With the advent of CD-ROM instruction a couple of decades ago, we had a training-delivery system that had efficiency limitations. One either had to buy a zillion copies in order to distribute them to all involved or commit to a Learning Center concept. Since labor costs are always the single biggest training expenditure, we had a relatively inefficient system — plus one that did not have the learning-value compensations of “one-on-one” instruction.

What original CD-ROM instruction did have, however, was the power of rich multimedia learning (temporarily missing from today’s e-Learning courseware). Brilliant video that allowed trainees to practice, vicariously, the procedures so necessary to their job descriptions. CD-ROM training was not full simulation but it was the closest thing to it. Plus, it was affordable and was readily distributable.

Today, despite a few limitations, the unique power of full-motion learning is now achievable in a CD-ROM Intranet environment. Any organization with a training dedicated LAN can seamlessly present to its workforce unique multimedia training at a fraction of the cost of the original multi-copy CD-ROM training. And, what’s more, there are no physical CDs involved — it’s all digitized.

The limitations are obvious. This is not an Internet training medium. It must be administered within range of the dedicated LAN. But, for training payback values, it currently has no peer.

You’ve really got two options. Most will choose e-Learning because of its 24×7 appeal.
But remember, however convenient, current e-Learning instruction gives up the “motion picture value” — and, that is a significant weakness, even though that absence can be partially compensated for with carefully constructed optional full audio.

Your alternate choice is LAN-delivered, digitized CD-ROM training. The training values here are superior but the flexibility is not as useful as e-Learning.

Regardless, it’s important to understand that you do have a choice today — e-Learning or network-delivered digitized CD-ROM training!

More tomorrow – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning