Adapting for flexible delivery; the teamWritten by Phil Garing
For many years, trainer or lecturer was seen as a largely autonomous person who was responsible for all aspects of training delivery. Within their job specification was: - Identifying training needs - Setting goals/objectives for training - Providing expertise needed for subject - Developing resources to be used - Delivering training - Evaluating and adapting materials
Many organisations strive to include new technologies and systems in their training, but don't pay adequate attention to implications for those charged with incorporating them. Moving to in-house online/Intranet solutions for example often means big changes to way training takes place: - The role of presenter changes significantly, as do skills they need - The expertise in head of presenter often needs to be incorporated in new resources - The tools that are used demand new skills - Contact between learners is reduced - The scale of training changes, from small groups to asynchronous large groups - The learning resources are more complex and time consuming to develop
What this often means is that it is no longer possible for 'the trainer' to do all things, no matter how competent they are. If a strategic decision is made to develop flexible/online training systems, it needs to be accompanied by a decision to put in place development and support roles that ensure training will work. This usually necessitates introduction of a team.
Critics of such a move often point to soaring overheads as being prohibitive. However these additional development costs need to be balanced against following sorts of financial savings and qualitative outcomes: - Less travel/accommodation/'unproductive' time spent by learners - The ability of learners to blend training into their work days - Economies of scale inherent in one set of resources being used across whole organisations - The potential to generate a revenue stream from training materials developed by capitalising on intellectual capital of organisation
Adapting for online delivery; clarifying outcomesWritten by Phil Garing
When adapting existing course content, it's tempting to assume that there's nothing to do when it comes to training outcomes. Just use existing ones, right? Not necessarily. Changing way you offer programme can result in a whole raft of 'process' related training outcomes being introduced. For example, online/distance programmes often expect students to find and assimilate information from Internet based resources. They also need to manage their own study, and are often expected to identify what they don't know and articulate this through online environment.
These expectations are often not present to same degree in face-to-face training, due to immediacy of trainer/lecturer support. That's why you'll often find students baulking at degree of independent study expected of them in online/distance courses. It seems like a lot of unnecessary extra work, when trainer/lecturer could just give information. There are two implications here for training design:
1. If we're going to add process related outcomes to programme, we need to be sure that volume of work is still realistic, and that programme is designed so that learners are trained in skills, not just assumed to have them.
2. There will be much better buy-in from learners when these outcomes are clearly articulated as part of programme. They won't be seen as an unnecessary extra, they'll be a legitimate part of programme. In point of fact, these sorts of (enterprise) skills are becoming recognised as core to many programmes, both academic and corporate. The online/distance environment is a great place to develop them, so long as they have a legitimate place in programme.