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Online forum for training managers

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TrainingZONE's online workshop on 14 March 2000 provided a forum for training managers to discuss issues of common interest. This is the transcript.

Workshops take place every Tuesday at lunchtime and will shortly increase in frequency. They cover a range of topics and we welcome suggestions for topics and leaders. Please see the Workshop page for more information.

Tim Pickles: Hi Michael/Fiona. There's no formal agenda for today's workshop - it's more an opportunity to people to chat together, raise issues, compare notes, etc.

Tim Pickles: To get us going, would you like to introduce yourself and say something of your role?

Ken Hare: I am a training instructor for new equipment training for the U.S. Army. I evaluate training packages and buy training.

Michael Bennett: Michael is the Principal Employee Development Adviser for Aberdeen City Council. His role is to direct us to meet any needs which come up on a corporate level.

Tim Pickles: Hmmm - different roles, different locations - what sort of issues do you face in managing the training/development function?

Michael Bennett: Michael was in the British Air Force for a while, perhaps he'd like to have a chat with you - it would help if he was here I guess!! Anyway, he shouldn't be long. In the meantime, have you ever come across any good open learning material in the management development arena?

Michael Bennett: Tim - are you from Training Zone or are you taking part?

Ken Hare: Product compatability across different units. Different levels of skill in the instruction need to be addressed. Cost is a problem - as is spending the money once we have it.

Tim Pickles: Yes I'm from TrainingZone and I'm also happy to join in - it's part of my learning too!

Michael Bennett: In that case Tim, is this is a new thing? ... and, do you intend to have more chats on specific subjects?

Tim Pickles: Ken, you'll have to deal with a lot of different units - that's a complex handling task given the range of specs and operational levels.

Ken Hare: Many locations, many people with different backgraounds, many environments. All have classrooms, though.

Tim Pickles: Fiona - we run a workshop every Tuesday lunchtime (UK) with other regular slots starting shortly. The online learning programme will also be using workshops. Check the Workshop page for the list of topics and dates.

Tim Pickles: Hi Bonnie -and hi to Gyffard - looked like you're having difficulty getting in

Bonnie Kirk: Hello. I'm joining you from the U.S. -- the Northeast Georiga mountains

Michael Bennett: In relation to Ken's comments on managing lots of different locations, people etc, we have a similar issue but on a smaller scale. We have 12,500 employees and hundreds of different job roles.

Tim Pickles: Ken, how to you set about matching consistency across so many units? Who does the specifying? Is it controlled centrally or do the individual units have autonomy over training plans?

John Deardorff: Hello, all

Tim Pickles: Hi John, we're just getting going. There's a link down the page to see the earlier conversation.

John Deardorff: ok

Ken Hare: Different managers handle different equipment training. The packages are "standard" and go to units. The units have operators and repairers. So there aren't too many variants.

Michael Bennett: Hello Michael here, back from getting a sandwich

John Deardorff: Hi, I work in technical training for a large energy production/distribution company located in North Carolina.

John Deardorff: My group provides technical training subjects supporting power plant operations and engineering

John Deardorff: I coordinate training between 4 different sites so the current topic is interesting

Tim Pickles: OK, let's stay with this coordination issue for a time. Just how do you ensure consistency?

Ken Hare: The units agree to release students for a block of instruction - 40 or 80 hours say - and the material fits into this time slot. The equipment off the assembly line is fairly uniform.

Ken Hare: Units have operators who have had some training before they attend my classes - so we teach only what is "new" on equipment.

Tim Pickles: Hi Karen, we've just been discussing coordination and consistency in training when it's delivered across multiple sites.

Ken Hare: My group would like to do more CBT. Right now, most distance learning is done via video tape.

Tim Pickles: I'm finding there are lots of training managers wanting to move more into CBT and online learning, but without yet having the infrastructure to make this happen, or an easy way to get it lauched. Anyone else?

Shelley O'Neill: Hi, I'm Shelley, this is my first visit to these workshops, I'm the director of a small training organisation providing training to staff working in the voluntary and public sectors in the uk.

Michael Bennett: We launched CBT here in Aberdeen about three years ago and I would echo your view that the infrastructure needs to be in place to support CBT first

Ken Hare: Many of the possible students my group would have may not have "good enough" computer equipment for really great CBT stuff. Much of what we might deliver may appear uninteresting to them.

Shelley O'Neill: We are currently starting to look at distance learning programmes and online training for care staff who need to be qualified by 2001 in order to be registered as carers

Karen Airlie: Hi I'm karen I was just checking out what has already been said. I am also new and also working in the Voluntary sector

Hoda Lacey: Hello, there, I'm Hoda and I am part of a small group called It's All About People and we train mainly in the travel industry. Am interested in possibilities to expand using IT

Hoda Lacey: I believe this sort of event is geared to many people and would like to expand it. Not sure how to make it work financially though

Tim Pickles: Michael, what would you say were the successes and pitfalls of your CBT experience in Aberdeen? What might others learn from it?

Bonnie Kirk: I'm a training consultant, and some of my clients have built their infrastructure in conjunction with some mission critical training need.

Michael Bennett: The key that we have identiifed is ensure you have a person available in the CBT are or Open Learning Centre as we are calling it

Shelley O'Neill: karen , do you currently work with NVQ's or other qualifications?

Ken Hare: Do they act as a proctor to the training - field questions not in the training package- or trouble shoot equipment?

Michael Bennett: Initialy we under resourced the human element and in essence introduced individuals to CBT and left them to it - big mistake

Michael Bennett: We are currently exploring the use of our Intranet and the Internet to deliver CBT as we have numerous locations across Aberdeen city

Ken Hare: What was the "biggest mistake" at the under staffing, Michael?

Karen Airlie: Shelly I am looking in to accreditation at the minute as for our next funding we would like to run accreddited training. The funded programme is really more about the basics and getting people in to the idea of training and development. And you? - Karen

Michael Bennett: Not having an individual allocated to CBT to support, explain, trouble shoot and just be there

Ken Hare: Thanks.

Michael Bennett: people feel more comfortable if someone is in the room and they can turn to then for help

Karen Airlie: excuse my typing the sun is shining on this screen!

Ken Hare: Was that person well versed in the training? Or well versed on how to get the machines to run the training?

Michael Bennett: Mainly in the process ie getting the machines to run the machines

Bonnie Kirk: In my experience, the facilitator's skills start out with the equipment and what is being offered; they pick up on content as they go.

Tim Pickles: There's plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the need for a human contact through CBT; people are wary of the technology and still want to have a real person to go to with questions, and to offer practical support when they get stuck.

Ken Hare: Has any of your training for CBT based courses been REALLY full of bells and whistles that it didn't need human factor as much?

Shelley O'Neill: We're currently looking at accrediting our training and considering lots of options. ARC apparantly have developed a qualification for staff working in Learning Disability as have BUILD. I personally am not a fan of NVQ so would like to find, simple, jargon free, paper free alternatives. However as we work with diverse client groups it is difficult to find something that would meet everyone's needs. l

Bonnie Kirk: IMHO the more bells and whistles, the more potential for problems, and the greater the intimidation factor for novices

Shelley O'Neill: Karen, Do you think the voluntary sector has the technological resources for staff to benefit from online training?

Bonnie Kirk: I believe you have to analyze your target audience to decide if they need a facilitator; if you have a bunch of 20 somethings who know the technology, maybe not.

Karen Airlie: Karen Airlie: I am looking at OCN or perhaps what ever the Sharing Credit Network comes up with. I have been through the NVQ process in my l;ast job and it eas hell to say the least!

Michael Bennett: Most of the CBT courses we have do engage the individual with very little intervention or sup[port from the facilitator if I can call them that where they come itno their own is when things go wrong.

Michael Bennett: Also it is important for marketing of CBT

Bonnie Kirk: A good facilitator often becomes an evangelist -- if for no other reason to keep students coming, and therefore keep their job!

Karen Airlie: Karen Airlie: Shelly I really think that On Line is going to have its place to get round some of the accesssibility issues but most of my clients would not be interested. It's not just the lack of resourses but the fact that something more important always comes up! Your thoughts?

Shelley O'Neill: I did a lot of work a couple of years ago before Impact training was established trying to develop a Diploma in Residential Care with ocn in sussex. At the end of the day we ended up with as many units, performance criteria etc as NVQ and I believe after I left it was shelved. I have heard of other schemes throughout the country though with OCN that are working. Can you tell me more about the Sharing Credit Network I don't recognise that.

Michael Bennett: I have to leave now. Thanks i enjoyed the chat and will be back in the future. michael

Shelley O'Neill: Karen, yes I do agree there's always something else to distract. We had thought it might be an option for residential staff on sleep in duty. It seems a lot of people use that time to study at present

Karen Airlie: Karen Airlie: I'm just getting to grips with Sharing Credit my self. Sharing credit is running on a regional basis so I do not know if it is in your area. The idea behind the group is to get together as a region and share information and knowlege. We are going to put on a confrence in the west midlands in September. I know the East midalns is also running some stuff.

Bonnie Kirk: I don't know if anyone else is having trouble, but I was kicked out of this chat room and it took 3 tries to get back in.

Karen Airlie: I have found the SC Network a good way to find out everything at once without having to go to 6 different meetings. It is also one of the few ways to find out information about the Learning Skills Councils!

Tim Pickles: Bonnie, if the problem persists, check with our technical team on 0117 915 9600 who can advise

Ken Hare: I have another meeting to get to. Enjoyed the chance to "attend" this meeting. Hope to do it again. -Ken

Shelley O'Neill: that sounds interesting, is it an open conference - there have been several lately on this subject but unfornatately I've been booked up too far in advance to be able to attend. Could you let me have details.

Shelley O'Neill: karen, You can e-mail me at [email protected]

Tim Pickles: l to see email addresses! ???º t e n e c Å¿ j1P

Bonnie Kirk: Tim, no further problems, but I am going to have to run as well. Thanks for inviting us!

Tim Pickles: Ok, looks like we're running down. thanks for dropping by

Tim Pickles: I'll post the transcript this afternoon.

Karen Airlie: Karen Airlie: Shelly I will do that

Shelley O'Neill: Karen, thanks and look forward to hearing from you. Tim, many thanks & bye

Karen Airlie: Karen Airlie : Thanks all Must get back to the grind there is only so much time I can spend on here! Bye

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