Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What is Elearning and Why is it A Winner?

In a recent article in CertMag... www.certmag.com, Elearning was the topic. What is elearning? Is it good? Is it bad? Does it work?

First off, what is elearning? Well... the "e" in elearning stands for "electronic". So, elearning means.... the delivery of a learning, training or education program by electronic means. E-learning involves the use of a computer or electronic device (e.g. a mobile phone) in some way to provide training, educational or learning material.

E-learning can involve a greater variety of equipment than online training or education, for as the name implies, "online" involves using the Internet or an Intranet. CD-ROM and DVD can be used to provide learning materials.

Distance education provided the base for e-learning's development. E-learning can be "on demand". It overcomes timing, attendance and travel difficulties.

Let me say that again, it overcomes timing, attendance and travel difficulties.

For me the greatest advantage out there is garnered by those who have employees located in different areas of the country and need to deliver a cost-effective training program.

Enter elearning... a powerful way for them to save time and a ton of money. But what else? You can also give your employees the flexibility of allowing them to train on their own time.

When you pull people together for a training session, more often than not, you're pulling them OUT of their respective areas and therefore keeping them from doing their jobs for that time period.

According to CertMag... "However, there are a few things you can look for that definitely separate the best self-paced e-learning from the worst":

1-Interaction: Does the course require you to answer questions or perform a task every five to 10 screens?

2-Questions: Are multiple types of questions (multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, true/false) used?

3-Skill Assessment: Is a pre-test provided to determine your current skills? Is a post-test provided to determine your mastery of the content?

4-Content Quality: Does the content on which you are being trained match the types of questions you are being asked to answer within the course? If the course is preparing you for a certification exam, is the content of the course in line with the objectives of the exam?

5-Simulations: Are hands-on exercises provided within the course, permitting you to perform tasks you just learned?

6-Scoring: Does the course score the answers to your questions and the tasks you perform within simulations, giving you feedback on how well you did?

7-Efficient Design: As you move through a course, are the pages presented quickly, without significantly impacting your company’s network performance?

8-Same Look and Feel: Does each course have a similar look and permit you to navigate through it in the same manner?

So there are definitely some considerations that you need to make when taking your dive into the elearning pool. In a recent poll of CertMag.com, readers revealed their learning preferences.
What forms of learning do you most prefer?
Answer % of Votes
Blended 27%
Instructor-led 34%
Online 14%
Self-study 25%

So Instructor-Led ranked highest as I believe that people do learn best in an experiential setting, however... without the proper reinforcement and followup, subsequent to that training class... most learners forget what they've learned. That's why elearning poses a huge benefit and cost saver.

Here's the secret formula:

1-Train people via elearning on the material that you do not need to cover in a live setting, product knowledge assessments, etc., and keep your instructor led class time short. For example, if you training class usually runs a week... break out sections of the class and deliver it via your elearning management system in the weeks leading up to your training meeting... and cut your week schedule down to 2 or 3 days. 2- And then right after the class, have your elearning training schedule all set up for followup. With repetition, frequency and reinforcement - your employees won't be as apt to forget what they've learned at your class.

Also - in the weeks leading up to your meeting, you can give pre-assessments or exams to gather intelligence of what people know already, so you can concentrate on the areas they are lacking in... at your training class.

Here's the rest of the article:



Employee Training and Development: Reasons and Benefits

According to Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, with Authenticity Consulting, LLC the Top 8 Benefits that organizations secure from having their own training program are:

1. Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees
2. Increased employee motivation
3. Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain
4. Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods
5. Increased innovation in strategies and products
6. Reduced employee turnover
7. Enhanced company image, e.g., conducting ethics training (not a good reason for ethics training!)
8. Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training

Here's my list:
1. Happy Prospects, Customers and Clients
2. Improved bottom line
3. Positioning in the marketplace

I know I like to simplify things, but while the aforementioned 8 are important... if my training program could help me do three things... those would be them.

What would be your top three benefits that you'd like to get out of your training program? And... would you let an elearning management system do it for you? Please comment.

Here's the rest of the article.

Employee Training and Development: Reasons and Benefits

Monday, January 22, 2007

Training On AutoPilot... a step by step approach.

There is a certain peace of mind that comes with knowing that your training WILL be delivered on schedule, seamlessly and efficiently.

When you're training program is automated with a systematic approach to scheduling & delivery... you can literally train your employees while you're on vacation or sleeping.

So how does one actually train on autopilot?

This short video will tell you how.

The time has come to STOP TRAINING and START LEADING!

Stay Frosty!


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Save Time, Money and Allow Your Trainees to be More Effective!

Remote - Instructor Led Training is Here!

Hello all - I wanted to share with you how you can stop flying your employees in from all over the country to attend your training classes.

Unless it's absolutely necessary... deliver your training via the web and let your trainees and employees train during their own time, not your time - when they need to be most productive... on the job!

Remember, taking people out of the field - decreases productivity.

Bring them in only when "experiential" training is absolutely necessary.

Otherwise - train via the web. It's effective and probably the biggest no brainer in the history of training!

Your employees will train faster, learn quicker and retain your information longer with interactive, web-based... ENGAGING training all through the OmniTrackPlus system... AND - you'll save a ton of money in the process!

View this short video for more details.


Monday, January 08, 2007

10 Ways to Slash Your Training Costs

I think most people agree that when employees are trained properly... wonderful things happen to an organization. More often than not however – a successful training program typically costs an organization thousands of dollars.

Many companies have a regular training program that involves air travel for those employees that live out of state.

Flying everyone into town for a week long training session can be very, very expensive. Air travel is just one aspect of the total cost, you also have:
· Hotel Stay
· Meals
· Incidental travel
· Removal of employee from field / loss of sales opportunity

The truth is... you can have a great training program delivered seamlessly online for a fraction of the cost of what it would cost to run it manually without leveraging the Internet.

Here are 10 significant ways for your organization to save money by implementing and leveraging an elearning management.

  1. Annual Training Hours – Businesses report that training made available on-line reduces the number of hours employees need to learn over the course of a year;
  2. Travel Costs – Reduced or often ELIMINATED because training is available 24/7 anywhere your employees have Internet access;
  3. Lost Productivity – Besides the obvious cost of travel (trains, planes and automobiles), lost productivity can also be estimated by:total employees × hours spent on travel and training per employee × average hourly salary = lost productivity, e-learning greatly reduces this loss;
  4. Cost of Renting Facilities – The need to rent facilities and bring workers to one location is reduced;
  5. Cost of Producing/Maintaining Training Materials – is reduced significantly and updating, maintaining and delivering your content is quick and simple.
  6. Instructor Costs – A careful blend of instructor-led and system-led training is the perfect balance. Elearning does a better job of putting the learning in the hands of the learners, and eliminating the cost of hiring trainers or instructors... and it makes your instructors more effective.
  7. Decreased Learning Time – When your training is delivered by using media rich technology – employees learn quicker. People learn in different ways. Some learn better by reading, others learn faster by listening and others still learn faster and retain your information longer if they can see and hear your information simultaneously. The bottom line – when you engage their senses – your information becomes “sticky” and your employees learn faster.
  8. 24/7 Library – accessible with any internet connection. Your employees don’t need books or manuals and are not forced to train during the time when they should be most productive –during working hours. With an elearning management solution in place – your program becomes much more flexible by allowing your employees to train on their own time – which won’t interfere with their jobs.
  9. Full Measurement and Tracking in Real Time – all tracking is automated, reports are generated instantly and all of your information and progress is available at your fingertips whenever you need it. With an elearning management solution in place – there’s no need to compile monthly reports to management. They’re done automatically.
  10. Automatic Scheduling and Delivery – no need to worry about who’s getting the proper training and whether people are being trained when they’re supposed to. With an elearning management solution – new hire’s are scheduled and their training is delivered automatically... you don’t need to do a thing – it’s all done for you instantly and seamlessly.

Let's Get Into Some Facts.....According to IDC, when a collection of objective and subjective calculations are included, U.S. firms report savings of 50 to 70 percent when replacing instructor-led training with e-learning. You can download the study here.

The Conference Board of Canada found that employees said the following about e-learning:

  • 83 percent said it increased productivity;
  • 82 percent said it improved job performance;
  • 98 percent said it contributed to personal development.

Nucleus Research (http://www.nucleusresearch.com/research/c49.pdf) reports that of all IT investment options in 2002, e-learning had the highest ROI. Benefits of e-Learning included:

  • Reduced training costs
  • Decreased learning time by an average of 40-60%(* Brandon-Hall -Web-based Training Cookbook)
  • Increased speed and retention levels(J.D. Fletcher - Multimedia Review)
  • Consistency and frequency of user experience increased
  • Key documents and presentation access 24/7
  • Accountability, proof of completion and outcomes measurement

Why all the good news?? Is there more?

  • Content is quickly and easily updated to reflect changes and additions in policies and procedures
  • Able to reach geographically dispersed populations quickly with a minimal impact to other business functions
  • Training flexibly that meets the needs and schedules of the learner
  • Learners are able to work independently without impacting other learners

Look to the Hidden Intangibles.....
Hidden costs or "intangible" costs from errors that result when employees are not properly or regularly trained can be prevented with the right training frequency plan in place. When a salesperson doesn't close the deal because of a training related issue - what's the cost to you of a lost sale? $100? $20,000? When a medical provider does not complete a claim for payment properly, what is the cost of correcting that?

Studies show when e-learning is done well, systematically..., your training becomes more effective, you're able to solve problems quickly... and most importantly - employees learn better.

E-Learning can be one of the most important investments you make this year.

George Ritacco