HOW TO BUY MEDIA TRAINING“ (Some Specific Considerations)

May 21, 2014

Before finalizing your media training purchases, in addition to the general considerations we pointed out on Monday, you should also pay close attention to some specific criteria:

1) Is the navigation through the course simple, consistent and intuitive. In other words, are the screens user-friendly and obvious to the learner?

2) Is the instruction both meaningful and interactive. In other words, are the individual units of the instruction performance-based and do they require relevant responses from the learner? (In addition, knowledgeable instructional design will segment the course into very small units of instruction, each tied directly to a performance objective.)

3) Are adult learning characteristics accommodated? In other words, are the designed communication techniques consistent with the learning culture of the individuals to be trained?

4) Are your administrative management requirements satisfied? In other words, are the test results, time-spent considerations, etc. readily incorporated into your LMS?

5) Is the media appropriately integrated into the learning experience. In other words, are the full-motion video, graphics, stills and animations directly appropriate to the subject being taught.

There are some practical expectations you should look for, as well.

1) Does the media-course you are reviewing provide adequate learning for your targeted audience? Does it teach the particular skills your trainees need in order to perform their assigned tasks?

2) Does the media-course you are reviewing integrate with your intended delivery system?

Your final review activity should be a very careful examination of the vendor’s “Customer Support” capability.

Some vendors regard their customer support activities only from a cost control standpoint. They believe that a customer support function is nothing but an expense item. So, they try to put roadblocks between themselves and the customer in order to delay the inevitable in the hope that it will “just go away.”

Unfortunately, far too many training vendors put a “Contact Us” on their website, BUT only provide an e-Mail method of contact — no phone number!

Other vendors place the caller into a voice mail activity, bypassing the customer’s need to get immediate service even though that customer may have a class of learners sitting on their hands and waiting.

What can you do during your review process in order to minimize your chances of ending up with one of those non-customer oriented vendors?

Well, you should ask your salesperson for both a “number to call” and an e-Mail address to contact in the event of a problem.

Now, run a test. Call the number provided and time how long it takes for them to get back with you. Ditto with the e-Mail address. The answer to those two tests will tell you a lot about the future problems you are going to encounter with that particular vendor.

We all know that technology is not perfect. There will always be hiccups. And, most of us know enough not to expect perfection.

But, it is not too much to expect vendors to treat those imperfections with the care and concern you, their customer, deserve.

Some vendors are truly customer oriented. Find one of those. It will save you a lot of after-the-sale grief.

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend. More next Wednesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning