Founders Blog

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...

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...