If there’s one thing we have learned from the rapid changes in education and training over the past year it is that there is more than one way to do things, even in education. New technologies emerge, they disrupt the status quo, and then, inevitably, they change. This is exactly what has happened with massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Contrary to what many people predicted, MOOCs were not a “one and done”—they have continued to expand and gain credibility, and now you can get a massive online master’s degree in computer science from Georgia Tech. And contrary to what many feared, MOOCs have not yet replaced traditional colleges and training programs (at least the last time I checked all of our country’s higher education institutions were still standing). What MOOCs have done and will continue to do is change how education is delivered, both online and in the classroom. They have broadened the scope of what people expect from courses and from technology-enabled learning tools. Over a short series of articles, we will look at some new ways MOOCs are being used and how these models can facilitate training and development programs.
One of the main, and perhaps least surprising, uses of MOOCs and MOOC elements is in blended learning. Blended learning is a model in which online and instructor-led environments are combined to enhance learner mastery and success. This isn’t just randomly introducing technology into classrooms; instead, it is harnessing the power of technology to streamline the educational process, free instructors to spend more of their time actually teaching, and provide learners with the additional supports they need to succeed.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On December 6, 2012 NO COMMENTS
This past month has been a busy one. I have found myself in discussions with a number of companies that are seeking a Chief Learning Officer (CLO), or the equivalent. Many of the discussions have originated with the company’s need to move their internal training; up from some ad hoc structure into a more highly systematized educational system.
What has surprised me is the hesitancy of the companies in taking the ‘step’ to a true training program, and hiring the CLO who would be responsible for it. It seems that many of these firms [and their management] look at training as a ‘cost center’ and has minor or irrelevant impact on the profitability of the firm. They could not be more mistaken.
It has been my response to point out the four main attributes to a high-end training program. These attributes are often overlooked and lost on management. The reasons for the short-sightedness may be many, but seem to cluster around:
1) Rapid ramp-up for new employees — getting them up-to speed in dramatically quick fashion. Far to many companies do not recognize or even tracking the value of taking new hires and fail to measure the value in reducing the time it takes to make them proficient and revenue creating. Far to many management teams treat this function as an HR program. Wrong, wrong, wrong. This is a sales and marketing matter. Improving the time it takes to making an employee a revenue generating component is not only measurable but valuable to the bottom line.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 25, 2012 NO COMMENTS
Being tasked with building or managing a training organization is a larger-than-life responsibility. Mistakes will happen – but here are the ten most common training mistakes and how to avoid them.
Building and managing a training department is a difficult task. Mistakes can be made in many areas of training and development, but there are some common mistakes that you and your staff can avoid. Here are the top ten training mistakes – from development and delivery to funding.
One: Setting up the expectation that each training participant will end up with exactly the same knowledge. Adults learn in different ways and focus on different material. When that happens, Participant #1 may have a different knowledge base than Participant #2 when the training is complete. To avoid this problem, provide your students a general outline of what’s covered in training and what they are expected to learn.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 11, 2012 NO COMMENTS
Summary: You can stretch your training dollar by carefully analyzing and choosing both internal and external tools and programs.
Training departments should always maintain a certain budget-consciousness – in both good and not-so-good financial circumstances. You can stretch your budget by examining needs and being aware that a mix of external and internal resources are available. Here are some ways to do that.