No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Online Learning News – 7 September 1999


A news and idea service of Bill Communications (Lakewood)
Tuesday, Sept. 7, 1999 Vol. 2, No. 24

Check Performance Support '99 sponsors' sites in our footer!
And hurry to register at


1. Recycling: How much is too much?
2. New online-learning trade group forms
3. Training managers SLOW?!?
4. Voice attachments: .wav or RealG2?
5. Cries for help: Carpenter math, authoring tools
6. Window shopping: Synchronous-training discussion list



Is it OK for vendors to reuse games and other elements in
online learning to save money? Will it bore learners? How
much reuse is too much? Is there an industry standard?

Those were questions from a reader last week. Here are some
of your responses:

"The question of reuse has little to do with industry
standards," says Robin Poncia ([email protected]),
instructional-design manager with nNovation Learning Group
Inc. ( in Victoria, British Columbia.
"What bears the greatest impact on your decision should be
effective teaching and learning above all else."

Poncia offers this analysis:

o Are the same learners using the game, or is the new
course serving a different audience?

o Does the game match the curriculum that you are striving
to teach?

o Is the price for a completed course significantly lower
because it reuses the game?

At any rate, the same old same old may turn off learners.
Says former school teacher Poncia: "I found that I was
risking life and limb if instruction wasn't varied and
interesting. Why would online be any different?"

Romey Brooks ([email protected]), instructional designer
with the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD, says:

"I don't know about industry standards on this one, but as a
training developer who uses contractors too, I would be
leery about too much repetition -- especially if it is likely
the same audience will use a lot of the same products. After
a while, it could lead to a 'ho-hum, here we go again'

"On the other hand, if your programs target different
audiences, the repetition allows you to get a lot of mileage
out of one development effort."


If you want a creative element in your learning, such as a
game, consider this twist. J.C. Kinnamon, program manager
with Midi Inc., a Princeton, NJ, interactive-multimedia
design and development firm, says:

"As a vendor I have to tell you that I've never had a lot of
success with requests for proposals that ask me to be
creative. Picture this 'OK, Michelangelo. I want you to do
the work on the Sistine Chapel, but my procurement guy says
we have to get at least three bids in response to an RFP. So
give me your best price. Oh and describe your best creative
ideas in your response. We'll consider that too.'

"The correlation between good RFP responses and successful
projects isn't always a perfect one. For example, you may get
a proposal from a company who has great proposal writers but
lousy artists, disorganized project managers and
inexperienced programmers.

Think long-term, urges Kinnamon. "Our greatest successes have
come from long-term relationships with clients who have
bought into the creative process," he says.

And be flexible -- because, adds Kinnamon, "if you are doing
truly creative work you don't know where you are really going
until you are in the middle of it."

Kinnamon says more about this subject is at



Technology-based learning vendors will announce a new trade
organization at OnLine Learning '99 in Los Angeles next

The group, to be called or DLO
(, allies companies involved
in online learning, satellite delivery and interactive
multimedia education.

Organizing as a division of the Training Media Association of
Frederick, MD, DLO anticipates an initial membership of 100
or more training providers and distributors, software
vendors, service organizations, network-service providers,
equipment makers and distributors, and educational
institutions. TMA members will automatically be members of DLO.

"The training industry is booming -- particularly the
technology-delivered segment of the industry," says Robert
Rosell, TMA president. He pointed to a projection by
International Data Corp., a Framingham, MA, research firm,
that online learning will be a $5.5 billion business in 2002,
up from $197 million in 1997.

DLO, Rosell said, will provide "a collaborative forum to
ensure that employers and employees have full access to
quality learning through electronic means."


Phil Jones, vice president with Bill Communications Inc.'s
Lakewood Publications unit, which runs the Oct. 17-20
OnLine Learning '99 show in Los Angeles, says the
online-learning marketplace "has been looking for trade

"Existing associations serve the training needs for
traditional classroom learning. The needs of the distributed
learner, the technology-assisted content provider, the
network provider, software developer and equipment provider
are not the same as the classroom-learning environment."

DLO offers four membership levels, including: Industry
membership for organizations directly involved in the
business of digital learning; associate membership for
organizations with products or services that benefit the
digital-learning industry; and higher-education membership.
Membership at these levels is $1,495 until Oct. 18.

A fourth level, sponsor membership, is "a distinguished
membership category for companies who wish to undertake a
stronger financial and leadership role in the organization,"
says a DLO release.



Are training managers slow to adopt Web-based training? Some
of you have been following that discussion in Training
Directors' forum E-Net, a sister publication.

It began when Steve Zahm ([email protected]) of
DigitalThink Inc., told Technology for Learning Newsletter
that sales managers were quicker to buy online learning than
training managers.

Zahm, marketing vice president with the San Francisco Web-
based training developer, said training managers "get hung up
on the technology -- choosing the right authoring tool,
analyzing it." Other managers, says Zahm, "just want to get
the job done."

Training managers have responded sharply. "Boy do I ever take
exception to what Steve Zahm has to say about training
managers being slow," retorts Thomas Nickel
([email protected]), senior training and development manager
with ARINC Inc. of Annapolis, MD.


"My colleagues and I," says Nickel, "are slow on the uptake
with WBT because the accountability and the responsibility to
show results rests on our shoulders. And you know what? Not
all Web-based training delivers."

Steven Cerri ([email protected]), training director with bar-
code label printer Zebra Technologies Corp. of Camarillo, CA,
echoed Nickel.

"There are topics and skills which are most efficiently
transferred via online," says Cerri, "and there are topics
and skills which fall flat when transferred via online."

Cerri continues: "Any good training director is weighing the
audience, the content, and the process in considering
training. And of course the functional or operational manager
is only going to be interested in 'getting the job done.'"

Kim Ridgway ([email protected]), who manages training and
organization development for Timken Co.'s bearing-business
unit in Canton, OH, conceded that training managers are slow
-- they're waiting for WBT to get better.

"Trainers know what good training is -- interaction,
application, practice and feedback," Ridgway says.
"Technology still struggles to do this."


Let's hear from training practitioners on this:

Q Training practitioners, do you think your training
managers are dragging their feet in adopting tech-
delivered training? Why?

Q Are training managers watching out for learners' best
interests? Or do they fear technology? Or is it a
combination of these and other factors?

Q Is your organization hurt by training managers' caution?

Send your responses to [email protected]. Please
include your name, title, organization, where it is, what it
does, and a phone number at which we can reach you to confirm

Your subject line: Slow Training Managers?


o Zahm's one-day post-conference session on Oct. 21 at
OnLine Learning '99 will cover evaluating and measuring
enterprise-wide Web-based training. with case studies and
presenters from Fortune 1000 companies.

o For another look at the merits of various learning
software, sign up for Brandon Hall's pre-conference
workshop Oct. 17. Hall ([email protected]),
a Sunnyvale, CA, consultant and editor of
(, will assess what he calls
"best of class" in training software.

o During the conference proper, check out the Oct. 19
session with Anthony Karrer ([email protected]),
who will examine 10 technologies' impact on online
learning. Karrer is president of Technical Empowerment
Inc. in El Segundo, CA, and teaches computer science at
Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

You can register and find more information about OnLine
Learning '99 at

A companion conference, Performance Support '99, is at the
same time and place. Register at



Someone asked about voice attachments for a Web-based course
on English.

Kimball C. Cummings, Jr. ([email protected]) of
Kansas City, a federal training coordinator and "longtime
actor-narrator who also has an audiovisual production
business," says you can record and digitize voice as a .wav
computer file. The .wav file then can be attached to an

Compressing the file before sending hurts its quality, he
warns. "This lesser quality, though, is fine for computer or
multimedia use," says Cummings.

Bakhit Kourmanov ([email protected]), academic computing
specialist at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC,

"For Web publication, voice attachments are just audio files
such as .wav , .rm, .mp3 or whatever format you prefer.

"If speed doesn't matter, then .wav files at a high bit rate
would be the best for voice clarity. Unlike music, voice is
more complicated to record properly. You must have good
microphones and noise-free audio cards.

"A simple link from Web page to the audio file is sufficient.
If you expect many simultaneous connections, then MS Netshow
or RealG2 servers would be a solution.

"I prefer RealG2 since it supports native formats in addition
to proprietary .rm files.

"I mostly use a RealG2 server with audio files compressed in
SureStream format so people with a modem connection can
access audio materials. Highest quality would be when users
are on LAN."



Can you help? Please e-mail [email protected]. Use the
subject line of the particular question to which you're
responding (e.g., Carpenter Math).

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


"As a consulting company, we are consistently being asked by
companies which is the best authoring tool and when to use
one over the other. We have done our own in the past, but
there must be someone out there who has done a non-biased
comparison. Can anyone point me in the right direction?"

ONLINE LEARNING NEWS SAYS: For one thing, check Other ideas, readers?


"We are a Navy vo-tech school that now has Army, Air Force,
and Marine Corps students also. We need a program to teach
some fairly basic math as it relates to carpentry and masonry
skills. The course manager would prefer it to be computer-
based. As a teacher, I would take anything that will work.
The math requirement is basic addition and subtraction,
through simple area and volume, to finding the diagonal of a
rectangle by the Pythagorean Theorem. Many of the students
are straight out of high school."



SYNCHRONOUS DISCUSSION. You can sign up at this site for the
Synchronous Internet Training list discussion on real-
time,live online learning. List sponsor is instructional
designer Jennifer Hofmann, an Essex, CT, consultant. Her
session at OnLine Learning '99 in Los Angeles is about live
online learning.

GLOBAL DISTANCE LEARNING. The International Distance Learning
Course Finder at this site is by International Where+How,
publisher of "The International Who's Who in Distance
Learning" in print. The publisher says the site is free and
lists 35,000 courses.

CULTURE TRAINING. AcrossFrontiers International Inc. of New
York City says its site sells training resources for travel
agents, trainers and relocation specialists. The company also
says it provides travel information about 185 countries at
the site, including safety, climate, holidays, history,
government, economic conditions, visitor highlights and a
list of embassies.

AUDIO AND STORYBOARDING. Allen Interactions' Inc. of Eden
Prairie, MN, says you can request a demo CD of its its Flash
4 audio at this site. The site also features information
about Savvy, which Allen Interactions calls "the no-
storyboarding approach to interactive multimedia design."



We're delighted that these extraordinary performance-support
vendors are sponsors of Performance Support '99 in Los Angeles
Oct. 17-20. Visit their sites. And register for Performance
Support '99 at

Ariel Performance Centered Systems,
ACS Technology Solutions,
Baydon Solutions,
Christensen/Roberts Solutions,
Guru, Inc.,
RWD Technologies, Inc.,
WPI, Inc.,
Information Resources,,

Also visit http://www.epssinfosite.comWeb sites for up-to-date
information on performance support.

o To SUBSCRIBE to OnLine Learning News, please go to fill out the form; or e-mail
[email protected] with "subscribe ONLINE-LEARNING-NEWS"
in the subject line. It's weekly. It's free!

o If you prefer NOT to receive OnLine Learning News,
e-mail [email protected] with "unsubscribe
ONLINE-LEARNING-NEWS" in the subject line.


Copyright 1999
Bill Communications Inc.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!