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Workbooks in Training


I’m interested in using workbooks as part of blended learning what are the Pros & Cons of using workbooks in training?

 List of hardware and software requirements
 Costs associated to this work e.g. printing, hardware, software
 Costs savings associated with implementing this idea.

Paul West

6 Responses

  1. Presentation
    We have had to work with this issue too. We provide a choice now, either a CDROM with searchable resources, which some students use in seminars on laptops, or a hard copy manual or a PDF file which they print off the areas they need to study.

    All our CD ROMs work on low spec machines and are developed so not to impinge on network systems.

    The lowest cost option to our clients is the CDROM version, the highest is the paperformat. People stil like paper, but we also get great results with the lap top users who much prefer to use the manuals on CDROM. It also means we can use workbook activities and scoring tests within the package and so it is much more interactive.

    I hope some of this helps you decide.

    TBD Global Ltd
    0870 241 3998

  2. Training consultant
    Hi Paul
    I have used workbooks in training for many years and found that they can be very successful. If well produced they can be very easy to use ad can be used anywhere, home, work, train, bus. No hardware needed. Can be linked into skills development workshops, individual tutorials and action learning sets. I have used blended learning to help people gain nationally recognised supervisory and management awards.(84% completion rate on average). The key is for the materials to be appropriate, the time scale achievable, the development need correctly identified and support provided. There is much good material out there which is usually less expensive than trying to produce your own. I market supervisory and management materials that can be mixed and matched to suit particular training needs.
    However, if you wanted to produce a specific course I have contacts who are experts at handling the work or acting as consultants for you.
    Please e-mail me if you want more information or ‘phone me on 01925-225135 for a chat.
    Damien O’Leary – The Partnership.

  3. Workbooks
    I would always use workbooks as a learning resource over CD-ROM, PC based materials. Although paper based formats are far more expensive to produce, I find that people tend to learn more efficiently from reading pages of well formatted notes than from screen based work. All through school and college we are conditioned to read and consolidate notes from books, and as such we continue this trend through life.
    Workbooks also give scope for self summary, where the delegate can write additional notes on the booklets summarising key areas or inputting additional useful information for a topic.

    Costings are varied, are they black and white or full colour? Heavy or light paper? Single or double sided? I tend to go with double sided black and white where I can unless colour interpretation is key to the workshop.

    As for hardware / software requirements, any decent spec PC with MS Office and a laser printer attached could generate a high quality and professional workbook. Converting files to pdf using Adobe Acrobat would make the booklets electronically portable and easier to move about from site to site. Another good piece of software to purchase would be a screen capture program for any computer images you wish to include. I use PrintScreen 2000 which allows you to select a specific area of the screen to copy as a jpeg picture which can then be pasted onto a Word document.

    The key is to analyse your audience and decide whether their perceived learning styles and the course content would warrant a PC based session or a workbook. Feel free to contact me if I can be of any more assistance.

    Stephen Picton
    Technical Trainer

  4. workbooks
    I would have agreed that people always prefer paper. I personally do but think it is an age thing!

    I have several students who use only their CDROMs. The reason for this is that because the study material is vocationally relevant, they use it whilst on the phone answering questions to the public.

    They cannot use their workbooks as they are in a call centre where everything is set up to be dealt with on screen and phone. There is not room to open a file or workbook and all students are used to screen reading, they have grown up with it and do not thank you for paper. The environmental issue here is strong in a number of our students!

    When a member of the public phones they run a search into the CD ROM searchable facility and are signposted to a menu of applications, they then pick that most relevant to the customer query.

    I have seen it in use by them and must admit am pleased, it gives me a buzz to see a student making daily use of materials.

    I guess it all depends on the subject matter and the way it has been developed.

    TBD Global Ltd
    0870 241 3998

  5. Workbooks
    I do agree that for on the job resource access especially in a Call Centre environment, screen based materials allow quick and easy access to relevant information. I am in the process of proposing an e-learning intranet for staff here to run hand in hand with the new Customer Management System.

    I suppose the best piece of advice I could give, especially considering the vast differences in various audiences, that trial and evaluation would be the order of the day. Training is seldom based on concrete methodologies that work for every eventuality, so the best solution is to consider the timescales and budget (materials and man hours) to see which option is the most feasible.

    As the old quip goes … Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

    On the same merit though … Try it, evaluate it, if it works improve it, if it doesn’t work change it!!

    Stephen Picton
    Technicals Trainer
    [email protected]

  6. Screen capture
    Hi, One tool I could not be without whilst making user guides is Hypersnap. It can capture regions of the screen and button icons verycool.

    good luck


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