Posts from July 2009

The Two Traits of Good Vendor Reps

July 30, 2009

Let’s talk partnering today. As I’m sure you know, technology solutions for training are multiplying almost monthly. New vendors are appearing almost as fast, along with countless new products and services. No one can keep up with it all. Reading the training journals and finding knowledgeable people among the many vendors who are trying to sell you something are the best ways to fill in your own knowledge gaps. So what should...

Know Your Learning Styles

July 29, 2009

Historically, an organization has focused certain time and money on educating/training when either some process or function within the organization has gone awry or an edict to train has come down from high up in the organizational structure. It is at this point that the trainer or educator has had to focus on the “who-to-be-trained” and the “what-to-use” components. Far too often today, the “who” is overlooked because of the rush to...

Today’s Best Answer To Learning Challenges

July 28, 2009

Today let’s talk CD-ROM solutions. And, I don’t mean CD discs that have to be loaded, unloaded and stored. I’m talking about the CD-ROM solutions that have been fully digitized and installed on a training-dedicated server. No more discs to load, unload, store and lose. At this moment in time if your interest is solely to offer your workforce the very best learning media, digitized CD-ROM technology will win hands down. We’re...

The Wisdom of ‘Ol Charlie

July 27, 2009

Last week I received two newsletters advocating the same thing: On-The-Job (OTJ) Training. One newsletter pointed out, “. . . you can learn about forklift safety, but eventually learners will need to drive one before true learning takes place.” The other observed, “. . . when you ask a dozen workers in almost any organization about how they learned their job – most will point to On-The-Job Training.” I am in total...

Reading Elitist? Time to Step Aside.

July 24, 2009

What are the true “reading literacy” facts today? Only 24 percent of this nation’s 4th graders are able to form opinions from what they read, and only 34 percent of our high school seniors can. The majority of our working adult population cannot comprehend beyond a third- or fourth-grade reading level. Opportunity knocks! And that knocking your imagination should hear is for the full-motion, optional audio, fully branched, multiple learning-style accommodation programming...

Giants vs. Giant Wastes

July 23, 2009

Yesterday afternoon, I received a newsletter advertising a new publication that analyzes “Authoring System” choices. They even included access to a short section that addressed a specific company’s offering – and, which I began to read. Shortly thereafter, my few remaining hairs stood on end and my stomach muscles began to tighten as an angry growl escaped my mouth. Here’s the “Description of Authoring process” section that did it: 1. The author...

The Payback of Well-designed Training

July 22, 2009

Today, I want to focus on industrial skills training, the business segment that has pioneered most of the design advances in corporate media training for the past three decades. The first generic industrial training media course was produced by NUS Corporation (Rockville, Maryland) in 1973. It was produced for the nuclear power industry and was in black and white, mastered on a two inch reel-to-reel video recorder. Two years later the first...

Welcome To The E-learning Era

July 21, 2009

We’ve come a long way down the technology trail in the past three decades. The training challenges for the process and manufacturing industries have grown. The training choices have increased. And the trade-offs involving instructional design and production values plus cost and efficiency issues have complicated the entire process for the corporate trainer. However, the heart of the matter has not changed. Learning values have always been balanced against corporate issues, involving...

Simulate, Emulate, Graduate

July 20, 2009

Unfortunately, the passive “live instruction-as-lecture” method has — mistakenly — become the norm for teaching far too many in our adult population. There are three reasons why organizations can’t help but fail when using this approach: First, workplace lectures have proven to be generally ineffective due to the listener’s inability to retain much more than a small amount of the instruction heard at a single sitting. Secondly, there is not enough time...

Just In Time Training

July 17, 2009

Training Challenge Number Six: “The failure to recognize e-learning that truly works” The seventh essential quality for truly effective e-learning is a course design that is “Capable of Doubling as a Help Desk.” Research has shown that nearly 70% of information learned in initial formal training is forgotten by the time the worker actually needs it. When unique on-the-job conditions arise, those workers need a quick and easy way to get refresher...

Know Your Subjects

July 16, 2009

Training Challenge Number Six: “The failure to recognize e-learning that truly works” The sixth essential quality for truly effective e-learning is a course design that exhibits “Subject-appropriate Instructional Design.” Many years ago (in the days of interactive laser videodiscs) I was invited by the president of one of the Big Three auto makers to attend a meeting in Detroit in order to help him understand why a very expensive math program for...

The Benefits of Bullets

July 15, 2009

Training Challenge Number Six: “The failure to recognize e-learning that truly works” The fifth essential quality for truly effective e-learning is a course design that exhibits “Efficient Sentence Use per Screen.” If retention is the ultimate aim of any training program, the emphasis on individual teaching screens should be on the visuals used, along with whatever animation is employed. These visuals may be photographs, graphics, charts, and diagrams. (In the future, after...

How Long Can You Sit Still?

July 14, 2009

Training Challenge Number Six: “The failure to recognize e-learning that truly works” The fourth essential quality for truly effective e-learning is a training course that is knowledgeably divided into short modular lessons. We all want to see the people we train master the training materials presented. With well designed e-learning, 100% test scores are readily attainable. That is because with short teaching segments, information is easily reviewed and repetition is seamlessly possible....

Making Meaningful Interactivity

July 13, 2009

Training Challenge Number Six: “The failure to recognize e-learning that truly works” The third essential quality for truly effective e-learning is “Meaningful and Individually Interactive Instruction” which, of course, means that a knowledgeable instructional designer has created it. Far too many e-learning courses are designed today by individuals who know very little about the audience they are designing for and who don’t really have the knowledge to separate the “have-to-knows” from the...