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Online Learning News – 11 April issue


XA news and idea service of Bill Communications Inc. (Lakewood)
Tuesday, April 11, 2000 Vol. 3, No. 3


Move ahead faster with e-learning. It's how you
build a smart force.


1. Blender ooze: The new e-lexicon
2. 60-second knowledge management
3. Napster: Where training is already going
4. Overseas ERP? Customize
5. Cries for help: Minority vendors? Flash cards?
6. Window shopping: Macromedia awards



Eric Parks ( ) makes up his own expressions
to describe e-learning.

Among his greatest challenges, says the Web-based training designer,
is "trying to communicate e-learning concepts to clients
and colleagues using terms and concepts from the classroom-
training era."

So Parks, CEO at ASK International ( of
Fair Oaks, CA, started jury-rigging his own jargon to "explain the
foundation principles of e-learning as I have experienced them
over the last five years."

Some of his succinct stylings:

LIQUID LEARNING. "A successful e-learning initiative," says
Parks, "can literally soak an organization in knowledge by
eliminating time and scheduling barriers to learning." One of his
clients estimates it reached just 20% of its classroom-training
audience before implementing global e-learning. "Today," says Parks,
"they estimate they reach 80% of this audience."

BLENDER LEARNING. E-learning lets you repurpose, mix and match
content to create learning hybrids. Think of e-learning as a
blender: "You can mix carrots and celery and end up with a
carrots-and-celery drink," says Parks. "You can mix compliance
training with sales training and end up with a unique hybrid

KNOWLEDGE OOZE. "Every e-learning initiative I have participated
in has resulted in learning and performance support oozing out to
people and organizations once cut off from learning by the
company firewall and conventional learning approaches," says

Before e-learning, suppliers and other partners received product
literature and occasional training. Now, says Parks, e-learning
that targets internal learners "oozes out to a growing number of
external partners, customers and suppliers."


Q What are the new expressions you have heard, or created
yourself, to describe e-learning?

Q Is e-learning really so different from traditional learning
that it requires a new language to describe it?

Send your response to . Your subject
line: Electronic Lexicon.

Very important: Include your name, title, organization, its
location, what it does, and a phone at which we can reach you.


Parks' session at Training Directors' Forum Conference in Phoenix
is on "Why Online Learners Drop Out -- and What to Do About
It" on June 5. A discussion for participants will follow on June
7. Register at



Here's a fair question:

A reader wants "some concise definitions" of knowledge
management. "What are the high-level elements that make up
knowledge management?" the reader inquires.

"What would you say in 60 seconds to your corporate executives
that would put the knowledge-management concepts into their

Readers? How would you rivet the idea of KM into your
corporate executives' heads in just 60 seconds?

E-mail your responses to . Very
important: Include your name, title, organization, its location,
what it does, and a phone number at which we can reach you.

Your subject line: 60-Second KM.



These sessions at Training Directors' Forum Conference in Phoenix
June 4-7 will add to your grasp of KM:

o "Enabling Knowledge Management Via Electronic Performance
Support," a case-study workshop with IBM's Tony O'Driscoll, is a
pre-conference session June 4 (costs $295 extra).

And in the conference proper:

o "Integrating Knowledge Management with Online Learning" is a
June 5 breakout with consultant James Li.

o "Knowledge Management: The View from the Trenches" with
Rosaline Tsai of Lawson Software University is another June 5

o "Reaching the Future Faster" is a keynote address June 6 by
Leif Edvinsson, CEO with Universal Networking Intellectual
Capital. Edvinsson supervised preparation of the first corporate
Intellectual Capital Annual Report.

To register, go to



Expose your hard drive to snooping peers? Not likely, says John
Pondiccio ( ).

That's what Napster-like software would mean. "I'm not sure
trainers, training departments and training organizations will
buy in," says Pondiccio, an applications developer and trainer
with Cendant Corp. in Stamford, CT, in response to our discussion
about Napster, the software college students use to share tunes
via the Web. ("Napster is morphing already," March 28.)

Napster lets computers on which it is loaded search other
Napster-equipped computers for MP3 files via the Web. (MP3 is a
Web audio-compression standard.)

Trainers will be loath to allow that, Pondiccio predicts. "I would
think that trainers would be hesitant to share courses they and
their companies have invested considerable time and effort in
developing," he says, "unless they were fairly compensated."

Concludes Pondiccio: "If someone figures out a way to find
courses by topic, deliver demos so interested parties can try
before they buy, and then charge them to download the full
courses, maybe it will take off -- if and when limited bandwidth
is removed as a barrier."


Actually, something like Napster for training is in the works,
notes Bruce R. Layman ( Bruce R Layman@AMEX ).

Layman, senior training consultant with American Express
Financial Advisors in Minneapolis, points to an effort to
standardize metadata for learning objects.

That initiative is under development by IMS Global Learning
Consortium Inc. (, an organization of
educators, business and government that works on e-learning

IMS is developing open specifications for online distributed-
learning activities such as: finding and using educational
content, tracking learner progress, reporting learner performance,
and exchanging student records among administrative systems.

Standardized search tags (metadata) let learners, trainers or
organizations hunt for learning material by specific criteria
-- media type, topic, author, language.

The IMS initiative, says Layman, has "huge positive implications
for knowledge management."


Good translation is not enough when you're going global with your
enterprise resource-planning (ERP) system, warns Kurt Meyer
( ).

He's responding to the reader who asked about an overseas ERP

Be sure as well that training and documentation materials are
customized for end users.

"If they haven't been, which is usually the case, serious
performance problems are likely to arise immediately after the
system goes live," cautions Meyer, business-development manager
with Signorelli & Associates Inc. (, a
St. Paul, MN, software-training firm.

You can find translation tools, "but the issue goes far beyond
translation or the tool," says Meyer. "The translation must
be localized to avoid end-user confusion and related problems."

Any broad-brush approach, Meyer says, "is likely to result
in learner confusion and poor performance, perhaps even serious
process disruptions that can be extremely expensive for the
client organization."

On the same overseas ERP rollout question, another vendor invited
a look at



We'll have more of your peers' advice soon about challenges
related to translation and English as a second language
(ESL). Meanwhile, here's a starter resource:

Kathy Hart ( Kathleen_Hart@NEWYORKLIFE.COM ), director of
management development and training with New York Life Insurance
Co. of New York City, suggests contacting the local Literacy
Volunteers of America Inc. (

"Usually they offer ESL in addition to basic literacy," says
Hart. "And they do it for free!"



Readers? Can you help your peers with these questions?

MINORITY OWNED? "Our company uses outsourced training
vendors for technical classroom training. We would like to
develop a partnership with a minority-owned training vendor who
could provide this type of training (i.e., programming languages,
Web-development tools, PC and Mac desktop tools, database tools).
Our search is coming up short. Any suggestions?"

FLASH-CARD SOFTWARE? "Is anyone aware of software that
will let me create, edit, and print personalized flash cards?"

TESTING FOR M.S. OFFICE? "I'm looking for online
testing that we would let applicants complete to assess their
level of Microsoft Office competency. Any suggestions would be

ARCHIVING. "I have been asked to benchmark how
other training organizations archive training materials in both
print and electronic formats for Internet-based training and
e-learning delivery methods. Currently we house-print instructor
guides and participant guides, CD-ROMs, Iomega diskettes and
floppy diskettes.

"How often are training materials re-used? Is more than one
storage method used depending on the deployment method? Have any
surveys been done in this area?"

TELE-PRESENTATIONS? "Does anyone recommend a good source
of presentation skills and/or competencies that relate to studio
presentations -- such as deliveries in distance-learning studios,
videoconferencing, live-video deliveries, and closed-circuit
corporate deliveries in front of the camera?

"I haven't found much to assist clients in this area of
presentation-skills development. The camera is usually focusing
on a close head shot or an upper-body shot. So much of basic
presentation-platform skills are moot."

WEB-CAM TRAINING? "What success has there been with Web-based
Web-camera instructor-led training?"

DOES ANYONE REMEMBER ... ? "If I attend a class today,
how much do I remember tomorrow? Next week? Next month? I'm
looking for estimated percentages to provide our directors a
better understanding of just in time learning."

TRACKING TRAINING? "I'm looking for a package that
would track training, allow employees to register for training
through my Web site, and offer training online. We are a
university with 1,300 employees. What I buy now will be very
important for the future. I'd like to hear from trainers who
could recommend such a system."

WHAT ARE YOUR IDEAS? Readers, if you can guide your peers
on one or more of the foregoing questions, please respond to .

Please use the subject line of the question to which you're

VERY IMPORTANT: Include your name and title, your
organization, its location, what it does, and a phone at which
we can reach you.


Your colleagues may have some ideas for your online
learning-related quandary. Please send your question to . Include a distinctive subject line.


MACROMEDIA AWARDS. Macromedia Inc. of San Francisco invites
entries for its e-learning awards "to honor outstanding
instructional content developed with Macromedia products." The
next quarterly deadline is June 30.

ARE YOU LOOKING? If you have an opening -- or if you're
looking yourself for a job -- this site lists human-resource,
training and multimedia openings as well as individuals seeking
contract and full-time work. The CareerXroads best site
choice for two years running has 5,000 resumes in its HR Careers

CAPTURE WHITEBOARD NOTES. Readers of Training Directors'
Forum Newsletter recommend Mimio, a portable tool that converts
whiteboard notes to an electronic version. The three-pound
product from Virtual Ink Corp. of Boston fits into a briefcase and
works for any PC-connected whiteboard up to four by eight feet.
Mimio captures, in color, whatever you write or draw on the
whiteboard. You can subsequently print, fax, e-mail or drag and
drop content into Windows applications. Mimio sells for $499.

(Training Directors' Forum Newsletter is a Web-only publication
for training managers. Go to
and click Training Directors' Forum Newsletter Online.




To register for Training Directors' Forum Conference, go to


Register for a FREE, Live, Online Training Program!

Attend a live web cast entitled "Industry Trends: Integrating the
Web and the Corporate University" on April 19 at 2 p.m. ET. The
one-hour discussion will include experts Jeanne Meister, President
of Corporate University Exchange; Richard Petrino, Ph.D., Sr. VP
of Comcast Cable Communications and Dean of Comcast University;
and Greg Woodward, Manager of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group,
Employee Relations Applied Technology Team. To participate, simply
register at least
48 hours in advance.


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