Followers of this post have read previous blogs extolling the many virtues of multi-sensory instruction. Whether delivered by networked CD-ROM or in an enlightened E-Learning environment, the use of full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio are essential elements in today’s learning culture. By now you know that roughly 40% of America’s workforce does not assimilate information written above a 4th Grade reading level — and, that most opinions are formed from the information (or, misinformation) we receive from our television sets and computer screens.

But, what about “the real world?” What actual results are being achieved by some of those organizations who have committed to multi-sensory instruction?

a) A leading energy corporation had a training need in their pipeline division. Their challenge was to disburse training to over 100 individual sites, some of which were staffed by only one or two individuals while, at the same time, reducing training costs under new budget restraints. Their solution was to adopt a multi-sensory E-Learning approach with the recordkeeping networked back to corporate headquarters. In addition to better training results, this company enjoyed a significant return on investment by reducing travel costs and reducing time-away-from-job.

b) A major chemical company had 18 satellite locations in North and South America. Their challenge was to provide consistent training to a diverse workforce. Again, multi-sensory E-Learning provided the solution — and because of the efficiencies associated with E-Learning, they realized a cost savings of more than $500,000 in the first three years of the program.

c) A leading chemical and pipeline provider needed to launch a technician training program to 78 site locations across the country. The sites were automated and each manned by a staff of less than five employees. The challenge was to effectively disperse training to each group, whose primary job was to sit and do nothing but make sure that the automated equipment was working correctly. Multi-sensory E-Learning allowed them to place the courseware in each control center where employees could access the training while working their shift. This company saw a major reduction in training costs because they no longer had to take the employees off the job in order to train.

d) A manufacturer of airplane engine parts had a major staffing issue. Faced with the fact that their employee population was aging, with more than half of their maintenance and operations staff due to retire in the next five years, they knew they had to cross-train in order to increase the skill level of their younger workers. The challenge was how to effectively do that training and, yet, not impact the current production schedule. The company could not afford to take a large group off the floor or take the more experienced workers away from the job. Their solution was to open a learning center within the facility. Workers were scheduled to complete multi-sensory media instruction in multiple shifts with little, or no, impact on the daily operations. Their staffing issue was effectively solved.

e) A chemical company needed to obtain certification in ISO and NICET training for their instrument technicians. Again, multi-sensory media was chosen as their training solution. The program proved a success and the training time was cut in half from what had, previously, been invested with a local community college.

f) A major employee services and consulting firm had many employees located at a variety of customer facilities, manning and maintaining a diverse range of production processes and equipment — including off-shore rigs, manufacturing facilities, pipelines, construction sites and oil refineries. Their challenge was to provide a consistent training program to a diverse audience with varied skill sets and widely divergent reading levels. Multi-sensory media instruction proved the best solution because it provided consistent training and was not based on an individual worker’s reading fluency.

g) A major chemical company needed to enhance their apprenticeship program. They wanted the training to be self-paced and home accessible. They chose multi-sensory E-Learning as their solution because it can be delivered successfully in half the time and allows for automatic recordkeeping.

Actual experience from users is the best test of any training program. We’ve just seen a few of the many endorsements of multi-sensory learning. Those who adopt it have had great success — and, with attendant investment paybacks. Those who don’t — and, continue to rely on the less effective traditional training methods of “lecture/reading” — do so at their own peril.

Networked CD-ROM and multi-sensory E-Learning are not only your best training bets today, they are your only enlightened choices — if you want to positively impact learning and retention in your workforce.

More on Thursday – – –

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