Sometimes “newer is not better!” In the case of skills training, the newer e-Learning technologies do not begin to compare with the learning values designed into interactive CD-ROM training. And, until the infrastructure within our manufacturing and process facilities begins to allow for seamless moving picture transferal, e-Learning will not compete.

Knowledgeably-designed interactive CD-ROM training is not simply an audio-visual system designed to supplant learning from reading a workbook. It is a true, individualized interactive learning system. The learning takes place almost entirely through interaction and involvement with the audio-visual presentation.

It is difficult for many people to learn how to perform a skill by reading about it. (Today, 40% of our workforce does not comprehend above a 4th Grade reading level!) Heavily book-based training systems, however, rely on these as the primary teaching methods.

With well-designed interactive CD-ROM training, the student first learns by seeing, in real time, the skill being performed — and then practices the skill via interactive simulations to fortify what they have learned.

The goal of teaching a skill to an employee is to improve the employee’s on-the-job performance. Therefore, interactive CD-ROM programs focus on teaching the performance of a skill and not just the theoretical knowledge related to that skill. The theoretical knowledge needed to properly perform a task should be included, but the focus is always on the task, not the knowledge.

Each lesson of every interactive CD-ROM program should be a free-standing unit of instruction. The training needs of each group or individual can be met by selecting the lessons they need, and only those lessons that they need. Your trainees need not waste time covering material they already know in order to get to what they need to learn. Combined with an on-line Skills Assessment, interactive CD-ROM accomplishes that goal.

Many users of early individualized training systems complained that trainees were intimidated by the fact that the system controlled their every move. Users of competently designed interactive CD-ROM programs control their own path through each lesson. They are free at any time to skip over material that they already understand — or, repeat any portions they choose for better comprehension.

Additionally, when compared with other methods of instruction, well-designed interactive CD-ROM courseware has proven itself by training personnel faster — thereby reducing trainees’ off-the-job time and making more efficient use of training facilities.

Most importantly, it is now possible to buy digitized CD-ROM and effectively network that learning inside your own firewall — which actually gives you an additional advantage: “the best of e-Learning choices available today!”

More on Tuesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning