Founders Blog

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...

What’s On The Menu?

July 10, 2009

Training Challenge Number Six: “The failure to recognize e-learning that truly works” The second essential quality for truly effective E-Learning is a “User-designed Interface” that has been created for ease of navigation. For the individuals who will be taking your e-learning courses, much of their initial motivation will be blunted if they have to spend excessive time paging down or up in order to get the information they are seeking. In fact,...

The #1 Criterion to Evaluate E-learning

July 9, 2009

Training Challenge Number Six: “the failure to recognize E-Learning that truly works” Today we’re going to elaborate on yesterday’s discussion where I listed those characteristics one should expect from any knowledgeably designed e-learning solution that you either purchase or develop internally. Recognizing that “Content Accuracy” and “A Real-time Environment” are the universal requirements of any valid training program, “Optional Word-for-Word Audio Capability” is the first essential quality specifically necessary for effective e-learning....

Knowing what works – and what doesn’t

July 8, 2009

Training Challenge Number Six: “The failure to recognize e-learning that truly works” Corporate trainers should run – not just walk – away as fast as they can when they encounter adapted PowerPoint presentations, adapted written procedures, converted CD-ROMs and converted videos posing as e-learning. When someone tells you that these things actually teach in an e-learning environment, just ask them if they’d like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge. At best, what those...

Retain, Retain, Retain!

July 7, 2009

Training Challenge Number Five: “the failure to measure longer term retention” The only training initiatives that have positive impacts on an organization’s performance and future are those programs that generate longer-term retention and positive applications of the initial training. Almost every vendor of training software or standup instruction refers to the wonderful statistics that trumpet the improvement made by most participants in their proprietary solutions. They claim that the post-test scores are...

The Power of ‘Single-Minded Focus’

July 6, 2009

Training Challenge Number Four: “The failure to provide focused e-learning that is designed to meet the learning culture of the twenty-first century” The first thing we must acknowledge is the amount of garbage being disseminated today under the guise of e-learning. Page-turner programs, PowerPoint presentations and reconstituted written procedures all do much more harm than good. In fact, they almost totally ignore most modern workers and their needs. They lack the winning...

Why Corporate Training Fails – Final Post

July 2, 2009

We’ll wrap this topic up today and get ready for the three day weekend. Training Challenge Number Three: “The failure to provide training that is designed to meet the needs of the 21st Century Learning Culture.” The shift from teacher-led to media-rich, learner-centered instruction may well be forced upon the American education system in the upcoming years. In case one hasn’t been paying attention, there are big changes on the horizon for...