Those of you working in education or training today readily recognize that students and our younger workforce learn best if the skills presented are packaged around full-motion video, gaming, and/or simulations. Television has been the great communication tool since the 1950s and both gaming and simulations have been entrenched in our learning environment for the past few decades.

So it was not surprising that, with the advent of CD-ROM instruction a couple of decades ago, we had a training-delivery system that was a most effective skills-communicator, but 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.

What original CD-ROM instruction did have, however, was the power of rich multimedia learning (currently missing from most of today’s E-Learning courseware) and effective simulations. 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 an Intranet environment. Any organization with a training-dedicated LAN can seamlessly present to its workforce unique multimedia learning 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 — including the administrative system.

The limitations are obvious. This is not an anytime/anywhere training solution. 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 traditional E-Learning because of its 24×7 appeal. But remember, however convenient, most current E-Learning instruction gives up the “full motion/optional word-for-word audio” values — and, that is a significant weakness (actually, fatal for most of your would-be learners).

The majority of your available E-Learning choices today are, unfortunately, built around “words and reading” — and those designs are light years removed from the learning culture of most of your trainees.

Regardless, it’s important to understand that you do have a choice today — current reading-based E-Learning (“the convenient”) or network-delivered digitized CD-ROM training (“the effective”)!

More on Tuesday – – –

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