Founders Blog

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...

EFFECTIVE LEARNING FOR ALL

July 9, 2018

“Big Jay”, as he was known in the community, dropped out of school in the tenth grade.  He decided that school had failed to serve his needs, and felt that getting out in the world and earning money would be more of a help to his mother and younger brothers and sisters.  “Big Jay” had to weigh his career options, and turned to what he found to be the most expedient choice: ...

IGNORANCE WITHOUT REASON

July 2, 2018

A couple of years ago, a colleague asked me to research a particular skills training provider —- a vendor that was previously unknown to me.  I always enjoy those research tasks as it allows me to keep up with the new directions the skills training world might be taking. So, I happily went about that assignment and started my google search. Imagine my surprise when I accessed that vendor’s website and discovered...

SUCCESS — OR, FAILURE

June 27, 2018

Periodically, you should step back and objectively evaluate your e-Learning initiatives.  From a design point of view, there is an excellent set of criteria listed in an article, “eLearning Course Evaluation: The Ultimate Guide For eLearning Professionals,” by Christopher Pappas in eLearning Industry:  “In order to effectively evaluate your eLearning course at all stages, you need to check 7 elements:   First of all, you need to identify your eLearning objectives. What...

TRAINING TODAY

June 25, 2018

Training differs from education in many ways.  Its aim is to improve the skills necessary for a better life through increased job performance.  And, rightfully, the emphasis today for both training and for education has shifted from the provider to the receiver — allowing us to now focus our attention on learning and the learner. “.  .  . The main purpose of training is to ensure that all employees have the technical...

BOTH ARE IMPORTANT

June 20, 2018

We must start planning better training and education tracks for both our workforce and for the thought leaders needed in our subject-matter disciplines.  Instead of sending everyone into the same college track, we must recognize that interests, talents and innate skills vary from individual to individual.  It’s that recognition that must guide us. With that in mind, let’s first examine the most forgotten members of our population — our emerging, and most...