February 27, 2014

I’ve pointed out in many-a-blog, how ineffectual most e-Learning is today. The marketplace is full of word-heavy examples of, what can better be called, e-Information. Most of it relates facts well (but, only if you’re a fluent reader) and, invariably, fails to deliver on skills acquisition and retention —- the two bottom line tests of any good training.

However, we have recently forgotten a far better technology —- when it comes to learning. CD-ROM delivered big-time to trainees motivated to acquire new skills and improve their on-the-job performance. And, the reason behind the successes enjoyed by this older medium was simple —- video-based learning!

But, we must not despair. Today, it is very possible to digitize those effective CD-ROM courses of a decade ago, network them, and deliver them as a better e-Learning solution.

Unlike other interactive training systems, digitized CD-ROM provides everything needed in one complete package.

Because it is an integrated package which can be used repeatedly once purchased, it will last for many, many years — making it the most cost effective training you can buy.

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 audio-visual presentation.

We know that it is difficult, if not impossible, for most people to learn to perform a skill by reading about it —- (like most current e-Learning offerings) —- ignoring the fact that 40% of our workforce does not read above a 4th Grade level. With digitized CD-ROM training, the student first learns by seeing, in real time, the skill being performed, 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 primary goal of teaching a skill to an employee is to improve the employee’s on-the-job performance. Therefore, 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 knowledgeably-designed 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. In addition, an on-line skills assessment can be used to determine whether a person needs to take any particular lesson.

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 in training personnel faster — thereby reducing trainees’ off-the-job time and making more efficient use of training facilities.

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

More on Monday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning