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Online Learning News – 30 May 2000

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A news and idea service of Bill Communications Inc.

Tuesday, May 30, 2000 Vol. 3, No. 10
________________________________________________________

How can eLearning keep your business competitive? LIVE
Webcast with experts June 15. See http://www.docent.com
________________________________________________________

THIS WEEK:

1. Why finish?
2. BCI adds Asia, Europe e-learning shows
3. Simulate this!
4. Beyond stand-up
5. Cries for help: Plug-in count?
6. Window shopping: E-learning in Africa

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WHY FINISH??

Do learners really need to finish online courses? Why
shouldn't they merely learn as much as they need to know
at the moment, and then go back to work?

On the other hand, if learners don’t finish, how can
trainers evaluate learner progress? And how can trainers
prove that they're doing their job as trainers?

Now there's a lovely dilemma, reports Associate Editor
Wendy Webb in the July Technology for Learning
Newsletter.

One trainer on the pro-finish side is Larry Pakieser
( [email protected] ), technical training
manager for FirstWorld Communications in Greenwood
Village, CO.

It is indeed important for e-learners to finish their
courses, he believes -- but, Pakieser notes, it's OK to
blow off a few modules within a course.

"The courseware I use allows learners to take the unit
test whenever they want to," he says. "If they pass it,
good for them. On to the next module."

But his learners have to finish the course. How does he
coax them through? No finish, no next course, for one
thing.

"My courseware is set up into curriculums and linked
through the use of prerequisites," Pakieser says. "If
they don’t finish the course, the system will not allow
them to register for another course."

Another ploy: paying for progress. Pakieser’s company
offers quarterly bonuses based on how well employees meet
quarterly goals, up to 20% of the learner’s pay for the
three-month period.


ALL 20 VOLUMES?

On the why-finish side is Mark Galgsdies
( [email protected] ), learning and
development consultant for Fuji Xerox in Australia.

"Would you even think about reading all 20 volumes of
the encyclopedia just to find out the capital of
Zimbabwe?" Galgsdies wonders.

He thinks trainers are wrong to think of Web-based
training as "a course, an event, a thing that needs
completion or resolution."

Galgsdies sees his WBT not as discrete learning events,
but as pieces of his organization’s overall knowledge
base.

"It’s a skill-attainment process," he says. “Ongoing,
continual, chunked."

Why are some trainers (and their companies) hung
up on course completion? "Because," argues Galgsdies,
"it’s easy to measure. How many started, how many
finished. Simple."

Trainers can, however, find meaningful metrics
elsewhere, says Galgsdies -- in job performance.


IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ...

You can receive Wendy's full story about this subject
in the July Technology for Learning Newsletter, free.
Here's how:

Go to http://www.trainingsupersite.com/tfland click
Subscriptions. Complete the form and submit it.

If you do so BY JUNE 1, the first TFL you receive will
be the July issue. Thereafter, if you choose to cancel
the subscription without paying the bill, the issue is
still yours to keep.

_____________

BCI ANNOUNCES TWO NEW ONLINE-LEARNING SHOWS

Bill Communications Inc. announced two new international
conferences: OnLine Learning 2001 Asia and OnLine
Learning 2001 Europe.

Both events build on BCI's U.S.-based OnLine Learning
2000 Conference and Expo, scheduled this year in Denver
Sept. 24-27; and on BCI's Training/Presentations 2001
Conference and Expo, scheduled in Atlanta March 5-7,
2001.

OnLine Learning 2001 Asia will be next May in Singapore,
in a joint venture with Times Publishing Ltd., a
publisher and producer of events including Comdex Asia.

"With the strong productivity initiatives by most Asian
governments in order to compete globally, this is an
ideal time" for such a conference, says Michael Liew,
senior vice president with Times Publishing Group.

OnLine Learning 2001 Europe will be next February, says
Philip Jones, a BCI vice president and director of
events.

"The corporate online learning market in the United
Kingdom is expected to triple in the next two years to
nearly $2.3 billion dollars (U.S.)," adds Jones. "This
fast-growth market sector in Europe is ripe for an event
to bring together buyers, sellers, practitioners,
consultants and experts."

BCI is a unit of Holland-based VNU, a global publishing
and information group. BCI publications include Training,
Inside Technology Training, and Presentations magazines,
as well as OnLine Learning News.

For more information about the new events, go to
http://www.lakewoodconferences.com.

_____________

SIMULATE THIS!

How can you streamline creation of software simulations
to help train people in use of that software -- without
using plug-ins?

Like the reader who asked that question, Michael Boor
( [email protected] ) had been "searching far
and wide for such a product."

Boor is an instructional designer with Wonderware Corp.
( http://www.wonderware.com) of Irvine, CA, which
develops technical training for industrial-automation
software.

"For interactive program simulation lessons, we had
been using an application called WinWise that is no
longer in business," says Boor.

"After much research, we found something called
RapidBuilder and it's companion product, RapidExam."

RapidBuilder enables fast recording and playback editing
of most standard user interactions from the graphic-user
interface.

"In other words, it records a specific series of events
and forces the learner to interact with the simulation
during runtime/playback," says Boor.


DRAG AND DROP? NOT YET

"Drag-and-drop is not yet supported, but we're told it
will be included in the next release."

The software supports developer editing and color and
content manipulation. It doesn't require repackaging or
plug-ins for Web distribution, says Boor.

Support "has been nothing but phenomenal," he adds.
"Quick answers to questions and genuine interest in
improving the product. A lot of bang for the buck."

More information is at http://www.xstreamsoftware.com.

Meanwhile, here's a contrarian voice among the
simulation responses: "Are we the only folks who reject
the simulation model for online learning?" asks Henry
Stewart ( [email protected] ).

"We believe people learn by experimenting and making
mistakes," says Stewart, CEO with software trainer Happy
Computers Online ( http://www.happy.co.uk) in London
-- "shortly to be relaunched as Learnfish," he adds.

The question, says Stewart: Is your training based on
control or on empowerment?

"The simulation approach implies the control choice,"
Stewart argues. "Surely most trainers are more into
empowerment?"

_____________

BEYOND STAND-UP

How can a stand-up trainer edge into e-learning? Here
are three responses to that reader question:

Jean Dearden ( [email protected] ) suggests
beginning by supplementing face-to-face courses with
online material.

Develop a Web page that links to pages with supplemental
course readings, says Dearden, assistant director of the
Educational Design Unit at National Labor College/Center
for Labor Studies in Silver Spring, MD.

Then, says Dearden, develop a course or supplement
to a face-to-face course using free courseware service
offered by BlackBoard ( http://www.blackboard.com).

Another take: W.K. Kirk ( [email protected] ) has three
ideas for trainers who do stand-up now but want online
experience.

Kirk, a distance-learning instructor with Lucent
Technologies Inc.'s Global Learning Solutions unit in
Englewood, CO, suggests:

o Use NetMeeting (or something similar) to prep
students in the days or weeks before your
face-to-face class.

o After the course is over, use NetMeeting for
refresher topics with students back into the
field.

o Try stand-up via satellite. "It is very similar
to classroom," says Kirk, "but the 'room' is
virtually everywhere at once."

_____________

CRIES FOR HELP: HOW MANY USE PLUG-INS?

Readers? Can you help?

PLUG-IN COUNT? "I'm looking for research statistics
on use and acceptance of plug-ins on corporate
intranets. How prevalent is the use of plug-ins on
corporate intranets? Which plug-ins are most commonly
accepted?"


READERS? If you can help, please send your information
to [email protected] .

VERY IMPORTANT: Include your name and title, your
organization, its location, what it does, and a phone
number at which we can reach you. Your subject line:
Plug-In Count.


ARE YOU STUCK?

Your colleagues may have some ideas for your
online-learning quandary. Please send your question to
[email protected] . Please include a distinctive
subject line.

_____________

WINDOW SHOPPING: AFRICAN E-LEARNING, TEST TESTING

http://www.learn2.com

AFRICAN E-LEARNING. E-learning provider Learn2.com
of White Plains, NY, and Istudy4 (Pty) Ltd. announced
a partnership Monday to distribute e-learning in Africa.
Istudy4 (Pty) Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Naspers Group,
a South African corporation with international interests
in publishing, media, technology, television and
education. Under the agreement, Istudy4 Ltd. will
distribute and host Learn2.com e-learning content for
corporations, educational institutions and governments at
co-branded Learn2University sites or intranets.
Learn2.com creates and distributes e-learning, including
more than 1,400 off-the-shelf courses accessible via the
Web.


http://www.questionmark.com/perception/help/pfwbeta

TEST TESTING. Would you like to beta-test online-test
software? This site has a beta version of new testing
software from Question Mark Corp. of Stamford, CT. The
beta version allows delivery of assessment via CD, local
area network, e-mail, or floppy disk.

_____________

.. AND FINALLY
_________________________________________________________

Yikes! You can still sign up for Training Directors'
Forum Conference June 4-7 in Phoenix -- but hurry! Go to
http://www.trainingdirectorsforum.com/register_form.wcs
_________________________________________________________


IT'S WEEKLY. IT'S FREE! To receive OnLine Learning News,
go to http://www.lakewoodconferences.comand click "Free
Online Newsletters" and complete the form.

____________
Copyright 2000
Bill Communications Inc.

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