF LEARNING

September 18, 2018

Several years ago in a New York Times column by Virginia Heffeman, “Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade,” she reviewed a book, “Now You See It,” by Cathy N. Davidson.  The arguments still apply today: “Simply put, we can’t keep preparing students for a world that doesn’t exist. We can’t keep ignoring the formidable cognitive skills they’re developing on their own. And above all, we must stop disparaging digital prowess just because some...

HUTCHINS & ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE

September 12, 2018

“Have I got a college for you. For your first two years, your regimen includes ancient Greek. And I do mean Greek, the language, not Greece, the civilization, though you’ll also hang with Aristotle, Aeschylus, Thucydides and the rest of the gang. There’s no choice in the matter. There’s little choice, period.  Let your collegiate peers elsewhere design their own majors and frolic with Kerouac. For you it’s Kant. You have no...

WHY PURCHASE TRAINING?

September 10, 2018

Question:  Who wants to pay for training?  Answer:  No one wants to buy training!  Why should they?  Shouldn’t their new hires be already equipped with the necessary skills — and ready to perform their assigned tasks?  As you well know, that only happens in Utopia.  So why, then, do you have to develop or purchase training programs for your workforce?  The answer is not very complicated.  We only purchase training programs when...

DESIGN “NO-NO’S’

September 5, 2018

I have written many times regarding the attributes of well-designed e-Learning.  I have, often, listed the salient characteristics that are found within effective e-Learning designs.  And, I have emphasized learner-control as a key design feature of properly produced e-Learning with its resultant increase in learner-retention. Today, however, we’re going to reverse the process.  We’re going to examine the characteristics you should avoid when buying or producing e-Learning.  The following items are some...

MORE ON HIGHER EDUCATION

August 29, 2018

A few years ago an excellent book by Naomi Schaefer Riley, “The Faculty Lounges: and Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For” elicited an apt book review by Stanley Fish.   In his New York Times review, Fish described Riley’s book as bringing together “two subjects that are usually treated separately in the literature.”  “The first is the increasing tendency, on the part of students, legislators, administrators and...

CALAMITY OR EDUCATION

August 27, 2018

So much ignorant discourse is taking place in our country today.  Purposeful lying by our nation’s elected leaders and their blindfolded followers are the soup du jour. I’m 85 and have witnessed such a shameless time once before.  When I was 21, we gathered around our small b&w televisions watching the Joe McCarthy hearings.  A scary time for America. So, here we are again.  A dark time to live through.  And, yet,...

IMAGINATION IS KEY

August 22, 2018

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”  ― Albert Einstein Imagination is the single catalyst that drives creativity.  One of twentieth century America’s leading scenic artists, Robert Edmond Jones, defined that process most appropriately when he wrote, “Imagination is the faculty for realization.” No one can create anything meaningful unless their imagination can already...

LEARNING BY WATCHING

August 20, 2018

Training in the process and manufacturing industries has grown in importance as equipment and processes within the plants have become more and more complicated.  Consequently, the training necessary to meet these new challenges usually falls into one, or more, of the following three broad categories: Total Training — an in-depth approach, from basics to advanced topics, covering the “why’s,” as well as the “how to’s.”  An apprentice program would be an example....

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

August 10, 2018

An article (“Private Schools are anti-democratic. Can they be redeemed?” by Jack Schneider) in a July issue of AEON caught my attention as it dealt with an education subject that is certainly out of the mainstream. Schneider is a scholar of education history and policy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the author of several books.  In addition, he is a regular contributor to The Washington Post and The Atlantic.  Here...

TAKING STOCK

August 6, 2018

According to the latest Speexx Exchange survey findings:  “Just 8% of L&D (Learning & Development) professionals believe their vision and mission are fully aligned to and actively contribute to long-term company strategy.” As trainers, we often spend an inordinate amount of our time with implementation.  Yet, choosing the “right training” for our trainee population should be our major focus. With that thought in mind, today’s blog will examine a series of “planning...

REDEFINING LITERACY

August 1, 2018

The majority of current “reading tests” are primarily constructed to measure vocabulary recognition.  But, does vocabulary recognition mean very much? Of course not!  The ability to form opinions from what individuals read is the only valid test of reading ability — and, that depends upon reading comprehension. What are the facts today?  Only about one quarter of this nation’s fourth graders are able to form opinions from what they read, and only...

eLEARNING & THE MULTI-NATIONALS

July 30, 2018

For decades, decentralized companies have had to cope with training challenges that included lack of standardization, inconsistency, and facilitation challenges.  An absence of centralized record-keeping has also negatively impacted their efforts. We’ve seen how modern LMS’s have addressed the latter issue and, today, e-Learning is effectively solving the other challenges. One such multi-national company has commented publicly about the positive impacts made on their organization by a corporate-installed LMS and, most importantly,...

TECHIES & FUZZIES

July 25, 2018

For several years now I have been singing the praises of a liberal arts education.  (A liberal arts education is generally accepted as covering the following fields:  the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Formal Sciences.) Recently, however, I have been writing in defense of liberal arts as more and more universities are not only emphasizing a STEM education but, more disturbingly, reducing the importance of the Humanities in their offerings. This...

THE FALLACY OF PRE-TEST PLACEMENT

July 23, 2018

Some courseware vendors promote their pre-tests as prescriptive tools.  If a trainee passes certain sections of the pre-test, she will be automatically taken only to those learning units she did not pass.  She will not be directed to the other learning units. There is a real danger with this practice and having produced more than four hundred training courses as co-Founder and former CEO of ITC, I steadfastly avoided this process (with...