So much conversation regarding training these days centers on E-Learning. The practical benefits of E-Learning are obvious: 24×7 access and its availability anytime/anywhere.

But, ignored much too often, are the learning values that do not exist with most current E-Learning courses -– primarily because almost all current E-Learning ignores the necessity of full-screen, video-based training that is central to the learning culture of today’s workforce.

If training values (including high retention rates and increased on-the-job performance) are one’s focus, full-screen, video-based CD-ROM training provides everything needed in one complete package.

Because it is available in digitized versions, it can be successfully networked throughout one’s facility, thereby offering most of the practical aspects of E-Learning instruction.

And, because it is an integrated digitized package which can be used repeatedly once purchased, it will last for many, many years — making it, also, the most cost effective training you can purchase.

Digitized CD-ROM training is not simply an audio-visual system developed to supplant the learning that comes from reading a workbook. Rather, it is a truly individualized interactive learning system. The learning takes place almost entirely through interaction and involvement with the full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio presentation.

It is difficult for people to learn to perform a skill by reading about it or even seeing still photographs of the skill being performed. Heavily book-based training systems or reading-based E-Learning, however, rely on these as their primary teaching methods, ignoring the fact that 40% of our workforce does not read above a 4th Grade level. With skillfully designed digitized 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. Finally, they are tested, again via interactive simulations of the real world activity.

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

Each lesson of every digitized CD-ROM lesson is a free-standing unit of instruction. The training needs of each group or individual can be met by selecting the training they need — and, only the training they need. Your trainees need not waste time covering material that they already know in order to get to what they need to learn. Unless some method already in place is more convenient, an on-line Skills Assessment can be used to determine just what lessons the trainee needs to take — and, what courses they can skip — resulting in significant dollars saved.

Many users of many individualized training systems complain that trainees are intimidated by the fact that the system controls their every move. On the other hand, users of digitized CD-ROMs control their own path through each lesson. They are free at any time to skip over material they already understand, or repeat any portions they choose — for better comprehension.

When compared with other methods of instruction, digitized CD-ROM training has proven itself by training personnel faster — thereby reducing trainees’ off-the-job time and making more efficient use of training facilities. Most importantly, with full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio instruction, retention rates are higher than with any other training medium.

Compared to other methods of teaching, digitized CD-ROM instruction requires minimal involvement by training personnel. The role of the instructor becomes more one of administering the training and relating the generic courseware to plant-specific workplace situations. In that way, by combining the plant-specific with the initial training, the learning becomes enhanced.

You’ll look for a long time before you find a better training medium than networked CD-ROM learning.

More on Tuesday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com