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Online Learning News – 12 October issue

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A news and idea service of Bill Communications (Lakewood)
Tuesday, Oct. 12, 1999 Vol. 2, No. 29

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If you rely on video information, visit Digital Lava Inc.
( http://www.digitallava.com) in booth # 906 at OLL'99.
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THIS WEEK:

1. Why not Kirkpatrick?
2. Supply-chain training
3. Cries for help: Pricing a training-management system?
4. Show prep: Who's doing what ...
5. ... And did someone say 'free?'

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WHY SHOULDN'T KIRKPATRICK WORK ONLINE?

Must you abandon Kirkpatrick for online learning? Can't the
good old four-level Kirkpatrick training-evaluation approach
work online just as it works with classroom training?

Kirkpatrick devotees have taken up that cause since
consultant Saul Carliner ([email protected])
suggested last month that the conventional approach may fall
short ("Adapting Kirkpatrick Online," Sept. 28).

Carliner argued that much online learning -- especially
learning via performance support and knowledge management --
is "informal learning" that doesn't lend itself to
Kirkpatrick-type evaluation.

Indeed, the Kirkpatrick model may not work with online
learning at all, cautions Carliner, a training consultant who
teaches information design at Bentley College in Waltham, MA.

Cue the Kirkpatrick loyalists:

Patti Shank ([email protected]), whose Aurora, CO, Web-
development firm is Insight Ed ( http://www.insighted.com),
says traditional measurement can indeed accommodate online
learning.

"Online is a delivery medium, like CD-ROM, in-person, or
video," reasons Shank. "The medium dictates design and
delivery considerations, but doesn't negate the ability to
assess."

Assessment, she says, should embed easily into the design and
delivery, appearing as feedback forms, quizzes, tests,
assignments, discussion, and projects.

What about Level-3 measures of behavior change on the job?
Same old same old. "You have to go see," says Shank. "If
you're training hospital registration clerks in an online
program, you can see if the folks coming out of your program
can register patients."

But if online learning shades into performance support,
Carliner may have a point. "Without feedback and assessment,
it isn't a course," Shank concedes. "It's information."


SETTING GOALS

Evaluation must happen against a backdrop of clearly
defined learning objectives and valid instructional design,
agrees Kevin O'Reilly ([email protected]), product-
marketing director with vendor Pathlore Software Corp.
( http://www.pathlore.com) of Columbus, OH.

Goals? Ask the learner's boss to establish an expected change
in the learner's behavior -- or, better yet, use quantifiable
criteria such as a target percent increase in sales.

If that rings a bell, O'Reilly notes -- it's sound classroom
practice as well.

The key for trainers is to "design data capture into training
delivery," says O'Reilly.

And set those goals. "I can't emphasize enough the importance
of firmly established learning objectives and valid
instructional design technique," concludes O'Reilly.

"Throughout all the changes in available technology, these
two criteria have consistently proven to dictate the success
or failure of distance learning."


AND WHILE YOU'RE AT IT ...

Travis Piper ([email protected]), president of online-
training developer Creative Approaches Inc. of East
Bloomfield, NY, suggests evaluating return on investment at
the same time you measure learning.

"By getting the client to identify the costs of the current
training, ranging from student and instructor salaries to
travel, classroom materials and per diem," says Piper, "it is
fairly easy to build a program that converts online-learning
course completion times into savings of thousands of dollars
each time the report is run."

Aggregate your results in year-to-date updates, says Piper,
and your organization's managers "will soon begin to see that
they cannot afford NOT to use online learning," he claims.

_____________

ABOUT SAUL AND PATTI ...

Carliner's pre-conference session in Los Angeles this Sunday
is on how to evaluate online learning. Shank's OnLine
Learning '99 sessions at the show include one on people-to-
people interaction online, also on Sunday.


... BUT YOU'LL HAVE TO HURRY

Hurry if you wish to register for the show at
http://www.onlinelearning99.com. Tuesday is the last day
for Web registrations. You can, however, register on site at
the Los Angeles show, which runs Sunday through Wednesday,
Oct. 20.

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SUPPLY-CHAIN TRAINING

Someone asked about supply-chain training particularly for
Europe.

Hard to find? Maybe. Joe Windham ([email protected]),
instructional designer and multimedia producer in the
Instructional & Multimedia Design Group of Motorola
University South East in Boynton Beach, FL, says:

"We have been investigating sources for logistics and supply-
chain training, but have only found high-cost seminars from
consultants and academics.

"These are OK for one-time, high-level executive needs.
Published authors on this topic who have given seminars
include Charles Poirier of Computer Sciences Corp.
( http://www.csc.com)and Jeremy F. Shapiro from
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
( http://coursefinder.pbstbc.com)."

Concludes Windham: "We have not found a source that provides
an orientation or overview for larger numbers of people who
work in supply-chain or materials-management roles."

Russ Needham ([email protected]), training specialist with
Grant Thornton LLP in Chicago, suggests NETg
( http://www.NETg.com). The Harcourt Inc. unit has a recent
CD entitled "Supply Chain Management."

Vendors themselves invite a look at:

o http://www.lean.org
o http://www.cfedu.com

_____________

CRIES FOR HELP: PRICING TRAINING-MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS?

Can you help? Please e-mail [email protected]. Your
subject line: Pricing Training-Management Systems

Please include your name, title, organization, where it is,
and what it does. Please also include a phone number at which
we can reach you to confirm information.


WHAT TO PAY FOR TRAINING MANAGEMENT?

"I work for an airline that is considering moving from
several training-tracking systems to one universal system. I
have been preparing the organization to move forward in the
delivery of computer-based training and Web-based training.

"We have employees (airport agents, flight attendants,
pilots) living all over the country, all of whom need
continuous training required by government regulation. We
need a system that allows our employees to review a course
catalog, sign up for courses, take said courses, and have
records immediately updated.

"We would also like to be able to conduct skills-gap analysis
and manage our training resources using this system.

"How much do we have to spend to get a system that can meet
our needs? We have talked to some organizations that say
they can do what we need for about $50,000 in software costs,
and others who say that we need their product to really do
what we need at a cost closer to $2 million.

"How can they all say they can meet our needs but have such a
huge disparity in price? Does anyone have a similar
situation? And who are you considering buying from?"

_____________

OLL '99 PREP: WHO'S DOING WHAT ...

Who's doing what in online learning? Help us prepare a
profile of tech-delivered training practice by filling out a
survey at http://www.trainingsupersite.com/freeregistration.

Free registration? That would be for TRAINING 2000 in Atlanta
Feb. 21-23. If you fill out the survey, we'll enter your name
in a drawing for that complimentary admission, worth $995.

_____________

... AND SPEAKING OF TRAINING 2000: TUTU AND MORE

TRAINING 2000 brochures are ready. You can request one at
http://www.lakewoodconferences.com/brochure.htm.

The big show in Atlanta Feb. 21-23 features South Africa's
Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, MIT Media Lab's
Nicholas Negroponte, cultural anthropologist Jennifer James,
Fortune magazine columnist Tom Stewart, and 200 breakout
sessions.

_____________

... AND FINALLY

*************************************************************
Productivity Starts Here! Win a FREE Palm Pilot V from
Atkins Performance Improvement Programs. Go to
http://www.stuartatkins.com/index1.html
*************************************************************

IT'S WEEKLY. IT'S FREE! To receive OnLine Learning News,
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____________
Copyright 1999
Bill Communications Inc.

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