Insights

Corporate Training and a Twitter Feed Walk into a Bar

By Michael Croft This is a punch line you’re going to love – effective and engaging corporate…
  • Delivering on the Promise of E-Learning

    Insights
    -Addressing the Low Completion Rate in Asynchronous Online Learning Platforms by Rick Bauer Director, MEF Certification The state of learning and training, particularly in the IT industry, is in…
  • Coaching for Success

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    As experience demonstrates, the best players are not always the best coaches. Many star performers are just not able to transfer their skills and knowledge to others. The same idea applies to sales.…

Winners Circle

Learning! 100

Learning! 100 Award Finalists Revealed

The Top 100 Learning Organization Rankings to be Revealed August 27th The Elearning! Media Group… Read more...

8th Annual Learning! 100 Award Application Deadline…

Award Honors Top Learning Organizations for Innovation, Collaboration and High Performance… Read more...

8th Annual Learning! 100 Award Call for Applications Opens

Award Program Recognizes Top 100 Global Learning Organizations Elearning! Media Group, publishers… Read more...

Best of Elearning!

Learning! 100 Award Finalists Revealed

The Top 100 Learning Organization Rankings to be Revealed August 27th The Elearning! Media Group revealed the Learning! 100 top learning organizations finalists for 2018. The final rankings will be… Read more...

Diversity & Learning Lab Launched

Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are unique areas of both challenge and opportunity for learning professionals. To address these topics, Elliott Masie has partnered with international learning… Read more...

Learning! 100 Call for Applications

The annual Learning! 100 award program honors public and private sector organizations for innovation, collaboration and learning culture that drives performance. Applications can be submitted at:… Read more...

ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE has released its “Top 500 Franchises” and “Top New Franchises” for 2008, and LearningRx has made both lists. The Colorado-based company was also recently named as one of the fastest growing franchise systems by Franchise Times, and for two years in a row has been named one of the “Top 100 Franchises” by Franchise Market magazine. In addition, the company recently received an exceptional franchisee Net Promoter Score of 69 percent. LearningRx is at the forefront of brain training, offering tremendous potential to help people of all ages, from kids with learning disabilities and soldiers to adults with ADD and aging seniors who are worried about cognitive decline.

Published in Deals

According to a study by the American Sociological Association, reported in the December, 2008 issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, creative work is good for your health, and employees who have more control over their daily activities and can do challenging work are likely to be in better health.

“People with higher levels of education tend to have more creative activities, paid or not,” says lead author John Mirowsky, a sociology professor with the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. “Something about education helps individuals to find creative things to do and get the resources to do them.”

The most important finding, Mirowsky notes, is that creative activity helps people stay healthy. “Creative activity is non-routine, enjoyable, and provides opportunity for learning and for solving problems. People who do that kind of work, whether paid or not, feel healthier and have fewer physical problems.

“The health advantage of being somewhat above average in creative work [in the 60th percentile] versus being somewhat below average [in the 40th percentile] is equal to being 6.7 years younger. It is also equal to having two more years of education or 15 times greater household income.”

Although the authors didn’t examine specific job positions that may confer this health advantage, professions considered not to involve a “creative” environment were those such as assembly lines. Jobs that are high-status, with managerial authority, or that require complex work with data, generally provide more access to creative work, Mirowsky says. 

Published in Trends


Money isn’t even in the top 10 reasons an employee in China remains on the job, according to a study conducted by Development Dimensions International DDI and the Society for Human Resources Management SHRM. In fact, out of 20 retention drivers, compensation was the 14th on the list.

Chinese workers typically stay for a short time, gaining some experience and then jumping to the next opportunity. They’re not looking for longevity — they’re trying to climb higher and faster and changing jobs helps make that happen.

The study showed that there was more retention than compensation. An even more disturbing figure showed that mid-management and executives indicated a higher likelihood of leaving the organization within the next year than did individual contributors. The higher the executive, the more they indicated more dissatisfaction and less loyalty to the company. 

Published in Trends

As the year’s presidential election campaign shapes up to be one of the most unpredictable and dynamic political events in history, NBC News is making available its top political reporters and experts to answer pressing questions about Decision ‘08 from the nation’s students and teachers.

“Ask NBC News” is an exclusive feature of NBC News Archives on Demand, a rich compilation of thousands of primary source video resources created specifically for classroom instruction to engage students in active learning and transform classroom instruction into 21st century “e-learning” centers.

Students and teachers can submit questions via e-mail or text message. Each Thursday, the NBC News political team, including “Meet the Press” host and Washington D.C. Bureau Chief Tim Russert, Washington D.C. Correspondent Pete Williams and Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory, will answer one question and make the video available.

Visit NBC Archives On-demand. 

Published in Latest News

Though not for all, it can be more inexpensive and efficient over the long haul

Published in Top Stories

These best-in-class practices and trends can help any organization.

Published in Top Stories

Virtual classroom answers online training problems

Thanks to good planning, research and execution, Aetna U.S. Healthcare has actively capitalized on the benefits of the virtual classroom. Aetna, a leading $15.5 billion healthcare benefits provider, boasts nearly 16 million health members.

Dave Blair, training director for Aetna’s health-care division, came face-to-face with a decision that would ultimately match Aetna’s philosophy of care and quality customer service with a cost-effective, online training program. Blair spent five months researching online training technologies and came away enthralled.

Top management was less enthusiastic but approved Blair’s initiative to implement virtual classroom software. The next step was to find a provider that could understand Aetna’s training needs and match those needs with the right technology. Aetna looked at three leading vendors and finally decided on iLinc. The software is now supporting Aetna’s efforts to improve communication and training, while remaining a cost effective long-term solution.

“The great thing about the iLinc virtual classroom is that it lets live online instructors control class presentations using synchronized multimedia and content available over the Web,” explains Blair. “It also offers application sharing, electronic hand-raising, and a glimpse feature that lets instructors acquire a screen capture of any student’s desktop.”

SUCCESS CRITERIA

Enterprises like Aetna that are considering an investment in virtual classroom solutions should keep several factors in mind. These are the success criteria that have guided the investments of other organizations that have effectively deployed this approach. Consider these factors:

 >> Audience Support. In order to ensure that you can provide compelling learning events and experiences online, it’s important to ensure that your solution is consistent with varying bandwidth ranges and network environments (including firewalls). In addition, the solution should be platform-agnostic: accessible with a PC, Mac or Linux machine. Ease of use is critical in order to ensure high adoption and satisfaction.

>> Dynamic Interaction. Look for solutions that enable a high degree of interactivity and audience engagement. This is one area where the virtual classroom can indeed surpass conventional classrooms. Instructors should have the ability to solicit and provide feedback in real-time (through polls, quizzes, surveys, spot checks, etc.) and participants should have the ability to collaborate as a group.

>> Learning Expertise. You should expect solution providers to have clear and defined domain expertise in learning and training principles. Solutions should be specifically designed for training applications, not merely “bolted on” to an existing Web conferencing technology. The virtual classroom approach must be instructionally sound if it is to deliver the necessary benefits. Also, ensure that the solution can be effectively integrated with learning management systems (LMS) that track individual skills, competencies, resources, and performance against set targets.

>> Usage Options. While some solution providers only allow their customers to “rent” software through subscriptions, many organizations can realize the highest return on investment and lowest total cost of ownership by purchasing their software licenses. They should have the option.

>> Measurable Impact. Look for a partner that can help you define and articulate a clear, compelling and measurable business case for investing in a virtual classroom solution. In order to strengthen the perception and enhance the impact of the training group, it’s vital that clear objectives are outlined and results are tracked. These are some of the core issues that decision-makers in the field of training and education must consider as they look to maximize the value of their investments in the virtual classroom. By ensuring these criteria are met, training leaders can take the key steps necessary to accelerate learning, cut costs, and enhance overall performance in the enterprise.

To learn more about iLinc solutions, visit: www.iLinc.com.

Published in Ideas

Training to Support Rapid Growith

During the last two years, Cabela’s has opened 18 new store locations in the United States and is opening nearly eight new stores each year. Each store has approximately 400 to 500 employees who must understand a wide variety of products. The optics section alone (binoculars and other related products) has dozens of highly complex items.

Cabela’s is a $2 billion retailer providing a wide variety of sporting goods designed to meet all the needs of outdoor recreation, fishing, hunting and camping. The company’s business has been built upon its direct mail and Internet distribution channels. Over the last two years, it has focused heavily on opening retail locations.

The company is very employee-centric, offering certified degree-granting programs for all employees. Its director of HR was responsible for developing a training and certification solution to support this rapid growth. The company needed an LMS, a set of custom content, a way to develop and edit such content, and a system that would enable employees to enroll in and complete degree programs.

KEY: INTEGRATION

After looking at many systems, the company realized that it needed an “integrated solution provider” that could offer a well-designed LMS and provide content development assistance, tools for internal content development, and a platform enabling employees to enroll and participate in degree programs from Western Nebraska Community College. It also wanted a solution for measurement and reporting, so that each store could track employee training and certification among each of the product categories.

The company chose to work with GeoLearning, a best-of-breed integrated solution provider. GeoLearning provided:

>> The on-demand learning management platform.
>> Content development assistance to help build the initial library.
>> An integrated Learning Content Management System (LCMS).
>> A training analytics system (KnowledgeAdvisors).
>> A collaboration system to facilitate the completion of certificate degrees (Q2 Learning’s eCampus).

These products and services were all important in Cabela’s total training solution, but were not available from any one vendor. While it might have tried to select each individual component, the company saved valuable time by working with a “best-of breed” solutions integrator like GeoLearning—which took responsibility for the selection, implementation and support of each component of this solution.

LESSONS LEARNED When you are resource constrained and need to build a complete end-to-end training solution, it is often more costeffective and efficient to seek out a solution provider that:

>> has experience working with many technology providers;
>> can offer content development services; and
>> is willing to take responsibility to be the single point of contact for the entire solution.

To learn more about GeoLearning solutions, visit: www.geolearning.com.

Published in Ideas

Helping students prepare for real-world jobs

In today’s digital domain, experts agree that students learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process and are presented with appropriate opportunities for success. That premise is a cornerstone belief at Winter Park Tech (WPT), a Central Florida center for technical career education, where students master exceptional design, print and Web publishing skills.                                                                         

With an eye toward preparing students for the workplace, WPT technical training programs focus around career clusters of business, information technology, arts and design, and health science. In addition to 26 career certificate programs, WPT also offers a continuous schedule of academic courses for high school credit and adult education. When students complete the WPT digital design program, they are equipped with exceptional technical and marketable skills that today’s employers seek.

“Most high schools don’t have in-depth technical training programs. Some may offer an introduction course and that’s all,” says Betty Jones, assistant director at WPT. “As a post-secondary technical center, we offer students an industry-standard immersion in the technical field of their choice. They are here three hours a day focusing on their chosen concentration.”                                                                                               

The digital design program at WPT uses a core curriculum centered on Adobe Creative Suite 2 software —Adobe Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, In Design CS2, Acrobat 7.0 Professional and Dream weaver 8. According to Carol Jackson, digital design instructor at WPT, “We use Adobe products because they are the industry standard and are so smoothly integrated with each other; the workflow comes as second nature.”

DUAL ENROLLMENT MODEL

Florida high school students are in the envious position of having a dual enrollment option at Florida post-secondary technical centers, providing them the opportunity to take elective courses at technical centers while obtaining the required academic courses to graduate at their local high schools. Immersed in real world scenarios, students are able to test drive future career options in programs like computer systems technology or digital design, while earning high school elective credit.

Carol Jackson’s digital design program at WPT focuses on student learning and career preparation using Adobe tools. Students working in teams use all the tools in Adobe Creative Suite 2 to complete practical, community-based projects for local nonprofits and businesses, including brochures, ads, menus and all manner of print collateral. Students learn design principles, prepress production, layout and illustration as well as client communication, budgeting, reviews and approvals.

According to Jackson, students benefit tremendously by using a wide range of Adobe software to bring projects to fruition. Toward the end of the 1,200-hour individualized program, they design personal portfolio Websites to showcase their work to future employers.

“Our industry partners expect our students to have a good understanding of Web based communication as well as print production,” says Jackson.

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

“It’s amazing to watch our students mature and blossom as they move through the curriculum,” says Jackson, who attributes much of students’ growth to the fact that the program’s teamwork approach to projects mirrors work habits in the real workplace. Typically, a team of students will begin a project by interviewing the client and establishing a budget. The team will then design the project, follow the review and approval process with the client, and supervise final production.

For example, a team of students developed a promotional plan for a community health and- wellness fair that called for a newspaper ad, a full-color poster and a flyer. However, in the midst of the project, the budget was revised. Quickly, the students reworked their layouts using In Design, re cropped images using Photoshop software, and output new deliverables.
“With Adobe tools, the students could easily rethink the project, repurpose existing assets to fulfill the project’s goal, and still keep the client happy,” says Jackson. “[And] learning how Adobe PDF files fit into real world workflows is like learning the ABC’s for our students.”

Adobe digital communication solutions make it possible for facilities like WPT to thrive, opening new avenues for student learning and achievement while providing tangible benefits to the community. As graduates complete the program at WPT and become employed in the industry, they are invited to attend advisory board meetings to provide feedback along with fellow community professionals. This continuous review process helps WPT staff revise the program to meet industry needs and requirements.

“Clearly, our program is about successfully preparing students for the future. Using integrated software from Adobe makes meeting our goals so much easier,” says Jackson.

Published in Ideas

A new service being offered to Web marketers allows potential customers the ability to learn more about the types of products that they are clicking on. It’s an interesting hybrid of customer education and e-learning.

The retailer supplies a small space of real estate on its Website. A link with a leading question and an engaging visual is located on the page of choice. Unlike annoying rollover pop-ups that interrupt a site-surfer’s concentration or send a consumer somewhere they don’t want to go, the Learn Something About link — now being provided by Learn Something About to the retail, food and drug industries — invites customers in, and then provides them a rich environment of interactivity related to the site’s relevant content.

For more information visit the Website www.learnsomething.com.

Grad Certificate in E-learning Offered

Approximately 15 students are enrolled in the University of Illinois’ Global Campus. The first two degree programs are a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and a Master’s of Education in online learning, as well as a graduate certificate in the foundations of e-learning.

Faculty from the three university campuses — Champaign-Urbana, Chicago and Springfield — are designing the academic programs and setting credentials for their teachers, as well as teaching when they have the time.

Students got access to class materials earlier this month, and several immediately downloaded reading materials or video clips.

According to the U of I, the online institution will expand the school’s reach, make courses available to non-traditional students, and generate a new source of revenue.

Published in Latest News
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