Small and Medium Enterprises and micro Enterprises are often small structures. The time dedicated to the training has to be reduced and integrated to the work of these organisations. Offering training in SMEs and micro enterprises can be difficult - because of the nature of the niche markets a lot of SMEs are in, the managers often considers the themselves as the best trainers for their employees, as they are aware of all aspects of their business.  In addition, an intervention from an outside trainer in a SME can be seen as an intrusion as they can be seen as an "inspector" or a problem rather than a benefit. Also, the absence of an employee in the company results in a significant loss of productivity related to the relative mass of staff. The time dedicated to the training has to be reduced and integrated to their work.

However, as the nature of training has changed with the advent of the IT age and the World Wide Web the benefits of which are widely held nowadays -  mass communication, mass collaboration, accessibility, optimization of travel, just in time achievement, on-work application, learner-centred process, interactivity, etc. Many elements of ICT based training and e-learning nowadays are highly appropriate for SMEs and micro enterprises as they bypass the difficulties SMEs have in providing training and facilitating an atmosphere of training.

3.1 Identifying training requirements

As you will see from the types of training below, no one type would be enough for the jobs we do. Most HR managers use a variety of these types of training to develop a holistic employee.

3.1.1 Technical or Technology Training

Depending on the type of job, technical training will be required. Technical training is a type of training meant to teach the new employee the technological aspects of the job.

3.1.2 Quality Training

In a production-focused business, quality training is extremely important. Quality training refers to familiarizing employees with the means of preventing, detecting, and eliminating nonquality items, usually in an organization that produces a product. In a world where quality can set your business apart from competitors, this type of training provides employees with the knowledge to recognize products that are not up to quality standards and teaches them what to do in this scenario. Numerous organizations, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), measure quality based on a number of metrics. This organization provides the stamp of quality approval for companies producing tangible products. ISO has developed quality standards for almost every field imaginable, not only considering product quality but also certifying companies in environmental management quality. ISO9000 is the set of standards for quality management, while ISO14000 is the set of standards for environmental management.

Training employees on quality standards, including ISO standards, can give them a competitive advantage. It can result in cost savings in production as well as provide an edge in marketing of the quality-controlled products. Some quality training can happen in-house, but organizations such as ISO also perform external training.

3.1.3 Skills Training

Skills training, the third type of training, includes proficiencies needed to actually perform the job. For example, an administrative assistant might be trained in how to answer the phone, while a salesperson at Best Buy might be trained in assessment of customer needs and on how to offer the customer information to make a buying decision. Think of skills training as the things you actually need to know to perform your job. A cashier needs to know not only the technology to ring someone up but what to do if something is priced wrong. Most of the time, skills training is given in-house and can include the use of a mentor.

3.1.4 Soft Skills Training

Our fourth type of training is called soft skills training. Soft skills refer to personality traits, social graces, communication, and personal habits that are used to characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills might include how to answer the phone or how to be friendly and welcoming to customers. It could include sexual harassment training and ethics training. In some jobs, necessary soft skills might include how to motivate others, maintain small talk, and establish rapport.

Many problems in organizations are due to a lack of soft skills, or interpersonal skills, not by problems with the business itself. As a result, HR and managers should work together to strengthen these employee skills. Soft skills training can be administered either in-house or externally.

3.1.5 Professional Training and Legal Training

In some jobs, professional training must be done on an ongoing basis. Professional training is a type of training required to be up to date in one’s own professional field. For example, tax laws change often, and as a result, an accountant for H&R Block must receive yearly professional training on new tax codes.

Some organizations have paid a high cost for not properly training their employees on the laws relating to their industry. Other types of legal training might include sexual harassment law training and discrimination law training.

3.1.6 Team Training

Do you know the exercise in which a person is asked to close his or her eyes and fall back, and then supposedly the team members will catch that person? As a team-building exercise (and a scary one at that), this is an example of team training. The goal of team training is to develop cohesiveness among team members, allowing them to get to know each other and facilitate relationship building. We can define team training as a process that empowers teams to improve decision making, problem solving, and team-development skills to achieve business results. Often this type of training can occur after an organization has been restructured and new people are working together or perhaps after a merger or acquisition. Some reasons for team training include the following:

  • Improving communication
  • Making the workplace more enjoyable
  • Motivating a team
  • Getting to know each other
  • Getting everyone “onto the same page,” including goal setting
  • Teaching the team self-regulation strategies
  • Helping participants to learn more about themselves (strengths and weaknesses)
  • Identifying and utilizing the strengths of team members
  • Improving team productivity
  • Practicing effective collaboration with team members

Team training can be administered either in-house or externally. Ironically, through the use of technology, team training no longer requires people to even be in the same room.

3.1.7 Managerial Training

After someone has spent time with an organization, they might be identified as a candidate for promotion. When this occurs, managerial training would occur. Topics might include those from our soft skills section, such as how to motivate and delegate, while others may be technical in nature. For example, if management uses a particular computer system for scheduling, the manager candidate might be technically trained. Some managerial training might be performed in-house while other training, such as leadership skills, might be performed externally.

3.1.8 Safety Training

Safety training is a type of training that occurs to ensure employees are protected from injuries caused by work-related accidents. Safety training is especially important for organizations that use chemicals or other types of hazardous materials in their production. Safety training can also include evacuation plans, fire drills, and workplace violence procedures. Safety training can also include the following:

  • Eye safety
  • First aid
  • Food service safety
  • Hearing protection
  • Asbestos
  • Construction safety
  • Hazmat safety

3.2 Developing training material

Either creating or modifying information for training purposes requires some consideration before it is delivered to employees. One should always be aware of the limitations and benefits of the medium through which the training is delivered. To that end, the following are considerations which should be taken into account when considering either creating training material or developing existing material for training. In addition to developing material for pedagogical/ educational purposes, the delivery method through which the training will be delivered will have an effect on the form of the training material – e.g.:  the structure of the video will differ slightly, depending on it is HTML, PDF, video, etc.

Instructional Design

Blended learning approach

Pedagogical approaches

  • Behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism
  • Constructivism
  • Constructivism & elaerning

Principles for design

3.2.1 Instructional Design

Instructional strategies and tactics are methods of instruction. They are anything one can use to enhance learning. If something influences learning but is beyond the control of the designer or teacher, then it is a condition, not a method. Conditions often influence which method will work best. Instructional design affects all aspects of the learning/ teaching process. It is an important pre-cursor to the development and provision of learning content.

When considering instructional design, a number of factors must be first identified and taken into consideration before starting development of material – even as a form of checklist to ensure that the training material, at all times, conforms to these items:

  • General objectives, curriculum objectives
  • Course objectives
  • Learning/performance objectives
  • Competencies to be trained
  • Tasks in the job role to be trained
  • Mental/motoric operations

Furthermore, the target group whom the instructional design is aimed at will be an important factor in developing instructional design - adult learners, for example are generally associated with self-directed learning and fluid abilities more than young learners.

An additional element to consider in undertaking instructional design is context. Context, in relation to learning, usually refers to elements such as the training,the type of learning to be imparted and how this training is imparted. When dealing with instructional design, this is a very broad category and can refer to such elements as the learning environment, the manner in which the learner receives education, how they learner learns, etc.

3.2.2 Instructional Design Processes

The following are the standard phases in the use of instructional design: analysis, design, development, implementation. Evaluation would then follow this process.

  • Analyze - define the needs and constraints of learners including learner characteristics and the learning which is meant to occur.
  • Design - define the requirements of the learning - the learning objectives - and choose the means which will be used - the methods, the media,, the type of assessment.
  • Develop - develop the training material which learners will use.
  • Implement - Provide learners with the training material through delivery or distribution of the instructional content
  • Evaluate - evaluate the learners, the material and the process as a whole.

3.2.3 Instructional Design Strategies

It is helpful to be aware of the different kinds of strategies and tactics in instructional design. Instructional Design Strategies typically refer to a wide range of things, including the organization of the content, media selection and utilization, managing and controlling the instructional process, etc.

The following are useful elements, processes, techniques, etc which can be used to help create and/ or develop existing material to make it more suitable for training purposes:

  • 2-fold strategy: Most instructional design models advocate the use of two strategies to sequencing instructional content: the hierarchical approach and the procedural. The learner is taught the task one piece at a time, and it is not until the very end of the instruction that the learner sees and has an opportunity to practice the whole task. These sequencing strategies work well for simple, short tasks, but they don’t work for complex cognitive tasks.
  • Simplifying conditions: Used when training complex cognitive tasks, this involves identifying the simplest kind of case an expert encounters in the real world, and starting the instruction with examples and practice on that kind of case. Next, you identify the conditions which make that kind of case simpler that the most complex kind of case for performing the task. Those simplifying conditions can then be relaxed one at a time, with a module of instruction for each.

NOTE: There are 2 types of understanding:

Conceptual understanding: The basis of conceptual understanding is the development of conceptual/semantic networks

Casual understanding: The basis of casual understanding is the development of causal/mental models

  • Compare/Contrast: Compare/Contrast is used to point out differences and/ or similarities between separate concepts/ themes/ subjects. The comparison/ contrast refers to inherent key questions requiring the user to think about: "What is being compared? How are they similar? How are they different?" A learner should then compare or contrast the new idea with a coordinate kind or part of the old.

An example for this would be to "Discuss the similarities between the first and second world war". Should you wish, you can structure this specifically - e.g.:"the main commonalties between arms and legs are (1)....., (2) ....., etc"

  • Providing analysis: Providing analysis is a means of analyzing a new idea in comparison to it's component kinds or parts. The learner is required to analyse and break-down a concept into a number of parts and develop explanations for each of these. The concept of this is to determine relationships between information - here, new information and old information

An example for this would be to ask the learner: "Can you think of something that works like a positive feedback system?". This would require the learner to explain why this "something" works like a positive feedback system - though defining what elements of the "something" resemble a positive feedback system.

  • Presenting case studies: Presenting case studies is a means of demonstrating that the learner understands key concepts of a idea/ concept by showing real-life examples and how these examples embody the concept under discussion. The concept of this is to determine learner's understanding of information and to make them consider real-life implications of this information.

An example for this would be to ask a student studying leadership ethics: "Present a real-life example of volcanoes’ eruption caused by an earthquake and explain how this occured"? This would require the learner to present a real-life example of this and to demonstrate how this came about.

  • Presenting analogies and/or metaphors: Presenting analogies and/or metaphors is a means of describing similarities and differences with a similar idea, which may be outside the area of interest. A known idea is often known as a vehicle and a new idea is often known as a topic. The concept behind this is to provide additional information through demonstration of an existing concept and building on this.

An example for this would be to ask a student to demonstrate in what way one concept/ subject resembles another in its component parts - for example: "How is a text processor is like an advanced typewriter?", "How does an atom resemble the solar system?". Another means is to ask a learner to think of an analogy - e.g.: "Can you think of something working like a computer?".

  • Point out time-relationships: Pointing out time-relationships is a means of demonstrating part of a process or how information relates to other information. The concept behind this is mainly to provoke “causal understanding”. It will often infer relationships between concepts and ask learners to consider how these may be correlational or indicate a probability.

An example for this would be to provide a student with some information regarding a concept/ subject - perhaps in the form of a statement - and ask them to describe the relationship that exists between this concept/ subject and another. For example: "Thunderstorms usually follow hot weather. Please explain why this is.".

  • Identify causal relationships: Identifying causal relationships is a means of demonstrating the cause/effect relationship that may exist with a concept/ subject, or within component parts of a concept/ subject. The concept behind this is mainly to provoke “causal understanding”. It will often seek to demonstrate understanding of relationships with concepts and ask learners to demonstrate how these indicate a set of principles.

An example for this would be to provide a student with some information regarding a concept/ subject - perhaps in the form of a statement - and ask them to describe the relationship that exists between this concept/ subject and another. For example: "An earthquake can sometimes cause volcanic eruptions. Please explain why this is and how it occurs."

 

The following are useful elements that are especially applicable to online or multimedia-based learning:

  • The Multimedia principle: This principle suggests that one use words and graphics rather than words alone. This recommendation is based largely on the proposition that multimedia presentations (i.e. presentations that contain words and graphics) encourage learners to engage in active learning by mentally making connections between the pictorial and verbal representations.
  • The Contiguity Principle: This principle suggests that corresponding words and graphics should be placed near each other. Temporally Contiguity means that corresponding words & pictures should be presented at the same time. Spatially Contiguity means that corresponding words & pictures should be presented near each other rather than far away from each other.
  • The Coherence principle: This principle suggests that adding distracting material can hurt learning.
  • The Redundancy principle: This principle suggests that presenting words in both text and audio narration can hurt learning. Contrary to the relatively common belief that individual learning styles can be addressed by presenting the same words in textual and audio formats Clarke and Mayer contend that this again may lead to a overloading of the visual channel.
  • The Personalisation principle: This principle suggests that using a conversational rather than a formal style & tone. Even though a formal style is often thought to be more appropriate to the seriousness of the "learning message" research on discourse processing shows that human beings work harder to understand when they feel they are in a conversation with a partner, as opposed to just received information. A conversational style can be a way then to prime the right cognitive processing in the learner
  • Serial position effect: This principle suggests that items first (primacy effect) and last (recency effect) in a series are remembered best. The first items get rehearsed more and the last items are still in the memory bank

 

3.3 Identifying the training delivery method

Depending on the type of training occurring, you may choose one delivery method over another.

2 important elements are tools for creating training and tools for delivering training:

3.3.1 Providing Training

3.3.1.1 PPT

The PPT file format is primarily associated with 'PowerPoint' by Microsoft Corporation. A PPT file consist of a number of individual pages or "slides". Slides may contain formatted text, charts, images, graphics, movies, sound effects and other objects, which may be arranged freely on the slide.

You have several types of possibility after you have made a presentation: it can be printed, displayed live on a computer, or navigated through at the command of the presenter.

Examples for programs that open .ppt files:

  • Mac OS
    • Microsoft PowerPoint
    • Apple Keynote
    • Nuance OmniPage Pr
    • X
    • OpenOffice.org Impress
  • Windows
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer
  • Nuance OmniPage Professional 17
  • ACD Systems Canvas 11
  • OpenOffice.org Impress
  • OpenOffice.org Impress
  • Linux

PPT Add-on: Articulate

Articulate Presenter allows you to create Flash presentations/ animations and SCORM-compliant courses directly from Powerpoint. Articulate Presenter turns the slides in a powerpoint into a series of flash slides in a customizable player. In addition, an audio voiceover may be recorded for each slide in an articulate presentation and used to provide a running commentary over Articulate's final presentation. Articulate also provides a means to include additional learning resources, such as a glossary, a 'notes' feature, a reference tab, etc.

As well as standard text and images, articulate also provides a means to include web objects, flash movies and interactive activities.

The advantage of articulate is the ability to directly translate learning material (in a powerpoint format) into accessible, branded interactive learning material. The ECQA uses articulate as a means of content development due to its reliability and consistency.

WEB LINK: Articulate Homepage (with trial): http://www.articulate.com/

MEDIA: Video on using Articulate (completed).

3.3.1.2 HTML/ XML

HTML

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is the predominant markup language and encoding scheme to create and format web pages. It provides a means to create structured documents by denoting structural semantics for text such as headings, paragraphs, lists etc as well as for links, quotes, and other items. It allows images and objects to be embedded and can be used to create interactive forms. It is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of "tags" surrounded by angle brackets within the web page content It can include or can load scripts in languages such as JavaScript which affect the behavior of HTML processors like Web browsers; and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to define the appearance and layout of text and other material.

HTML is the predominant markup language and encoding scheme to create and format web pages. Scripts (Javascript) enable authors to design interactive sites. Cascading Style Sheets define the appearance and layout of text and other material.

XML

XML files are mainly associated with 'Extensible Markup Language’ developed by the World Wide Web consortium. The xml language uses a tagged structure to create documents such as web pages, as its ancestor HTML as well. The tagged structure makes easy to create different appearances of contents and to differentiate the form and the content. Xml files are simple text files, so these can be edited by any text editor.

XML is designed to carry, not to display data. This means that unlike HTML, XML is not a means of displaying information over the web, but a means of transporting and storing data and transferring this data across a number of platforms.

WEB LINK: Blue Griffon Web editor: http://bluegriffon.org/

MEDIA: PDF/DOC on basic HTML (completed).

3.3.1.3 PDF

File extension PDF is the abbreviation of Portable Document Format. PDF files enable cross-platform document exchange. They can be viewed on PC, Mac, Linux computers as well as many other electronic devices.

There are programs that can only read PDF files, such as Xpdf, Foxit and Adobe's own Adobe Reader. PDF readers are generally freely available for users. There are many software options for creating PDFs, including the PDF printing capability built in to Mac OS X, the multi-platform OpenOffice, numerous PDF print drivers for Microsoft Windows, and Adobe Acrobat itself. There is also specialized software for editing PDF files.

PDF files can consist of text, images, forms, annotations, outlines, and other data; they preserve fonts and formatting electronically across multiple platforms and appear the same on the screen as they will when printed on paper.

PDF documents are indexed by search engines, so they can be searched for and viewed in a Web browser using the free Adobe Reader plug-in, that’s why this file extension is a quite common document file on the Web. PDF files are widespread in the publishing and advertising industry, lots of government forms and applications are stored in this format and it is one of the favourite file formats of ebooks

PDF file format exists since 1993 but it became an Open Format only in 2008. It means that now anyone is able to write software, which can generate/edit/create PDF files without risk of violating patents.

WEB LINK: Acrobat Homepage: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat.html

MEDIA: PDF/DOC on creating PDFs (completed).

 

3.3.2 Delivering Training

3.3.2.1 Blog

What is it?

A blog is a basic web page with posts presented in reverse chronological order. Posts can be retrieved via an RSS reader (such as Google Reader), negating the need to visit the blog.

Google uses its blog to communicate new products or offerings. CNN uses blogs as an alternative news source. NASA has a launch blog. Well known people like Dave Barry, Scott Adams (Dilbert), and Tom Peters use blogs as well. Even the president of Iran has a blog. Blogs figured prominently into the last American president election, providing candidates with another venue to connect with voters.

The simplicity of blogs is deceptive. Blogging enables unique opportunities for educators to improve communication with (and between) learners, increase depth of learning through reflection, and enable the formation of diverse viewpoints and perspectives. Perhaps most importantly, they enable educators to connect with each other.

How does it work?

Prospective bloggers can sign up with an online services – such as Blogger or Eduspaces – or download software to a server and host their own blog (Movable Type or Wordpress).

Posts can be made through a desktop application (such as Microsoft’s Live Writer) or through the interface accessible with a web-browser.

Blogs generally allow readers to provide comments. Due to spam, many bloggers use anti-spam measures such as holding comments in moderation or requiring commentators to enter information (often a captcha) to verify a person, not a script, is entering the comment.

How can it be used for teaching and learning?

Blogs are simple tools for learners and educators to use in teaching and learning. Educators can use a blogs to update learners on course activities, post reflections on in-class or online conversations, and to share journal articles and related course resources. Learners can use blogs to reflect, connect with others, use as an e-portfolio or journal, and comment on important posts made by other learners.

WEB LINK: Wordpress homepage: http://wordpress.com

MEDIA: Video guide on using Wordpress (completed).

 

3.3.2.2 CMS

What is it?

A content management system is a computer application that is used to help manage the work flow needed to collaboratively create, edit, review, index, search, publish and archive various types of digital media and text-based content.)

How does it work?

Wikis can be remote hosted (such as PBWiki, WetPaint, or collaborative Google Docs) or hosted by an institution – such as MediaWiki or the wiki feature in Moodle. Wikis can be open - where anyone can create an account and edit - or closed - requiring approval from a site administrator. Edits may be handled through simple editing with wiki markup (similar to HTML) or a Word-style formatting bar (in hosted wikis such as PBWiki).

How can it be used for teaching and learning?

Content Management Systems are frequently used for storing, controlling and publishing media rich content which is relevant to your website and can support such features as numerous articles, blogs, e-commerce features, multiple users with multiple access levels, collaborative content development, etc. A content Management System can support media such as images, audio files, video files and can also allow for the upload of such data into a “media library“ and provide document management and numerous other features.

WEB LINK: Drupal homepage: http://drupal.org

MEDIA: Video guide on using Drupal (completed).

 

3.3.2.3 VOIP

What is it?

VOIP refers to the technologies, protocols and methods used for the use of "telephoney" - voice communications & sessions over IP networks such as the internet. VOIP services and applications are what are used to facilitate this - the most prominent of which is Skype. There are a large number of applications for VOIP in e-learning mostly related to communication services and can be similar in many ways to video conferencing.

How does it work?

VOIP services in e-learning are in many ways similar to Web conferencing - particularly with continuing development of VOIP services, which bring additional functionality to may VOIP applications - including webcam sharing, screen sharing, document uploading, chat functionality, etc. VOIP would generally provide less functionality than video conferencing (online presentation, screen sharing), but would be less demanding in terms of internet speed and necessary software.

How can it be used for teaching and learning?

Some of the standard uses of VOIP in e-learning include:

  • Establishing an online “presence” - which enables learners to contact their tutor (or other learners) - an important factor in e-learning
  • Hosting one-to-one or one-to-many interactive meetings with learners to clarify learning points or answer questions to problems which learners may have encountered.
  • Hosting creative activities such as brainstorming, group discussion, etc.
  • Host a discussion between tutor and learners or learners and learners
  • Perform a walkthrough of a given task or piece of sofware with the tutor (or a student) talking through a process

Furthermore, the use of VOIP provides opportunities for the development of a number of generic skills:

  • Working in groups/ teams
  • Problem solving and developing solutions
  • Communication skills
  • Moderating and facilitating discussion

WEB LINK: Skype homepage: http://www.skype.com

MEDIA: Video guide on using Skype (completed).

 

3.3.2.4 Video

What is it?

The last decade has seen the web transition from a text-based medium to a multi-media platform with audio, video, and greater interactivity. For educators, this presents a great opportunity to add diversity and variety to courses. While video-taped lectures have been common on university campuses for decades, the increased bandwidth available to most computer users has opened the door for a new approach to extend lectures - enabling learners to view missed (or not fully understood) lectures at their convenience.

How does it work?

Video in education runs a spectrum from easy-to-create “talking heads” (recorded with a web cam) to edited professional quality resources. Easy to create video – with a web cam, Flip Video, or video recorder – are more accessible to individual educators than studio-produced recordings.

After videos have been created and edited, they can be uploaded to a university site or posted on a public site such as YouTube or blip.tv.

How can it be used for teaching and learning?

Video can be used for:

  • Short demonstrations
  • Incorporate video from experts
  • Incorporate video developed by other institutions/organizations as open educational resources
  • Add recorded presentations of conferences (like TED Talks) as curricular resources
  • Pre-class videos to place future lectures into context
  • Use videos to review key concepts discussed in class (for learner review or to augment lectures)

WEB LINK: Youtube homepage: http://youtube.com 

MEDIA: Video on using the youtube editor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1RoZafZGeU

 

3.3.2.5 Learning Management Systems

A Learning Management System (LMS) supports the management of tasks emerging during the operation of a distinct team/group. It is possible to appoint tasks for the whole group or for individual members of the group. They can also submit their documents, regarding these tasks which can be later evaluated. One can set out deadlines to tasks, which appears in the time schedule of the scene. The calendar management gives an overview of the different tasks in the research areas.

It is also possible to view a summary of the tasks, results and achievements of a scene, which can be saved in a format available for other office applications. Assignments can be provided and the papers can be submitted in electronic format. Other participants can evaluate these. Tutors can also produce an automatic tests

How does it work?

A place to meet: Students and teachers may use their computers to go to a virtual meeting place instead of all students having to physically travel to a single location.

A place to interact: All users can interact with each other in a structured and effective way. Students, for instance, can indicate when they want to speak by virtually raising their hand. Teachers can then grant this permission by providing audio and video access to this student. Teachers and students can also make use of instant messaging and chat functions on most asynchronous software.

A place to view material: Most synchronous e-learning systems will support projection of still, animated, and video images, powerpoints, shared viewing of documents such as powerpoints, word files and the sharing of desk-top applications.

A place to collaborate: Most synchronous e-learning systems will have a host of collaborative tools as standard. These can be used to support collaboration between teachers and students and students and students - providing instant polling, whiteboard marking and application sharing. Many synchronous learning systems can also provide "breakout sessions" - which allow students to work together in groups.

How can it be used for teaching and learning?

From a tutor's point of view, a synchronous system can be effectively used to:

  • Present educational material in slide form or in video form with a speaker communicating to an audience - this is the simplified scenario in a 'virtual classroom' - which mirrors standard practice of a face-to-face classroom scenario. Many synchronous e-learning systems will also provide the possibility of recording this lecture.
  • Perform a 'walkthrough' of a task by demonstrating the procedure step-by-step. This may be communicated through means of a video lecture (showing pre-recorded material), or through use of real-time application sharing to demonstrate an application.
  • Host a collabrative session in which the learners may make use of the communication and collaborative tools in the system to demonstrate their own understanding of a task and follow a 'learning-by-doing' approach to a given task.
  • Host a discussion between tutor and learners or learners and learners.

WEB LINK: Moodle homepage: http://moodle.org/

MEDIA: Video guide on using Moodle (completed).

 

3.3.3 Non-Web Based Training

Although the SME2 project has identified the use of online training as a fairly optimum means of providing training, there are times when it will not be necessary or possible. The following is a list of other forms of training delivery:

3.3.3.1 On-the-Job Coaching Training Delivery

On-the-job coaching is one way to facilitate employee skills training. On-the-job coaching refers to an approved person training an employee on the skills necessary to complete tasks. A manager or someone with experience shows the employee how to perform the actual job. The selection of an on-the-job coach can be done in a variety of ways, but usually the coach is selected based on personality, skills, and knowledge. This type of skills training is normally facilitated in-house. The disadvantage of this training revolves around the person delivering the training. If he or she is not a good communicator, the training may not work. Likewise, if this person has “other things to do,” he or she may not spend as much time required to train the person and provide guidance. In this situation, training can frustrate the new employee and may result in turnover.

 

3.3.3.2 Mentoring and Coaching Training Delivery

Mentoring is also a type of training delivery. A mentor is a trusted, experienced advisor who has direct investment in the development of an employee. Mentoring is a process by which an employee can be trained and developed by an experienced person. Normally, mentoring is used as a continuing method to train and develop an employee. One disadvantage of this type of training is possible communication style and personality conflict. It can also create overdependence in the mentee or micromanagement by the mentor. This is more different than on-the-job coaching, which tends to be short term and focuses on the skills needed to perform a particular job.

 

3.3.3.3 Brown Bag Lunch Training Delivery

Brown bag lunches are a training delivery method meant to create an informal atmosphere. As the name suggests, brown bag lunch training is one in which the training occurs during lunchtime, employees bring their food, and someone presents training information to them. The trainer could be HR or management or even another employee showing a new technical skill. Brown bag lunches can also be an effective way to perform team training, as it brings people together in a more relaxed atmosphere. Some companies offer brown bag lunch training for personal development as well.

One disadvantage to this type of training can be low attendance and garnering enough interest from employees who may not want to “work” during lunch breaks. There can also be inconsistency in messages if training is delivered and not everyone is present to hear the message.

 

3.3.3.4 Job Shadowing Training Delivery

Job shadowing is a training delivery method that places an employee who already has the skills with another employee who wants to develop those skills. Apprenticeships use job shadowing as one type of training method. For example, an apprentice electrician would shadow and watch the journeyman electrician perform the skills and tasks and learn by watching. Eventually, the apprentice would be able to learn the skills to do the job alone. The downside to this type of training is the possibility that the person job shadowing may learn “bad habits” or shortcuts to performing tasks that may not be beneficial to the organization.

 

3.3.3.5 Job Swapping Training Delivery

Job swapping is a method for training in which two employees agree to change jobs for a period of time. Of course, with this training delivery method, other training would be necessary to ensure the employee learns the skills needed to perform the skills of the new job. Job swap options can be motivational to employees by providing a change of scenery. It can be great for the organization as well to cross-train employees in different types of jobs. However, the time spent learning can result in unproductive time and lost revenue.

 

3.3.3.6 Vestibule Training Delivery

In vestibule training, training is performed near the worksite in conference rooms, lecture rooms, and classrooms. This might be an appropriate method to deliver orientations and some skills-based training.

Many organizations use vestibule training for technical training, safety training, professional training, and quality training. It can also be appropriate for managerial training, soft skills training, and team training. As you can tell, this delivery method, like web-based training delivery, is quite versatile. For some jobs or training topics, this may take too much time away from performing the actual “job,” which can result in lost productivity.

 

3.3.3.7 International Assignment Training

Since we are working within a global economy, it might be necessary to provide training to employees who are moving abroad or working abroad. Ensuring success overseas is reliant upon the local employee’s learning how to navigate in the new country. The following topics might be included in this type of training:

  • Cultural differences and similarities
  • Insight and daily living in the country
  • Social norms and etiquette
  • Communication training, such as language skills

This training is best delivered by a professional in the region or area in which the employee will be working.

 

3.3.4 Individual Vs Group Work

An important factor to consider when developing the training delivery method online management plan is to consider whether the learning that will take place will be individual or group work. Learning may be broken down into the following categories:

  • Individual - This would involve a learner performing self-initiated learning. The role of the instructor would be in directing as opposed to providing learning.
  • Cooperative - This would involve a number of learners collaborating to developing a final product or learning in a collaborative environment.
  • Competitive - This would involve having a limited number of available "rewards" - such as offering accreditation or promotion to those learners who perform the best.

Despite which category is chosen, it is essential that a tutor be available at some stage of the training to communicate with learners. There is no online learning that is truly effective without some form of human contact for communication, collaboration, etc.

In order to classify the form of training setup/ provision – which determines, among other things, the level of human contact, a useful type of classification that was originated by a team in France is called a “Competice”.  The different Competice models can be illustrated as follows:

 

 

 

S1 Enriched trainer presence

S2 Improved trainer presence

S3 Trimmed-down trainer presence

S4 Reduced trainer presence

S5 Almost nonexistent trainer presence

COMPARABLE TRADITIONAL PRACTICE IN ADULT TRAINING

Face-to-face lessons using audio-visual teaching aids.

 

Audio-visual equipment and material at the trainer’s disposal

Instructions regarding personal work to be done before and after face-to face lessons

 

Traditional training with Trainer presence. Preparation and consolidation during trainees’ own time.

Self-study time included in the course

 

Personalised training paths, training with selfstudy : APP, normalisation,

Made to measure training by selfstudy.

 

Face-to-face monitoring and control. Personalised teaching and training (by) with self-study.

Made to measure training by selfstudy.

 

Face-to-face monitoring and control.

 

Personalised teaching and training (by) with self-study.

TRANSFER TO OPEN LEARNING

Multimedia resources permanently accessible for everyone on the local network.

Instructions for work before and after face-toface periods, using the tools and resources of distance-learning.

 

Transfer of lesson sequences, training aids and complementary activities onto distance-learning tools.

Made to measure training by selfstudy through distance learning. Monitoring and control at distance.

Same as S4 + Sharing of knowledge between trainees and distant trainer.

 

Deciding the competice model should involve a focus on the infrastructure that your organization possesses. It is important to bear in mind, however, that human contact is essential to effective training regardless of the competice model to be used.

3.4 Evaluating the training

If you implement a new, or add unproved multimedia technologies and unverified pedagogies to existing learning services, they could cause many problems, being:

  • difficult to understand and to learn to operate, or
  • inefficient to use, or inappropriate for learning, or
  • unpredictable and unreliable, or
  • unpleasant to look at and clumsy to use, or
  • having all these defects, hidden for you during the design and development stage.

 

3.4.1 What to evaluate:

To evaluate a training program you need to identify the components of your program. The main components in such systems are:

  • Learning materials
  • Support system.

However, these do not exist in isolation; they should be a part of an integrated program. A training programme is a circular process continually fed by inputs from the needs analysis and the evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to provide a flow of useful information to help refine and develop a scheme and to ensure that the needs of learners and organization are being met.

 

3.4.2 When to evaluate

There are two timings for evaluation:

  • During the training program development and implementation, and it is said to be ‘formative’. A formative evaluation is aimed to check progress and to develop suggestions for improvement.
  • After a program to examine results and impact and to decide on continuation. This evaluation is known as ‘summative’.

A summative evaluation of learning materials starts with their implementation, i.e. when a formative evaluation of the support system and whole program is conducted.

An important practical note is that in the early stages of the development and design of learning materials, changes are relatively inexpensive. The longer the process has progressed and the more fully the system is defined, the more expensive the introduction of changes will be. It is therefore important to start assessment as early as possible and focus on the formative evaluation.

 

3.4.3 Checklist for evaluation planning

  1. What is evaluation about?

What is the object of evaluation, e.g. learning materials or a support system, or both? For a multimedia materials questions to be answered are: What is the goal and the objectives of the interactive multimedia product? What is its target audience? In what environment will it be used? What content is included? What media elements? What graphical user interface features are utilized?

  1. Which questions will the evaluation address?

Which decisions about the products or processes of development or implementation may be influenced by the evaluation? what questions should the evaluation answer?

  1. How to collect information?

Which methods are more appropriate to answer the evaluation questions within the limits of the budget and timeline? from whom to collect data? What sampling methods to use? what instruments to use?

  1. How to analyze and interpret data?

What procedures to use for analysis and interpretation? what criteria for judging results to chose?

  1. How to communicate?

Who should be informed about the findings from the evaluation? how the information will be shared with the audience? Formal, informal report? Written or oral? what to report to particular audiences? when?

  1. How to plan and organize work?

What tasks to perform? when? how? by whom? how much the activity will cost?

  1. How to evaluate the evaluation?

How to assess the quality of design? how to assess the quality of methods? how to assess the quality of results and conclusions?

 

3.4.4 Evaluation tools

3.4.4.1 Interviews

Interviewing involves face-to-face meetings between two or more people where the respondent answers questions from an interviewer. The answers are recorded during the interview and summarized afterwards. The data can consist of direct quotation and responses from people about their experiences, perceptions, attitudes toward the system or prototype.

Advantages of interviews:

  • its capacity to avoid the ‘artificiality’ inherent in experimental methods;
  • it permits flexibility, allowing you to pursue unanticipated lines of enquiry ;
  • it enables the collection of detailed qualitative material which may not be revealed by questionnaire.

Disadvantages of interviews:

  • it is costly and time consuming to implement, analyze and interpret;
  • interviewers can influence interviewees, and there is a wide margin allowed for interpretation of questions by both interviewer and interviewee;
  • ‘reactive measurement effects’ can cause failure to elicit appropriate information;
  • its generalizability is limited and its outputs present particular problems of analysis (in terms of standardisation, coding and statistical testing).

 

3.4.4.2 Direct observations

Users may be directly observed doing specially devised tasks or doing their normal work, with the observer making notes about interesting behaviour or recording in some way, such as by timing sequences of actions. Objective features of user interaction which may be recorded manually include time to complete task, points of apparent user difficulty, number frequency and approximate duration of relevant events, e.g. errors made, approaches to using the system etc.

Advantages of direct observations:

  • They avoid placing the observer and respondent in the artificial context of the laboratory and provide opportunities to examine ‘natural’ behaviours.
  • The data gathered are probably more reliable than those from questionnaires and interviews which involve recall of past events, and are prone to interviewer and respondent bias.

Disadvantages of direct observations:

  • However direct observation is often an obtrusive method because users may be constantly aware of their performance being monitored, which can alter their behaviour and performance levels.
  • Also, although the observer may take notes, the record of the observation will usually be incomplete.
  • Another problem with direct observation is that it only allows a “single pass” at the data collection, and the valuator rarely gets a full record of user activity for several passes at the detailed analyses.

 

3.4.4.3 Protocol analysis

Protocol analysis involves the recording and analysis of the behaviours engaged in by users when performing tasks. In addition to recording what happens during task performance, for example, by using video, users are prompted to ‘think aloud’ and describe the protocols they are using to solve problems. Variations of the technique involve ‘interruption analysis’, where the observer stops the user when a particularly complex or unintelligible protocol is identified, in order that it can be unpicked and analyzed.

Verbal protocols contain users’ spoken observations, i.e. the audio record during the observation. It may be combined with the video record or to be collected on its own. From such a protocol it is possible to obtain a wide range of information such as, for example, the way that the user has planned to do a particular task, his/her reaction when things go wrong and whether or not he/she understands the error messages provided by the system and so on.

 

Advantages of protocol analysis

  • A session can be replayed allowing a fuller analysis of the interaction than it is permitted by direct observation.
  • Reliability of data analysis can be increased by having a number of evaluators analyze the same record.
  • Verbal protocol analysis may be the only source of data on the cognitive processes involved in using the system.

Disadvantages of protocol analysis:

  • Recording is obtrusive. It may interfere with users performance as it may cause the subject to feel self-conscious and unable to talk to colleagues or to ask for help.
  • Analysis of tapes is very time consuming, as well as the analysis of large volumes of verbal data.
  • Think aloud protocols are intrusive and the intrusion may completely change the nature of the interaction.