We know that the various learning technologies are on the road to obsolescence when the manufacturers of the hardware products they require begin to eliminate them on their new “machines.” So, it is with CD-ROM learning if Apple is the harbinger of events to come. Unfortunately, some of the newer Apple computers have no intrinsic ability to play a CD-ROM.

Such a pity for those of us committed to the best in learning!

However, all is not lost! CD-ROM instruction can now be digitized and networked throughout an organization, allowing us to continue to provide “the best in learning” to our trainees!

No longer does one have to deal with multiple copies of individual CD-ROM discs. No longer are there any limitations to wide, always-available, training.

In the digital training world, the most effective learning medium remains CD-ROM instruction and digitized CD-ROM training is light years beyond most current e-Learning examples.

CD-ROM instruction has the unique power of rich multimedia learning (too often absent from today’s e-Learning courseware). Brilliant video that allows trainees to practice, vicariously, the procedures so necessary to their job descriptions.

CD-ROM training is not full simulation but it is the closest thing to it. Plus, it is affordable and — when digitally networked — readily distributable internally.

Why is full-motion video so necessary to most learning today?

Because the majority of your trainees are visual learners when it comes to skills acquisition. ‘Seeing’, ‘hearing’, and ‘doing’ – in combination – is still the best way.

In fact, studies continue to reveal that using “seeing-hearing-doing” training (in a full-motion and audio environment) will increase the majority of learners’ understanding by more than 50%, resulting in a 25-50% greater learning retention, and with a 50-60% greater consistency in content understanding – the ultimate aim of all learning.

One should also never forget that nearly 40% of America’s workforce do not comprehend beyond a 4th Grade reading level — making much of the current e-Learning offerings irrelevant since most are nothing more than adapted PowerPoint presentations.

Today, the unique power of full-motion learning is now achievable in a networked e-Learning environment. Any organization can now 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.

You’ve really got two options. Some will choose the current e-Learning examples simply because they can be accessed remotely. But remember — however convenient that may appear to be — most current e-Learning instruction gives up the “motion-picture value” — and, that is a significant weakness.

Your alternate choice is networked-delivered, digitized CD-ROM instruction. The training values here will prove superior for your organization and for your workforce. Greater learning and retention — increased on-the-job performance! Everyone will readily see the positive results. It’s still your better choice to make!

On Thursday we’ll continue with this discussion and examine what you should expect from well-designed CD-ROM courseware.

— Bill Walton, Founder
ITC Learning

www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com