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Nov 5, 2013 (3 years and 5 months ago)

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Topic Report developed by

Wee
-
Go
-
Commando Group:


Sammi Chan

Alicia Cuello

Brian Kirk

Lara Procknow

Joy Smesny

Paul Trinh


HMRS: 5531

November 13, 2002




2


Table of Contents



Topic Summary










3








Book Reviews


Book Rev
iew by Alicia Cuello







14


Book Review by Brian Kirk








30


Book Review by Joy Smesny








45


Book Review by Paul Trinh








56


Annotated Bibliographies


Annotated Bibliographies by Sammi Chan






66


Annotated Bibliographies by La
ra Procknow





85


Practitioner Interviews


Interview conducted by Sammi Chan





106


Interview conducted by Alicia Cuello





109


Interview conducted by Brian Kirk






111


Interview conducted by Lara Procknow





113


Interview conducted b
y Joy Smesny






116


Interview conducted by Paul Trinh






118


Additional Sources








119










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Topic Summary


Snapshot of Book Review: Managing Web
-
Based Training



The Internet has changed the face of business. It has made an impact on the w
ay business
is conducted and how information is shared across companies. Companies today are scrambling
to keep their company in gear to have a competitive edge. Technology has helped employers
keep their workers more accessible to resources therefore be
ing more competent in the
workforce. In the past three years the Internet has allowed 90 million people to communicate,
exchange information and do business globally. As time goes by computers are getting faster
and communication of information and betwe
en people is getting easier. Along with the growth
of technology is the correlation it has with training programs within companies. Training and
performance support via the Web is one of the many technology
-
mediated learning applications
being practiced.

Programs through CD
-
ROM and computer
-
based training are more familiar
with trainers and developers. To effectively manage Web
-
Based Training (WBT) managers
need to look at different aspects. These areas include the design, development, and
implementati
on skills. WBT also calls for the understanding of needs and contributions from
workers throughout the organization. This may include various departments like human
resources, R&D, marketing, research, and IT.


The impact that WBT will have on users is

powerful. The Web is a communication
channel with the ability to use it with audio, video, graphics and text. Users can then
communicate through one of these channels and keep in contact with one another, by groups and
even in real time. Training progr
ams benefit greatly from the use of the Web for several reasons.
These pros consist of training being able to be distributed quickly and easily, graphically
dispersed students can communicate and learn effectively, and the update of materials can be a

4

fra
ction of the coast of them being revised by other means. Some of the things that attribute
successful management of a WBT include an ability to articulate the value that the Web brings to
training development, aligning the program to the corporate culture

and the effect it has on the
organization and also understanding the psychological effects of working with an WBT. The
ability to work and manage WBT programs is becoming a norm to most companies. The
Internet has influenced almost every aspect of busin
ess. With the growth in technology and use
of the Internet, training professionals and realizing the plethora of uses that can be applied to
existing training programs.


Despite the many benefits of WBT programs, there are drawbacks that must be taken int
o
consideration. Some of the disadvantages may be that fact that online activity may be time
consuming, implementation and software updates may be very costly, and the psychology behind
WBT may disenfranchise people. Because of these factors, sometimes i
t is better to continue
using traditional training techniques or a combination of both. However, it all boils down to the
company and asking themselves if this is something that should invest in. Typical questions to
ask may be to what is the nature of t
he performance deficiency or learning opportunity intended
to address, who is the target audience and how will they benefit from it and another may be to
ask how will it affect the budget of the company. So with these factors in mind companies need
to ana
lyze their current situation thoroughly and weigh out the advantages and disadvantages
before commitment.


The book “Managing Web
-
Based Training” by Ellis, Wagner and Longmire explained
the previous information about the pros and cons of WBT. The book i
s very useful and pertains
more to readers that are serious about implementing a WBT. There are summary charts, role

playing examples, and even exercises that make it easier to understand and to view the authors

5

perspectives. All which contribute to the
reader gaining more insight of what it takes to start a
WBT successfully and keeping it maintained for the future.


Snapshot of Book Review: Web
-
Based Training


Using Technology to Design Adult
Learning Experiences




Web
-
Based Training


Using Technolo
gy to Design Adult Learning Experiences

Strengths

Weaknesses

Big type

Expensive


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experience in this area. While the book gave a good overall presentation of the process, it wasn’t
as in
-
depth as I would have liked. The author did supply a glossary, checklists, and charts; I still
would not attempt
to design WBT without being partnered with a more senior designer or a
mentor. In her defense, the author does state she wrote this for the experienced designer. But,
even if she did, the overall feel of the book is that it would be too “simple” for an e
xperienced
person to gain much. They will possibly benefit from some of the discussions and probing
questions, but the font and the overall look of the book is rather remedial.

My subject matter expert has been in WBT development for about five years.
Her main
focus was on the design side, where she worked on content with the department. She stressed
that the department must be open to this type of training and must also designate a point person,
or the process will not work. Her process starts with m
eeting with the manager and point person

6

and going through a series of bank questions that really probe and make them think about what
their objectives are for the program. She has them list out the “have
-
to
-
knows” verses the “nice
-
to
-
know” without a lot
of elaboration. One point she did make, but the author did not mention
was the importance of not elaboration. Due to space constraints, Denise found herself constantly
working with the department to chop down the number and length of sentences the depart
ments
wanted in the program.

Once this first step was complete, Denise would then go back and develop a timeline not
only in order to “map out” the process, but to also show all the stakeholders how their part in the
process would impact others. After s
he received feedback on her first timeline, it always began
to expand because she would then gather more information from the participants and the holes
would start to show up. All the while working with the Multi
-
media expert (handled the
graphics and an
imation) to ensure what she envisioned the “look” to look like was possible.
Together, they would design 3
-
4 models that were each sent to the department for feedback, then
updated as needed. Once everyone was in agreement, the final product was sent to
her
supervisor both on the web and in paper for her feedback. Afterwards, it was sent on to the vice
President for her feedback. Once both of them had blessed it, it was sent to the department one
final time for feedback; then rollout. The entire proces
s took (ideally) 1
-
2 months. However,
Denise also stressed that a lot of her job consisted of working with the departments to set more
realistic timelines. Many times they would forget to take into consideration holidays, time
zones, vacations, and other

commitments.

Her advice to readers is:

1.

It is critical to determine what your audience needs to know. You’ll find that
we like to talk too much. The content cannot have any fluff.

2.

Be ready to deal with unrealistic deadlines

3.

You must constantly communicat
e with your multi
-
media specialist


7

4.

Always have a project plan (timeline)


be mindful of vacation, holidays, etc.

5.

Set realistic timeframes for everyone involved

6.

Be flexible.

7.

Be mindful of your budget.



Snapshot of Book Review: Designing Web
-
Based Traini
ng


This is a well
-
illustrated guide to every phase of designing, setting
-
up, and managing a
Web
-
based training site. It goes from graphics and content design, to finding students and
assessing their needs, from hardware and software options, to usability
testing.

William Horton explains what Web Based Training (WBT) can do and how to get the
best results from exploiting its technologies. And for ‘training’ you can also read ‘education’
-

because as he argues, the distinction between the two is often negli
gible.

His approach is practical and clear; the book is written in a no
-
nonsense manner; and he
follows his own prescriptions by giving examples to illustrate every point he makes. The design
of the book itself more or less imitates Web pages: there are l
ots of headings, subheadings, quick
paragraphs, tabled checklists, call
-
out boxes, horizontal rules, screenshots, and bulleted lists.

He is essentially gung
-
ho for WBT as a novel learning technology
-

but he does look at a
lot of research evidence, both p
ro and contra. He discusses the tricky issues of how to put a cost
on course construction, how to devise navigational metaphors, and how to deal with potential
plagiarism.

He offers several explanations of how to organize the sequence of learning events (
or
‘objects’) in a course of learning. Then he even demonstrates the design of an entire course in
outline, with templates of all the important pages and the structure in which they are arranged.
This is valuable material for anyone who might be coming to
the writing of online learning
materials for the first time.


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He covers an amazing variety of approaches to teaching
-

including the use of Webcasts,
presentations, guided research, case studies, and learning games. There are some particularly
good example
s of virtual laboratories for teaching mechanical engineering and HTML coding.
Most importantly perhaps, he shows which approaches are best used for which type of problem
or task.

There's a good section on tests and exercises, including advice on setting
true/false and
multiple
-
choice questions, and when it's best to use matching pair and drag and drop questions.
A section on teaching by email and discussion groups contains all the usual advice about
“Netiquette” which many people still ignore.

The book i
s aimed at professional designers, trainers, and teachers
-

but it's written in a
way that will make it useful at any level.

Snapshot of Book Review: E
-
Learning
-

Building Successful Online Learning In Your
Organization

Marc Rosenberg’s book
E
-
Learning in
dicates that it isn’t just the promise of impressive
technology that is driving people to e
-
learning. Businesses need to get rapidly changing
information to large numbers of people faster than ever. They need to lower the overall costs of
creating a workfo
rce that performs faster and better than the competition, and they need to do
this around the clock. It’s no longer a question of whether organizations will one day implement
online learning, but whether they will do it well.

Most organizations that need
to train their employees are experimenting with some form
of Web
-
delivered learning. But most organizations have focused on the technological challenges,
buying the right software, getting enough bandwidth allocated for Web
-
based training, designing

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course
ware, etc. These are important first steps but the larger strategic issues remain unsolved:
how to make e
-
learning part of the daily work culture, and fully implement its power.
E
-
Learning

is one of many books in this exciting new field that addresses not
just the technological
challenges of Web
-
based training and knowledge management, but how to develop a
comprehensive organization
-
wide learning strategy.

Author Marc Rosenberg discusses the technological issues but more importantly, assesses the
dramatic
strategic, organizational, and political issues involved in the process of making e
-
learning a reality. Written for professionals responsible for leading the revolution in workplace
learning,
E
-
Learning

takes a broad, strategic perspective on corporate lea
rning. This wake
-
up
call for executives everywhere discusses:



Requirements for building a viable e
-
learning strategy



How e
-
learning will change the nature of training organizations



Knowledge management and other new forms of e
-
learning

E
-
Learning

expla
ins the basic principles of a comprehensive Web
-
based learning strategy

how to link your organization’s Web sites, Web
-
based training, courseware, and all the other
components of online learning. With an underlying focus on the "why"

and not just the
"how"


Rosenberg provides a roadmap for growing and sustaining an e
-
learning culture
that’s based on twenty years of observations, best and worst practices, as well as
conversations with leaders in the learning technology fields. Divided into three parts,
E
-
Lea
rning

offers a balance between building great e
-
learning (design and technology issues)
and implementing it (acceptance and support issues). Within each chapter, examples
illustrate many key components of an effective e
-
learning framework.


10

Unlike other te
chnology
-
focused guides to Web
-
based training,
E
-
Learning

is the first book that
tackles the overarching strategic issues

problems facing any organization experimenting with
the tremendous promise of Web
-
based learning and knowledge management.

According
to Marc Rosenberg, Here are eleven benefits of e
-
learning:



Lower costs for learning



Enhanced business responsiveness



Consistent or customized messages, depending on the situation



Content is more timely and dependable



Learning is 24/7



Little user "ramp
up" time



Employs a universal platform



Builds community



Scalability



Leverages the corporate investment in the Web



Provides and increasingly valuable customer service



The question is no longer
whether

organizations will implement online learning, but
whether
they will do it
well
. An effective e
-
learning strategy must be more than the technology itself or
the content it carries. It must also focus on critical success factors that include building a learning
culture, marshaling true leadership support, d
eploying a nurturing business model, and sustaining
the change throughout the organization

Snapshot of Annotated Bibliographies

Academic research regarding web
-
based training is still in its infancy. A great deal of
research remains to be conducted and va
lidated, as this is a new area of research. Predominately
most of the research reviewed for the annotated bibliographies suggests that web
-
based training
is an effective teaching tool especially in academic settings. One study reported a shift in both
te
achers’ and students’ roles in computer
-
based environments (Rico Garcia, 2000). The study

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said students, who typically were passive learners in a traditional lecture
-
based environment,
became active learners in a computer
-
based environment (Rico Garcia, 2
000). The study also
documented teachers’ shifting roles from being the primary sources of information in a lecture
format to becoming more of a facilitator in a computer
-
based environment (Rico Garcia, 2000).

A good deal of the academic research indica
tes that web
-
based training has a positive
effect on students’ attitudes, performance levels, and overall perceptions of computers. On the
whole, the web is seen as an excellent delivery mechanism for both synchronous and
asynchronous learning environment
s. Web
-
based learning offers individuals flexibility,
convenience, and customization. However, web
-
based training is not without its downfalls. It
can be expensive and time
-
consuming to implement. It also must accommodate the various
learning styles (i
.e. visual learners versus auditory learners, etc).

In order to integrate Web
-
based instruction into one’s curriculum, author Lan identified
several key components necessary for its successful implementation. These consist of having:
(1) an adequate tec
hnology infrastructure, (2) a clear vision and goals that are supported by its
members, (3) effective incentives such as carrots to encourage participation, (4) a culture that is
supportive and motivating, and (5) sufficient knowledge and skills to impleme
nt the technology
(“Web
-
Based Instruction for Education Faculty: A Needs Assessment,” 2001).

Further perspectives regarding web
-
based training were found in additional literature
reviews. It is undisputed that there is a growing need and interest in incorp
orating Web
-
based
training to the traditional classroom training setting. There does not exist any literature
advocating and supporting that Web
-
based training should substitute the traditional classroom

12

environment. On the contrary, many literature revi
ews are contending that a combination of both
Web
-
based training and classroom training will have the most effective training effects.

Due to the many advantages as discussed below, one will have a better understanding
about this emerging trend in the Tr
aining and Development area. In order to provide a more
thorough spectrum on Web
-
based training, concerns and suggestions about Web
-
based training,
including how to conduct and implement a better Web
-
based training program, are also
discussed.

However,
one needs to be cautious on the validity and reliability of the findings cited on
the articles. The articles often cited statistics from previous research studies, but it was not clear
how much time the author spent in analyzing the collected data before
publishing that
information. For example, one article stated that individuals only retained five percent of what
they have learned in the traditional classroom setting. However, it was not clear on how many
subjects (people) were sampled, what were the i
ndependent and dependent variables, and/or how
the data was collected. Another article stated that a study has shown 30


50 % of the distance
learners do not complete their online courses. Yet, the given data (30


50%) covered a broad
range, which infe
rred an uncertainty in the reported data. Therefore, how should a reader rely on
such data to make any types of major decisions regarding Web
-
based training? Having said this,
it is important to note that there are not many empirical researches on Web
-
ba
sed learning
available at this time to begin with.

Furthermore, many of the available articles were discussed in an instructional context,
which might or might not be the same environment as in an organizational context. It was
implied that training w
ould be the same in both contexts; and therefore, readers might have to
take this into consideration and make any necessary adjustments. In summary, the literature

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reviews were merely a guide for readers to examine the available literature on Web
-
based
tr
aining and it would be strongly recommended that the readers conducted further research in the
area of interest before implementing any changes in their workplace.








































14

Book Review by Alicia Cuello


Web
-
Based Training


U
sing Technology to Design Adult Learning Experiences

Author: Margaret Driscoll


This book was written to give the reader a step
-
by
-
step outline for developing Web
-
based
training (WBT). This book’s audience should be an experienced course developer(s) who
have
never developed a course for the web. The primary focuses of this book are how to apply WBT
for an adult audience, when to use Web
-
based training, and how to develop adult learning
experiences.

Chapter one, entitled “Advantages of Instruction on the
Web,” and its objectives are the
following:

1.

Determine whether or not Web
-
based training (WBT) is the appropriate method
for your program

2.

The advantages and disadvantages of Web
-
based training

3.

List the most common design flaws in Web
-
based training

4.

Identify

the characteristics of well
-
designed Web
-
based training


The author’s first point is that while WBT is appropriate in some cases, the developer must take
into consideration several factors. For instance, if an employee’s problems
are not

due to a lack
of

skills and knowledge, this is not the solution. While most Cognitive skills can be taught with
this programs, psychomotor skills and attitudinal skills cannot. Psychomotor skills are very
costly and take a large amount of time; and the attitudinal skill
s will depend on the participant.


Other issues to consider are: will the group have the appropriate computer skills for what
you’re designing and does the organization have the capability to support the staff. Plus, in order
to have a successful program,

the company must have invested in their software, hardware, and
network equipment. She also stressed that the developer must also remember that not one WBT
tool will work for everyone.


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Other areas of discussions were the advantages verses the disadvanta
ges of WBT.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Easy access

Expensive

Reduced travel time

It requires a substantial technical infrastructure

Reduced cost for print materials and CD
-
ROMs

It requires a substantial time and effort to
develop


She also discusses t
he differences between good designs and poor designs. A few characteristics
of a good design are that it’s interactive, nonlinear, and has structured lessons. Poor design
would include that it passive, linear, and confusing.


Chapter two is entitled “Pri
nciples of Adult Education,” and its objects are the following:

1.

Identify what is unique about adult learners

2.

List the skills required to facilitate adult learning

3.

Integrate the principles of adult education into a WBT program


The first section discusses w
hy adult learners are unique. First and foremost, they are
experienced workers who are motivated to learn as a response to problems and changes. Second,
they do not respond well to patronizing approaches. Their special characteristics include:



Have re
al
-
life experience



Prefer problem
-
centered learning



Are continuous learners



Have varied learning styles



Have responsibilities beyond the training situation



Expect learning to be meaningful



Prefer to manage their own learning


The next section discusses how

to facilitate programs for adults. According to the author,
there are specific principles for an effective facilitation. They include integrating participant’s
experiences into the program; develop problems around real life experiences so that attendees

are

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able to receive new skills and knowledge; and the program also need to be interactive through
using a number of different responses. This may include just having the attendees think about
the solution. She also encourages the use of multiple types

of media such as graphics, videos,
images, hypertext and audio to help the audience more easily understand the program content.
The teacher should also encourage attendees to look at new ways of problem solving. When
placed together, these steps will he
lp the learner to assume responsibility for their own learning.
A final consideration is to always create a safe and respectful environment. This will ensure that
participants continue to want to participate.


Chapter three is entitled, “The Web
-
Based Tr
aining Process,” and its objective are the
following:

1.

Diagram the WBT process

2.

Describe a systemic model for design of instruction

3.

Define four types of Web
-
based training


The author first defines “An Instructional System Design.” This approach acknowledge
s the
relationship among learners, instructors, and materials and uses a process to relate the three
components. Her theory is that by changing any of the three, there is an effect on the entire
system.

The WBT Process



Design



Needs analysis



Synthesis



Design



Blueprints



Evaluation

Development



Multimedia development



Code



Prototype

Delivery



Implementation



Evaluation



Maintenance




17


Systemic Design uses the approach that all parts of an organization must work together to
develop, deliver and maintain, the

WBT program. In order to utilize this approach, the developer
must understand the technical infrastructure, which includes the network design, work place
locations, capabilities at remote locations, and corporate decisions to standardize browser
software
.


The next sections address assessing learner needs, selecting the most appropriate method,
and designing a program. The first stage, defines the scope of the project, the education goal, the
intended audience, and the delivery environment. This is wh
en the developers determine
whether a WBT program is appropriate, or not. Next they select from four types of WBT:

Types of Web
-
Based Training



Web/Computer
-
Based Training (W/CBT)

Individuals learning that features drill and
practice, simulations, read
ing ,questioning, and
answering

Web/Electronic Performance Support Systems
(W/EPSS)

Just
-
in
-
time training focused on problem
-
solving, scientific method, experiential
method, project method

Web/Virtual Asynchronous Classroom
(W/VAC)

Non
-
real time group le
arning that employs
experiential tasks, discussions, and team
projects

Web/Virtual Synchronous Classroom
(W/VSC)

Real
-
time collaborative group learning that
uses discussions, problem solving and
reflection


The three areas, designing lessons/creating blu
eprints/evaluating programs all work together to
determine if the developer is on “the right track.” In the designing stage, the developer defines
what will assist with the transfer of skills and knowledge, create feedback loops and develop a
structure an
d sequence. The blueprint designs are created to document the process, develop
tracking requirement, and script out audio and video. The final stage, evaluating programs, is a

18

series of evaluations that let the designer test the accuracy, effectiveness,
and clarity of their
program.


Chapter four is entitled, “Assessing Learner Needs.” This process is defined by gathering
data that establishes whether or not training is required and if so, what type. The author states
that the goals are:

1.

Determine whe
ther training is needed

2.

Define the goals of training

3.

Define the audience

4.

Define the environment

5.

Select the training method or methods

6.

Establish a team


In order to determine if the training is actually needed, the developer needs to deduce whether of
not t
he poor performance is caused by a gap in skills or knowledge. She identifies three areas to
investigate: environment, motivation, and incentives/compensation. If the problem is one of the
three, then training will not help the situation. It may actual
ly hinder it. The author suggested
three data
-
collection methods for this assessment process:

Method

Variations

Advantages

Disadvantages





Interview



Face
-
to
-
face



Telephone



Small group



Provides rich data



Allows non
-
observable parts of a
job to be under
stood



Enables questions to
be adapted as needed



Requires substantial
resources to conduct



Possibility of lack of
candor



Requires strong
interview skills

Questionnair
e/Survey



Paper
-
based



Online



East and cost effective



Familiar data
-
gathering tool



Survey l
arge numbers



Requires skill to
develop



Risk of low response
rate

Observation



Task analysis



Site visits



View
videotapes



Mystery shop



Detailed data on rule
-
oriented and
sequential processes



Captures real steps of
the process



Does not capture
thinking tasks



Requires that tasks
have discrete beginning
and end



19

The next three areas of discussion are to define the goals, define the audience, and define
the environment. In order to define a goal the developer must answer the following questions:
why is traini
ng being offered; what should learners be able to do after attending training; and
under what conditions will learners be expected to demonstrate their new skills? Next, is to
define the audience. The author stress that when developing a new program, be
careful not to
train employees on what they already know; but also do not assume they know the basics. In
order to sidestep both these problems, she suggests a series of questions a developer can use to
deduce the level of knowledge within the attendees.

To her, these basic questions are essential to
the success of a WBT program. Another consideration is to collect data on your attendee’s
attitudes and learning preferences so that you can tailor your program to meet their needs. The
final area to be def
ined is the company’s environment; which she feels can be the most
challenging. She identifies six areas that need to be researched. Only then should you select a
training method.


The author concludes the chapter by establishing a WBT Team in order to d
evelop and
deliver the program. She details a list of people who are important to the process and need to be
involved from the start. They include: project manager, instructional designer, system
managers, subject matter experts, learners, learners mana
ger, and legal counsel, editors,
programmers, graphic artist, webmasters, and instructors.


Chapter five is entitle, “Selecting the Most Appropriate WBT Method,” and its objectives
are the following:

1.

Determine the kind of learning to be achieved

2.

Different
iate among four types of Web
-
based training

3.

Select the appropriate type of Web
-
based training for you purpose



20

The first step is to classify your goals. The author firmly believes that WBT is better suited for
cognitive skills training only. But she also

stresses that more than likely, a situation will require
more than one type of skills training. She has identified three types of learning: cognitive skills,
psychomotor skills, and attitudinal skills. In order to differentiate among three types of Web
-
based training, the developer must select the appropriate type of WBT for the determined
purpose. In order to meet a developer’s objectives, the goal must be broken down into pieces so
that the company can measure whether or not the attendees have master
ed the goal. Next, look
at the cognitive skills required for the goal. Cognitive skills can be divided into six sub
-
categories: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
Additionally, these six skills are further broke
n down into two types of opportunities, highly
structured and ill
-
structured problems. Highly structured skill problems include knowledge,
comprehension, and application problems. The answers are clear and precise. An ill
-
structured
problem is more vagu
e. It has no right answer and requires analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of
concepts, principles, and theories.


The next section focuses on how to select the most appropriate type of WBT. Again the
author refers the reader to the goal and lists a seri
es of questions to help define the developer’s
needs. She has divided the characteristics of WBT into four categories along with their
characteristics: Web/Computer
-
Based Training (W/CBT), Web/Electronic Performance Support
Systems (W/EPSS), Web/Virtual A
synchronous Classroom (W/VAC), and Web/Virtual
Synchronous Classroom (W/VSC). She then compares traditional computer
-
based training
(CBT) to WBT.

Traditional CBT

Web/CBT

Resources are limited to what is included in the
CD
-
ROM.

Resources can include propr
ietary company
databases as well as information on the World
Wide Web.


21

Communication between learner and instructor
is not highly integrated.

Communication between learners and
instructor can be seamlessly integrated.

Updates and modifications require th
e CD
-
ROM or disks to be revised, mastered, pressed
and distributed.

Program can be easily updated and modified.

Rich multimedia options for video, audio, and
images are available. Robust tools for creating
sophisticated interactions and exercises and
tra
cking learners are available.

Rich media such as video, audio, and images
can cause congestion on networks. Limited
ability to create sophisticated interactions and
exercises and track learners.



In the next section the author discusses Web/Electronic P
erformance Support Systems
(EPSS), Web/Virtual Asynchronous Classrooms, and Web/Virtual Synchronous Classrooms.
She states that by using a Web/EPS System, the company is able to give training and information
when and where it is needed. She also strongly

advocates the use of Web/virtual asynchronous
classrooms because of our global economy. This type of classroom allows for one
-
on
-
one
learning, group learning, and student
-
teacher coaching. All of which result in individuals being
able to attend class, e
ven if they are not in the same location, and not necessarily in the same
time frame. According to her, this type of teaching works best with ill
-
structured problems.

Her final class, the Web/Virtual Synchronous Classrooms, has both the students and th
e
teacher working on
-
line at the same time. Some types of instruments this group would use are
whiteboards, shared applications, videoconferencing, audio
-
conferencing, and chat rooms.
While this is similar to the Web/virtual asynchronous classroom, the m
ain difference is that both
the students and the teacher are on
-
line at the same time. This type of classroom also works well
with ill
-
structured problems with no one answer.

Chapter six is entitled, “Designing Lessons,” and its objectives are the followi
ng:

1.

Identify factors that limit instructional design on the Web

2.

Define the roles of learner and instructor in WBT and

3.

Identify the various interaction options for WBT



22

The author goes on to discuss how program developers should take into consideration a
nu
mber of factors before the design a Web
-
Based EPS System (Web/EPSS). Some examples of
these limitations are existing materials, financial constraints, and technical limitations. However,
the more challenging obstacles are to define the roles between the
teacher and the learner. The
roles of the instructor should include: identifying content, organizing and integrating content,
choosing the environment and selecting media. The roles of the learner should include choosing
when to learn, managing and dir
ecting learning, selecting a mix of resources and participating in
collaborative learning. In this type of program, the learners are to read, reflect, then act on a
given situation. The purpose of this program is to let learners practice problem
-
solving
skills in
a given time period.

The next type of classroom discussed is the Web
-
based virtual asynchronous classroom
(W/VAC). This type of classroom is used when there is no simple answer to a problem. The
role of the instructor includes facilitating lear
ning, guiding instruction, providing resources,
evaluating outcomes, and communication with learners. The role of the learner will include
managing and directing learning, participating in group learning, communicating with instructor
and peers, and refle
cting on experience. This program works with best high
-
level intellectual
skills.

The last area the author covers is the Web
-
based virtual synchronous classrooms
(W/VSC). This works best in a real
-
time environment. The role of the instructor will includ
e
facilitating learning, guiding instruction, providing resources, evaluating outcomes, and
managing communication. The roles of the learner will include managing and directing learning,
participating in group learning, and reflecting on experience. The
purpose of this of this program
is to bring together all the individuals and have a collaboration learning experience. This group

23

is to create new ideas, new plans, and develop products. This program works with best high
-
level intellectual skills. In c
losing, the author also points out that there can be variations to each
of these approaches and that developers may need to combine their approach.

Chapter seven is entitled, “Asynchronous Interactions,” and its objectives are the
following:

1.

Distinguish
among different types of interactivity

2.

List examples of asynchronous interaction and

3.

Design asynchronous assessments, tests, and quizzes


The chapter starts out with the author identifying what every interactive classroom should be
able to do: encourage
reflection, provide control, direct attention, and add dimension to content.
The types of interaction associated with WBT go from simple (learning from material) to more
complex interactions (feedback from a teacher). She chooses to focus on asynchronous

and
synchronous interactions. This chapter only discusses the asynchronous programs. The main
difference between the two programs is that synchronous take place in real
-
time. An
asynchronous interaction takes place at the learner’s own pace; and all pa
rties do not have to be
on
-
line at the same time. However, when setting up a program of this nature, the author
identifies a few email ground rules that will make the process much smoother. She also listed an
email checklist that sets up the expectations
. They are: use of spelling and grammar check,
response times, netiquette rules, message length, types of interaction and types of documents.
She also discusses using a listservs software to manage the email process, but cautions that they
can be difficu
lt to manage. Other items that she discussed the pros and cons of were on
-
line
forums, notes files, and threaded discussions.


24

The next area dealt with using quizzes and tests on the web. She has listed out the
advantages and disadvantages of four types o
f questions. She also included a checklist for
evaluating your questions.

Format

Advantages

Disadvantages

True/False

Relatively east to construct,
correct, and administer

Guessing; not reliable
indicator of depth of
knowledge.

Multiple choice

Relatively

east to construct,
correct, and administer

Not reliable indicator of depth
of knowledge

Choices may be too close in
meaning

Difficult to write plausible
choices

Essay

Relatively east to construct,
correct, and administer. Good
indicator of depth of
know
ledge

Correction is subjective

Penalized weak writers

Requires SME to correct

Application/job task

Measures job proficiency

Good indicator of depth of
knowledge

Time consuming to construct,
complete, and correct


Chapter eight is entitled, “Synchronous
Interactions,” and its objects are the following:

1.

The benefits of Web/VSC programs

2.

Define four types of synchronous interactions and describes the advantages of
each

3.

Integrates the synchronous interactions into Web/VSC programs


This type of program can be

challenging for the developer. Some of the benefits of this type of
learning are live group learning and immediate feedback, just
-
in
-
time development (JIT), range
of tools, and simple classroom metaphor. The limitations can include educational limitation
s,
logistics, and technical problems. One example of this type of program is the Internet Relay
Chat (IRC), which is a real
-
time program that links two or more people together at the same
time. It’s like a conference call. Some of the advantages and dis
advantages are:


25

Advantages

Disadvantages

Creates peer learning opportunities

Penalizes poor writers

Equalizes participants

Conversation can be disjointed

Enables reflection

Comments lack context and human emphasis.

Creates audit trail



The guidelines

for creating this type of interaction were also included in the chapter. They are:
provide clear directions; limit the number of participants; keep the conversation on track; ask for
a conversation summary; and involve learners in setting norms.


Anothe
r program of this type is the Real
-
Time Audio with Visuals. This program allows
people to have a conversation over the Internet or the intranet, with visuals sent to a learner’s
computer. The advantages and disadvantages are:

Advantages

Disadvantages

Ro
bust communication

Requires structured lessons

Many variants (debates, guests)

Interactions are not intuitive

Integrates Internet and intranet resources

Needs management of two media


The guidelines for this program include: create an advance organizer;

explain how to interact;
plan five
-
to
-
seven minute segments; use a variety of strategies; have visuals support the audio,
create a respectful environment; draw on audience experience; and bring the program to a clear
close.


26


The third section discusses ap
plication Sharing/Whiteboards. Which involves a group
being able to work on program applications such as a spreadsheet, or a PowerPoint presentation.
The advantages and disadvantages identified by the author include:

Advantages

Disadvantages

Mimics real
ity

Requires layered knowledge

Promotes collaborative learning

Requires layering of technology (audio/text)


The guidelines for using this program include: insuring that the program teaches problem
-
solving
skills; supplement the shared application; ask l
earners to work in teams; provide problem sets
and solutions; and limit the class size. However, if the program is to be used to as a teaching
tool, the following must be included: assess learner’s knowledge of the application, explain how
it will be use
d and time limits; provide a practice exercise; allow adequate time; and make
applications available outside of class time.


The final section of the chapter dealt with Web
-
Based Videoconferencing. This process
allows multiple users the ability to learn

from the Internet or intranet and can be offered a
number of different ways visually. Advantages and disadvantages include:

Advantages

Disadvantages

Mimics conventional classroom training

Quality not as good as telephone or satellite
-
based

Allows full
video, audio, and document
sharing

Requires extra peripheral equipment


Not everyone is comfortable in front of a
camera


27


The guidelines for creating this program include: test the system prior to program date, prepare
graphics in advance, start on time
; familiarize learners with controls; use a variety of
interactions; call on people by name and allow time for response; limit the number of sites;
summarize key points; and conclude on time. The developer should also take any technical and
logistical lim
itations into consideration. She also suggests the developer to be aware of such
differences as time zone, holidays, and the workspace areas/level of comfort for the participants.


Chapter nine is entitled, “Creating Blueprints,” and its objectives are th
e following:

1.

Develop a design document

2.

Draft a detailed program flow chart

3.

Create a script and storyboard


The design document, flow chart, script, and storyboard are all outline for the developers and
client. Together they should have a clear definition
of the final product. When a developer is
creating a design document, the following should be included: introduction, instructional
strategy, navigational map and WBT outline, resources, program management, and deliverables.
The next step in the process

is to create the flow charts. Which should be even more detailed,
create a shared vision, and establish a measure of accomplishment. The third step is to create a
program script. This gives direction for the classroom, and details what will take place
in
classroom. The benefits of creating this script include: breaks instruction into clear sections;
provides appropriate level of detail; lists supporting media; and matches objectives to instruction.
The final section, a storyboard, should illustrate ho
w each step will take place. The benefits for
using this are: provides visual of program flow; enables content to be re
-
sequenced; and
highlights gaps in content or dead
-
end paths. According to the author, these steps are crucial to
the success of the pr
ogram.


28


Chapter ten is entitled, “Evaluating Programs” and its objectives are the following:

1.

The benefits of evaluating WBT programs during development

2.

How to plan evaluations for all forms of WBT


The author very briefly outlines the benefits of evalua
ting a WBT program. In it she mentions
that developers are encouraged to review the program before too much time and money have
been invested. She then moves on to four types of evaluation for WBT. The first one involves
the subject
-
matter expert (SME)
and has the developer looking for a “completeness” to the
project. She suggests having a number of different SME look at different parts of the program in
order to ensure a complete program. The second evaluation is rapid prototype evaluation. This
type

of evaluation will involve building a test model and seeing if it works. This process has the
developer making a rapid prototype for one lesson; identifying learners; developing a plan to
gather feedback; using one
-
on
-
one sessions; explaining purposes; c
reating comfortable
environment; and taking notes on the meeting.


The third and fourth types of evaluation are alpha
-
class and beta
-
class. Alpha
-
class
occurs only after the rapid prototype evaluation so that the program can be reviewed for a second
tim
e. The author also suggests mapping out how a developer will gather information, and then
selecting a group of users who will actually be using the program. Next is to explain what the
purpose is, collect the data, compile their feedback and make the nec
essary changes. The fourth
and final evaluation covered is beta
-
class. This involves re
-
evaluating the program after the first
two have been completed. The steps she has outlined for this process are: recruit a full
complement of learners; plan how to
gather feedback; explain the purpose of beta
-
class
evaluations; help learners and instructors feel comfortable, and compile the data and make

29

necessary changes. She encourages this last step because, when program run over budget, this
step is often skippe
d and can result in future problems.


The final chapter is entitled, “Ready, Set, Go” and covers:

1.

Determine where WBT fits in your overall curriculum

2.

Select the topic for your first WBT pilot

3.

Avoid common pitfalls

4.

Discuss the future of WBT

The chapter ope
ns with the author warning that a number of WBT come out of a company’s
feeling that they must have some type of training offered on the Web. Or, sometimes it’s due to
a manager’s demands. Whatever the case, she states that it is up the trainer to determ
ine if this is
an appropriate program for the company. She again discusses how to determine what is taught;
who is taught, and where the teaching should take place.


The next section addresses how to select a topic to teach and, if the developer is still
stumped, she has included a checklist to the developer get started. The questions were: does it
fill in the gaps between skills and knowledge; keep the project within manageable bounds;
establish clear benchmarks for success; choose tools the organizatio
n can support; find a
powerful and visible champion; and avoid projects with tight deadlines. She also lists some
common pitfalls that include: moving content from one medium to another; choosing the
software before defining the needs; creating a WBT pilo
t program single
-
handedly; adding a
WBT assignment to your regular work load; underestimating the complexity; and dedicating too
little time. She had very few comments on the future trends of WBT. However, she did name a
few: blend of technologies; lear
ners at disparate skill levels; greater complexity of tools; and IS
leadership in corporate training.





30

Book Review by Brian Kirk


E
-
Learning: Building Successful Online Learning In Your Organization

Author: Marc J. Rosenburg

Marc Rosenberg’s
E
-
Learning
,
offers a useful tool for those wanting to bring e
-
learning
to their organization’s strategy table. This book is information rich and builds a business case for
e
-
learning’s value
-
added qualities. The following summary captures the high points of Mr.
Rosenb
erg’s message regarding the great utility of e
-
learning in an organization.

E
-
Learning Defined


E
-
Learning refers to the use of Internet technologies to deliver a broad array of solutions that
enhance knowledge and performance. It is based on three fundame
ntal criteria:

1. E
-
Learning is networked, which makes it capable of instant updating, storage/retrieval,
distribution and sharing of instruction or information
. So important is this capability that it is
fast becoming an
absolute requirement

of e
-
learnin
g. As useful as CD
-
ROMs (and DVDs) are
for instruction and information delivery, especially for rich media
-
based simulations, they lack
the networkability that enables information and instruction to be distributed and updated
instantly. So while CD
-
ROMs ar
e indeed technology
-
based learning systems, they should not be
classified as e
-
learning.

2. It is delivered to the end
-
user via a computer using standard Internet technology
. This is
a little tricky because the definition of just what is a computer is con
stantly changing. The key
characteristic is the use of standard Internet technologies, such as the TCP/IP protocol and Web
browsers that create a universal delivery platform.


31

3. It focuses on the broadest view of learning

learning solutions that go beyond

the
traditional paradigms of training
. E
-
learning is not limited to the delivery of instruction,
characterized by computer
-
based training (CBT). E
-
learning goes beyond training to include the
delivery of information and tools that improve performance. Fo
r the same reason, Web
-
based
training (WBT) or Internet
-
based training (IBT) are simply more up
-
to
-
date descriptions CBT
and are also too limiting as a description of e
-
learning.

E
-
Learning spans distance, but distance learning's broad definition also inc
ludes correspondence
courses, one
-
way television course, or other approaches that don't fit any of the above criteria. So
we can say that e
-
learning is a form of distance learning, but distance learning is
not

e
-
learning.

Benefits of E
-
Learning


1.
E
-
Lear
ning lowers costs
: Despite outward appearances, e
-
learning is often the most cost
-
effective way to deliver instruction (training) or information. It cuts travel expenses, reduces the
time it takes to train people, and eliminates or significantly reduces th
e need for a
classroom/instructor infrastructure.

2.
E
-
Learning enhances business responsiveness
: E
-
Learning can reach an unlimited number of
people virtually simultaneously.

3.
Messages are consistent or customized, depending on need
: Everyone gets the
same content,
presented in the same way. Yet the programs can also be customized for different learning needs
or different groups of people.


32

4.
Content is more timely and dependable
: Because it's Web
-
enabled, e
-
learning can be updated
instantaneously, mak
ing the information more accurate and useful for a longer period of time.

5.
Learning is 24/7
: People can access e
-
learning anywhere and any time.

6.
No user "ramp
-
up" time
: With so many millions of people already on the Web and
comfortable with browser
technology, learning to access e
-
learning is quickly becoming a non
-
issue.

7.
Universality
: Concern over differences in platforms and operating systems is rapidly fading.
Everyone on the Web can receive virtually the same material in virtually the same wa
y.

8.
Builds community
: The Web enables people to build enduring communities of practice where
they can come together to share knowledge and insight long after a training program ends. This
can be a tremendous motivator for organizational learning.

9.
Sc
alability
: E
-
Learning solutions are highly scalable. Programs can move from 10 participants
to 100 or even 100,000 participants with little effort or incremental cost (as long as the
infrastructure is in place).

10.
Leverages the corporate investment in t
he Web
: Executives are increasingly looking for ways
to leverage their huge investment in corporate intranets. E
-
Learning is emerging as one of those
applicants.

11.
Provides an increasingly valuable customer service
: Although not internally focused, a
bu
siness e
-
commerce effort can be enhanced through the effective and engaging use of e
-
learning that helps customers derive increased benefit from the site.


33

Why Have an E
-
Learning Strategy
?

Many efforts at using technology for learning have not been sustain
able because few saw past
the capabilities of new and promising technologies to understand the bigger picture. Many efforts
often underestimated the complexities of the interactions between e
-
learning and the
organization, and how truly difficult it is to
change people's attitudes about what learning events
are and what they can be. With so many stakeholders and business variables in the mix, a more
strategic approach is necessary to ensure that e
-
learning has the best possible chance to succeed.
A true e
-
l
earning strategy certainly addresses issues of culture, leadership, justification,
organization, talent, and change. Finally, a comprehensive and well
-
defined e
-
learning strategy
puts a line in the sand

it helps you focus your attention and lets your custo
mers, clients, and
employees know where you are headed. If you want to know if your e
-
learning initiatives have
the potential for success, having a strategy to measure yourself against is a good place to start.
Then, you have to execute.

A Strategic Found
ation for E
-
Learning


E
-
Learning would be complex enough if all we wanted to do was to build and deliver high
-
quality training on the Web. Building an e
-
learning strategy, one that has a much greater
likelihood of success, also requires us to address:



New

approaches to e
-
learning

including
online training

(the instructional strategy) that
provides courseware and business simulations, and
knowledge management

(the
informational strategy) that provides informational databases and performance support
tools.


34



Learning architectures

the coordination of e
-
learning with the rest of the organization's
learning efforts. This includes building relationships with classroom training.



Infrastructure

the use of the organization's technological capabilities to deliver an
d
manage e
-
learning. From general Web access to so
-
called "learning management
systems," the lack of a good infrastructure can stop e
-
learning in its tracks.



Learning culture, management ownership, and change management

the creation of an
organizational e
nvironment that encourages learning as a valuable activity of the
business, supported by senior managers who are truly engaged in the process. Given a
negative learning culture and a quality e
-
learning initiative, the culture almost always
wins. And withou
t an e
-
learning champion, the initiative may never get off the ground.
The effective use of change management can help turn the tide.



Sound business case

the development of a compelling business case that supports e
-
learning. The old measures of student d
ays and tuition revenue just won't cut it anymore.



Reinventing the training organization

the adoption of an organizational and business
model that supports rather than limits the growth of e
-
learning. New approaches to
learning will require new approaches

to running, professionalizing, and measuring the
training/learning function.

A lot of what's missing in an e
-
learning strategy is often what's missing in a general learning
strategy as well. This is a key point. Many companies have been less than successf
ul in truly
implementing organizational learning because these same factors were not taken seriously. If
we're not thorough, we can easily be seduced by powerful software and computer technologies at
the expense of issues of culture, leadership, access, ch
ange, and so on. We could also go awry by

35

confusing the message (e.g., content) with the messenger (i.e., the Internet). Without a
comprehensive strategic foundation, this situation is all too common and all too prone to failure.

Integrating E
-
Learning and

Classroom Learning within an Overall Learning Architecture


Two forms of e
-
learning: online training (instruction) and knowledge management (information)
are even more powerful when properly integrated with more traditional classroom training
programs. In

following this path, you will move from building single learning programs, courses,
databases, or tools, to building a
learning architecture
.
A learning architecture is the design,
sequencing, and integration of all electronic and nonelectronic components

of learning to deliver
optimum improvement in competence and performance. In other words, it is how you structure
and integrate
everything

that contributes to that goal.

A learning architecture is not the same as a curriculum, which generally refers to t
he
organization and relationship of courses to create the appropriate learning sequence. Curricula
are important but insufficient to define a complete learning architecture or system. From e
-
learning to classroom training, independent study, mentoring, wor
k experience, and more, a
learning architecture goes beyond training curricula to detailing the entire plan for learning and
performance.

Within the context of e
-
learning, you have a number of choices and decisions to make about the
types and combinations

of online training and knowledge management to set up. Moving up one
level to a learning architecture, you have additional questions to answer, including:



Where is e
-
learning

not
appropriate
?



How should e
-
learning be used to supplement classroom learnin
g
?


36



How should the e
-
learning and classroom learning components be sequenced
?



How much time should there be between each component
?



How can on
-
the
-
job experience be integrated into the architecture
?



How will the effectiveness of the total learning archi
tecture be assessed
?

How the Web Will Change the Classroom


1.
The classroom will no longer be the default delivery system
. As e
-
learning systems are
established, the use of classroom learning is where more justification will be required.

2.
However, the
relationship between e
-
learning and classroom learning will become more
refined
. The amount of classroom training will likely decrease, but the importance of classroom
experiences that remain will certainly grow. Creative combinations of the two will becom
e
central to a successful learning architecture, each contributing its unique value.

3.
There will be less teaching and more facilitating
. As classroom learning moves from teaching
facts to applying concepts, and from reviewing procedures to generating ne
w ideas, the role of
the instructor will change from the all
-
knowing "sage on the stage" to more of a "guide on the
side." In addition to the instructor/facilitator, knowledge will come from a greater variety of
sources, including the corporate intranet (e
very classroom should have Web access), the learners
themselves (as they form knowledge communities), and outside experts (either live or via
technology).

4.
There will be more reliance on original source materials
. With content changing all the time,
it
is becoming problematic to rely on "student guides" that quickly become dated. At the very
least, these guides will be Web
-
accessible so they can be updated easily. But some courses will

37

drop student guides altogether, in favor of corporate information on
the Web, organized to meet
the needs of the learners. This has two major benefits. First, it is much more likely to be accurate
and comprehensive, and second, through the use of these materials in the classroom, the students
will learn how to use and value

them on the job.

5.
Course start and end dates will become increasingly irrelevant
. With Web access, learning
can begin prior to the class and continue long after the class is over. This is especially true for
community building among the students and fo
r follow
-
up access to updated content and
expertise. Furthermore, because of the increasing differences in the backgrounds, knowledge
level, motivation, and availability of people, it will become increasingly difficult to find enough
people who are ready a
t the same time for the same classroom course.

Building a Learning Architecture


Whenever you are looking at curricula or learning architectures, flexibility and adaptability are
key. Generally speaking, however, here are twelve guidelines to help you bui
ld a learning
architecture that will stand the test of changing content and changing business requirements.

1. Conduct a thorough needs assessment
. This includes analyzing the targeted learners and the
communities they associate with (entry
-
level knowledg
e, structure/frame of reference, and
motivational profile), and understanding the performance gap you're trying to close. Don't make
erroneous assumptions about the content or the learners

be certain. By fully understanding all
the learning requirements, y
ou'll be in a far better position to determine and recommend what is
appropriate for the Web and what is appropriate for the classroom.

2. Base your architecture design on the competencies you wish to build
.


38

3. Keep the business need in mind
.

4. Test yo
ur architecture assumptions with all stakeholders
. Key stakeholders would include:



Those who will teach/facilitate classroom components



Developers of each of the e
-
learning and traditional learning components



Organizations or leaders sponsoring the init
iative (in this case, perhaps the sales vice
president and/or branch managers)



Managers of the employees who will experience the learning



The learners themselves

5. Start by associating classroom learning with application and teamwork, and e
-
learning wit
h
content and tools
.

6. Use existing source materials, if available
.

7. Use the Web to link all learning components
. The Web can be the main source of learning
information, including prerequisites, access to coaches and mentors, testing and assessment,
p
rogram evaluation, communication between students and with instructors/facilitators, posting
and sharing course work, scheduling learning activities, etc. In other words, use the Web as a
unifying portal for your learning architecture.

8. Help people lear
n "how to learn."

Look at intranet resources as on
-
the
-
job resource, not
training resources. This means that if you have knowledge management and performance support
components, be sure that employees learn not only how to use these resources now, but how
to
continue to use them as they evolve. This will help employees become independent learners.


39

9. Think "precision learning."

Your learning architecture should have a way for individuals, and
possibly entire work groups, to assess themselves against their
own needs and those of the
business (including self
-
assessment, manager assessment, knowledge testing, coaching, etc.).

10. Create and maintain a community on the Web
. This will be especially useful between
learning events and after the major learning com
ponents are completed.

11. Use the classroom as an extension of your online learning community
. Although your online
training programs and your knowledge management systems were built around the needs of the
various communities of practice, bringing peopl
e together, face
-
to
-
face, can strengthen
membership in the community and reinvigorate a shared purpose. This is a much more valuable
use of expensive classroom time than delivering simple instruction, and although not all training
is transferable to the We
b, the more that can be moved there, the more "face" time can be
devoted to community building.

12. Engage learners every step of the way
.



Keep the communications up, especially between events.



Communicate the value of the program, especially WIIFM ("Wh
at's in it for me?"). Help
users see benefits of continued use.



Provide incentives for sticking with the program. In addition to benefits and building
intrinsic motivators, such as making the program engaging and valuable, extrinsic
incentives, such as mo
re pay, certification, promotion or the possibility of new or
desirable work assignments, can coax reluctant learners to stay with it.


40



Create opportunities for employees to use the program in a way that fits their availability.
This means creating smaller

"bites" or "chunks" of content that can be completed in short
periods of time.



Keep the technology at bay. Don't let problems with technology cause potential users to
sense that it just isn't worth it.



Allow opportunities for problems to surface

from bo
redom and worthlessness, to bad
systems or not enough time

and be responsive to the concerns that are raised.

The E
-
Learning Value Proposition: Cost, Quality, Production, Speed


Justifying E
-
Learning Costs


When you compare a quality e
-
learning alternative

to a quality classroom program, most
research has shown that the ability of people to learn is at least as good as the classroom
program, if not better. In other words, if you assume there is no detriment to learning with an e
-
learning solution, then your

goal should be to achieve this level of learning at less cost. How is
this done?

Understanding how e
-
learning solutions can cost less than a comparable classroom alternative
involves four basic principles.

1. E
-
Learning is more efficient
. It can take an
ywhere from 25 to 60 percent less time to convey
the same amount of instruction or information as in a classroom. Saving time rather than money
may be the defining factor in an e
-
learning business case.


41

Why is this so? First of all, no time is needed for
housekeeping, class introductions, breaks,
lunch, etc. Second, because of the individualized design of e
-
learning, "learners" can move at
their own pace, often skipping material they already know (often the system itself makes a
diagnosis and automatically

skips unnecessary material). Learners are not held up when "slower"
students need more time, nor do they have to sit through instructor presentations targeted at the
mid
-
level learner. Finally, because a quality e
-
learning solution has probably gone throu
gh a
more rigorous instructional or information design process, it is likely to be inherently more
efficient.

2. Delivery cycle time
.

The instant scalability of e
-
learning allows delivery to many
more

learners without increasing
development or delivery t
ime.

3. The financial benefits of e
-
learning accrue to the client organization, not to the training
organization, and these benefits are almost always on the delivery, not the development side

. . .
The development costs for e
-
learning can be three times
that of classroom learning, or more.
This is money that the training organization will have to spend. But the savings on the delivery
side are so significant that in many cases the initial investment in e
-
learning can often be
recouped in the first year.

4. The largest chunk of money to be saved is not in instructor costs, or travel and living, as is the
popular belief, but in "student" costs (i.e., lost opportunity costs)
.

Demonstrating E
-
Learning
Quality



42

The question to be answered is:
Does/Will the e
-
learning solution result in an appropriate
increase in knowledge and improvement in performance,

and
was it worth the investment?


Level 1: Reaction
. With e
-
learning

be it online training, knowledge management, or a
combination

employee evaluation is essen
tial because, generally speaking, there is no
additional source of information. With increased importance comes the need for better, more
insightful questions

questions that focus on a variety of experiences with the content, interface
design, authenticity
, value, etc. Building such a survey into the program will encourage people to
respond, and showing them how their responses compare with the responses of their peers is
even more motivating.

Level 2: Learning
. This is the level that answers the typical q
uestion,
What did the employee
learn as a result of the program
? Bottom line

level 2 evaluation is primarily for providing
feedback and not assessment. The rubber meets the road in level 3.

Level 3: Performance
. It is here that efforts must be made to det
ermine if the e
-
learning effort
was effective. At this level the key question,
Can people perform better and faster
? This goes to
the heart of why the initiative was undertaken in the first place. Set up a system of continuous
monitoring of the effectivene
ss of the people who use the e
-
learning systems you deploy, and
create an ongoing report that equates your results back to business performance.

Level 4: Results
.

Requests for level 4 results are often couched in a demand to
prove

that e
-
learning works,
and
works better than the classroom program it might have replaced. But because there are so many
variables that can account for some of the perceived improvement

such as a better recruitment

43

program, an improved economy, new manufacturing processes, and s
o on

it is very difficult to
accurately and completely account for the impact of the e
-
learning intervention in isolation. It is
better to settle for
evidence

rather than proof. If you ask the plant manager and all the supervisors
of an engine plant if a r
ecently introduced e
-
learning solution has resulted in higher productivity,
and all or most of them say yes, that's pretty good evidence that a correlation between the
learning solution and the business metric exists. This evidence can be reinforced if you

ask a
variety of groups.

Beyond determining the financial benefits of the e
-
learning effort, there is an increasing
awareness that intellectual capital

what the business as a whole knows

has value. What is it
worth for your company to have knowledge or e
xpertise that your competitors don't have, and to
have that expertise captured in a knowledge management system that can't resign, retire, or
otherwise leave the business? Thus, the ability to grow the intellectual capital of the firm is
another "result" t
hat should be reported.

Evaluating E
-
Learning
Service


The question to answer here is:
How accessible is the e
-
learning program?

Essentially, you want
to ensure that online training or knowledge management systems are available to all those who
need them.


Associated with accessibility is the quality of access. If equipment is out of date (i.e., low
-
speed
modems) or your infrastructure is unreliable, people will question whether accessing the program
is worth the trouble. This is why collaboration with the

IT department is so important.

Evaluating E
-
Learning
Speed



44

The question to be asked is:
How responsive is the system to the changing demands of the
business and the changing requirements of its employees
? There are three major considerations
here. First
, how quickly can an e
-
learning initiative be up and running
-

the development
question? Second, how quickly can the e
-
learning initiative reach everyone who needs the
content
-

the delivery question? And third, how fast can the e
-
learning initiative be al
tered due to
a change in the business, or the need to distribute new or revised information
-
the "turn
-
around"
question?
































45


Book Review by Joy Smesny


Designing Web
-
Based Training

Author: William Horton


Should I Read This Book?

Better question. If you need to train somebody and you think Web technologies might help, this
book is for you.

Do I Have to Be a Programmer to Read This Book?

No, everyone is welcome. You do not need a lot of technical expertise to understand the basic
d
esign issues for Web
-
based training. True, some technical knowledge does help. You need
experience navigating the Web. It would help if you have at least lurked in a chat room or asked
a question in a newsgroup, but it is not essential. You do not have to
be a certified Java
programmer, but you should know that Java programming is more than specifying “drip” on the
coffee grinder at the grocery store. If you have created your own Web page, you have most of the
knowledge you need to get started with this boo
k.

Is This Book for Scholarly Study?

Anyone in the academic community is welcome to read this book, but no one should expect a
scholarly work crammed with footnotes and hesitant generalizations. This book is for
practitioners who cannot wait for all the re
search to be done and need advice now.

How Should I Read This Book?

You shouldn’t, not in the conventional sense of starting at Page 1 and plodding through to the
end. Definitely not. This book is designed as a handbook you use to get advice in little piec
es as
your design matures. Look it over, read the introductory parts, and skim the rest. When you have
a design problem or need some inspiration, thumb through the appropriate section or dive into
the index.


46

Is This Another One of Those Tools
-
For
-
Fools Typ
e Books?

No way. You are smart enough to read the manual

and take the tutorial that comes with the
tool. Anyway, this book is for designers, not tool
-
operators. And, in this book, you are not going
to spend much time on design issues related to a particul
ar product.

Horton’s strongest advice is to design first and then buy the tool that best realizes that design. If
you start with a tool, you are limited to what it can do. The history of design is full of
unsuccessful examples of designing to fit that box.

So What Is This Book?

This book is quite simply Horton’s advice to you. “Say, Bill, you’ve been doing this WBT stuff
for a while and I’m just getting started. What do I need to know?”

It assumes you are intelligent enough to evaluate the advice and see wh
ether it applies to your
situation and how. This book is not for those who want to know what buttons to press in which
order in a particular authoring system. It is not for those who believe there is some rote
procedure that will guarantee effective traini
ng without any tough decisions and painful
compromises. This book is for fellow thinkers and real designers.

Isn’t WBT Too New To Have Advice?

Although WBT is too new to have an extensive track record or research history, we can use past
experience with re
lated technologies and techniques that apply to WBT.

Related Forms of Education

Experiences and research in adult education and distance learning help us understand how
remote adult learners behave and how they respond to technological advances in training
. We
can trace the history of distance learning from correspondence courses through educational radio
and television, programmed instruction and teaching machines, audiocassette courses, and
satellite
-
broadcast courses.


47

Electronic Documents and Courses

WBT

uses many of the same media, hypertext
-
linking, and display mechanisms as other forms of
electronic communications. We can learn a lot from the experiences of designers of disk
-
based
CBT, online help and online documentation, and non
-
training Web sites.

U
ser
-
interface Design

WBT is a computer application with a user interface. Many of the same principles that apply to
designing the user interface for a word processor or database application apply to WBT as well.