August 22, 2016

Actual experience from users is the best test of any training program.

Media-based learning has passed that test for the past three decades —- first with IVD (Interactive Laser Videodisc) followed by CD-ROM and today’s e-Learning examples that are NOT word-based or PowerPoint conversions.

Media training programs that are rooted in full motion video, animated graphics and optional full audio have been passing the test, for many reasons.  Here are just a few I’ve encountered during the past thirty-plus years:

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 only manned by one or two individuals while, at the same time, reducing training costs under new budget restraints.  Their solution was to adopt an e-Learning approach with the record keeping networked back to corporate headquarters.  This company enjoyed a 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, 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.  Since the sites were automated and each manned by a staff of less than five employees, their challenge was to effectively disperse training to a group of employees whose job was to sit and do nothing but make sure that the automated equipment was working correctly.  E-Learning allowed them to place the courseware right in the control center where employees could take 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 the training and, yet, not impact the current production schedule.  They 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.

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 they had been investing 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 one’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 e-Learning as their solution because it can be delivered successfully in half the time and allows for automatic record keeping.

Those are just a few endorsements of media-based learning that I’ve encountered in the last three dozen years.  Those who adopt it have had great success — and, with attendant investment paybacks.

There are many reasons behind the success of media-based learning solutions.  However, they all begin with full motion video, graphic animations, and optional full audio.  It’s the learning culture of today!

More on Wednesday –  –  –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)