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Training Directors Forum Enet – 8 September 1999


A discussion-driven e-mail newsletter for training managers
Wednesday, Sept. 8, 1999 Vol. 1, No. 25


1. Moving online: Right or wrong?
2. Learning by screwing up
3. So maybe training managers ARE slow
4. Web check: Designer's Edge, Stream Anywhere



Online-learning providers are hurrying to hawk training
content on the Web.

The latest example is Asymetrix Learning Systems Inc. of
Bellevue, WA, which will offer its software and other
training tools via the Internet starting next month.

CEO James A. Billmaier told Dow Jones Newswires in today's
edition, "We think this will be the fastest-growing part of
the business."

Asymetrix thinks the market for online training goes beyond
the Fortune 500 companies it targets now. Training online by
subscription, Asymetrix says, will draw small- and medium-
size businesses, as well as doctors and lawyers.

Billmaier estimated the market for online learning is growing
between 50% and 80% per year. He cited industry surveys
projecting the market at $6 billion by 2002, up from less
than $1 billion now. (http:/ lets users build
their own training programs with content Asymetrix acquires
from other sources.


o Are big online providers right or wrong about the
fast growth they project for online training?

Q Have you sent trainees to any sites such as click2learn
in the past 12 months?

Q Why?

Q Will you send trainees to a site such as click2learn in
the coming 12 months?

Q What's holding you back?

Q What are the key factors you're tracking with regard to
that decision?

Send your response 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
information. Your subject line: Moving Online.


Asymetrix staff will present several sessions at OnLine
Learning '99 in Los Angeles Oct. 17-20. Their subjects
will range from getting started online, to project planning,
to building an online infrastructure. You can register for
the show at



Zero tolerance won't work to develop leaders. Letting
emerging leaders in your organization screw up is an
important part of their training, says Bob Fields.

"About 99% of the mistakes made while learning to be a leader
can be turned around into a learning situation," offers
Fields ([email protected]), training manager with
cable-equipment maker Cheetah Technologies in Bradenton,

When Fields sees an aspiring subordinate's "mistake in the
making," he thinks through the consequences -- and usually
lets the errant individual go ahead.

"If it is not going to jeopardize the company, I like to let
them conclude whatever process they are involved in," says
Fields. "That way we can review their whole effort, including
results, and jointly determine what alternative approaches
could have and should have been used."

If you "drop the hammer" every time someone errs:

o Your emerging leaders won't be decisive for fear of
reprisal, and you will end up with an ineffective leader
"Indecision and leadership do not fit well in the same
body," quips Fields.

o Or your emerging leaders will decide that there are
better places to make a living and bail out on you.

Fields concludes with this story: "I once had an electronics
technician who worked for me. We cross-trained him into the
position of configurations engineer for new systems.

"He felt that the current method of installing the equipment
was out of sequence. He said he could do it easier, faster
and at less cost.

"I let him run with his idea, knowing that he forgot one key
element: He didn't allow for testing of the electronics
during the installation."

As a result, the errant eager beaver configured an entire
equipment unit that turned out dead. No communication.

"He came to me, head in hands, and had no clue as to what to
do," says Fields. "He and I spent two days removing
equipment, reinstalling it in stages, testing and verifying
as we went, so that when we fired up the system in the end,
it worked as it should have.

"Yes, we lost a couple of days, but he learned about the
importance of testing and verification during the build


Q When is it OK and when isn't it OK to let learners make

Q What's an example of a mistake that didn't contribute to

Send your response 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
information. Your subject line: Learning by Mistake.



Are training managers biased against Web-based training?

Kerry Reilly ([email protected]), interactive-training
specialist with Fort Lauderdale, FL, Web-solutions provider
Ardis Media Group (, tells this

Reilly heard a talk by a client's training manager about
the future of computer- and Web-based training.

The presenter predicted that technical professionals and
subject-matter experts would eventually take over
training, and the future of training, sooner or later, is

"Hopefully for us," she added, "it's later." Summarizes
Reilly: "I think that says it all."

Judy Peterson ([email protected]) has another
take: She starts with a question: Is classroom effective in
the first place?

Peterson is co-founder and vice president of (, a
Springville, UT, online soft-skills training provider.

She asks "whether or not a traditional classroom methodology,
even if we were to agree that it's the 'best way' to teach
soft skills, will ever be able to meet the increasing demands
for more training for more people at a lower cost and with
less time away from the job."

Peterson isn't surprised that training managers dig in
against Web-based training -- they know the old way best.
"The people who have the hardest time imagining a new
paradigm," says Peterson, "are the ones with most invested in
the old one."

Meanwhile, a vendor who protests neutrality on the question
of online vs. classroom suggests
A Media Selection Workshop at the site lists factors trainers
see as important in determining their selection of training



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.

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.
Joining 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 you stuck? Maybe your peers have some ideas on how to get
you out of a tough training-management spot. E-mail
[email protected] with an account of your challenge.
We'll post it here, without your name, and invite readers to
offer their thoughts. Please use a distinctive subject line.



DESIGNER'S EDGE UPDATE. Allen Communication, the Salt Lake
City online training and tools developer, released Designer's
Edge 3.5, an update to its training-planning and
instructional design tool. Pricing starts at $2,495 for a
desktop license.

STREAMING MEDIA. Sonic Foundry Inc. of Madison, WI, released
Stream Anywhere, which it calls an "all-in-one media
authoring tool for converting audio and video for Web
streaming." Stream Anywhere encodes multimedia content in
Microsoft Windows Media Technologies 4.0 or RealNetworks'
RealSystem G2, capturing media directly from camera or tape
or importing it. Price is $199.

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.



Go! OnLine Learning '99/Performance Support '99 Oct. 17-20 in
Los Angeles. Register at

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Copyright 1999
Bill Communications Inc. (Lakewood Publications Inc.)

Distributed by MessageMedia Inc.


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