The buyers of technology training solutions have changed. And, in many instances, that has not been a good thing for learning outcomes.

Up until the last decade most training purchases were made on the individual plant level. Those purchases were typically made by workers-2individuals who either had actual plant floor experience or by professional trainers.

Recently, driven by e-Learning technology, many of those same purchases are made at the corporate level and, far too often, by individuals who have come out of an HR or technology environment. Few of these corporate buyers have had prior shop floor experience or were ever professional trainers.

Unfortunately for the workers who have to take the training, much of what is purchased today are ex-PowerPoint presentations or ex-written procedures that have been re-purposed for e-Learning delivery. And, as we all know by now, those types of e-Learning do not teach anyone anything. They violate almost all knowledgeable instructional design principles. They totally ignore the fact that half of our nation’s workforce does not read above a 4th Grade level. And, as national statistics prove, 70% of re-purposed PowerPoint and written procedure courses are never completed by the trainees.

It’s past time to get some of the supervisors with plant floor experience and plant training personnel back into the corporate decision process – if only in an advisory role.

Simply put, “A title is not a title.” Just because a vendor’s catalog lists a course entitled, “Centrifugal Pump Maintenance” does not mean that the course described will actually train anyone in how to perform maintenance on a centrifugal pump. It is simply a title until the innards have been examined by someone who knows the subject, understands instructional design principles, and is aware that video plus optional full audio is the only way to go in today’s learning culture.

A few vendors have actually done nothing more than stock their e-Learning catalogs with re-purposed written procedures and PowerPoint presentations that had been produced years earlier on a customized basis. The fat catalogs they publish are actually listings of nonsense. They’ve called these re-purposed programs e-Learning but that claim could not be further removed from any effective learning process. These vendors are relying on corporate buyers seeing the large number of titles being peddled and, then, making the mistaken assumption that those titles will actually contribute to the learning process.

Other vendors will send their courseware production activities overseas where the courses can be templated and stamped out, one after the other, with no awareness of the design requirements disparate subjects require.

Nope. “A title is definitely not a title.” Let’s bring our subject knowledgeable employees and our training knowledgeable employees back into the corporate buying process.hands-on-training

More tomorrow – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning