Thursday, June 9, 2011

Week 6 – Technology Use in Training

Assignment: Post a blog entry that explains the impact each of your FIVE selected technologies has and will continue to have on how people learn and interact, and the implications of this for training. If available, include links to websites that offer the technology or images of the technology in your post.
Distance Learning Image from Introduction to Distance Learning BlogImage from Introduction to Distance Learning Blog
Distance Learning

"Distance learning is used by geographically dispersed companies to provide information about new products, policies or procedures as well as deliver skills training and expert lectures to field locations" (Noe, 2010, pg. 325).
Virtual classrooms can be utilized which may include teleconferencing or webcasting allowing for the exchange of audio, video, text etc. between individuals at different locations. Trainees interact with the trainer via telephone, or typing in questions via their keyboard.

Employees participate in training anywhere they have access to a computer.

Flexibility regarding when training occurs is possible because training programs can occur "live" via virtual classroom or can be viewed via tape later.

Companies can save on travel costs.

Distance learning "allows employees in geographically dispersed sites to receive training from experts who would not be available to visit each location" (Noe, 2010, pg. 326).
A major implication of distance learning is the ability for companies to save money on travel costs.

Distance learning will increase the opportunity for employees to meet others from different sites allowing for increased  collaboration.

As companies continue to experience  the advantages of distance learning, more effort will be focused on overcoming the disadvantages (lack of interaction between trainer and trainees, technology failures, unprepared trainers) and courses designed for distance learning will improve.
Examples / Resources of Distance Learning
Chron Small Business - How to Buy Distance Learning Education Course

eLearning - A community collecting and organizing the best information on the web about eLearning - Information to assist in finding on online college or university
Blended Learning Image from eTutors Portal Image from eTutors Portal
Blended Learning

"Blended learning combines online learning, face-to-face instruction, and other methods for distributing learning content and instruction" (Noe, 2010, pg. 317).
Blended learning provides learners with the advantages of both face-to-face instruction and technology based instruction (on line learning, distance learning or mobile technologies) while minimizing the disadvantages of each.

Blended learning provides significant learner control, allows the learner to direct own learning and requires learner to take responsibility for own learning.

Blended learning offers classroom face-to-face time which supports learners in sharing information and receiving direct feedback, which helps make it meaningful.

Blended learning has "been found to be more effective then face-to-face instruction for motivation trainees to learn and for teaching declarative knowledge or information about ideas or topics" (Noe, 2010, pg. 217).
Companies can take advantage of the some of the lower costs of online learning, while emphasizing the strengths of face-to-face learning.

The face-to-face portion of the learning allows for employees to practice skills learned in the technology based instruction, so skills are not just being taught, but there is interaction with other employees to facilitate  practice and mastery of skills.
Examples / Resources of Blended Learning
Report cites 40 diverse examples of blended learning

Blended learning or training –definition and explanation

Looking for interesting examples of…blended learning
Electronic Performance Support Systems Image from Lawrence Najjar's Web Site Image from Lawrence Najjar's Web Site
Electronic Performance Support Systems

Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) is an electronic infrastructure that captures, stores, and distributes individual and corporate knowledge assets throughout an organization to enable individuals to achieve required levels of performance in the fastest possible time and with a minimum of support from other people" (Noe, 2010, pg. 329).
An EPSS includes all the software needed to support individuals in doing their jobs.

Knowledge to perform a task is easily accessible.

An EPSS provides a support system that assists employees in identifying actions that are appropriate given a particular set of conditions.

A typical EPSS will include: “an assistant to automate tasks and lighten the work load, a librarian to provide knowledge, a teacher to guide the user through the process step by step and an advisor to provide expert advice” (Noe, 2010, pg. 329).

“Performance is achieved through the use of the system by the job performer. The system has been designed to enable performance by leveraging a person’s inherent intellectual and social skills and presenting and structuring information, knowledge, advice and support resources at the moment of need to reduce the amount of job knowledge a performer has to internalize in order to perform a task” (Raybould, 1995, pg. 8).
Companies can reduce the cost of training staff while increasing productivity and performance.

An EPSS can be used when employees must begin to perform immediately and training is unavailable or difficult to obtain.

Less cost in updating the training because an EPSS is easily updated.

An EPSS will encompass the needs of all employees because it will allow for different level of knowledge in users and different learning styles.
Examples / Resources of EPSS Knowledge Base
Intelligent Tutoring Systems Image from Performance Xpress Image from Performance Xpress
Intelligent Tutoring Systems

Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) "are instructional systems that use artificial intelligence" (Noe, 2010, pg. 324).
Intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) are able to match instruction to the needs of the individual trainees.

ITS is able to communicate and respond to individual trainees.

ITS can model an individual’s learning and can make decisions about the learners level of understanding in order to determine what information to provide for further learning.

Its provides individual’s with the opportunity to practice their skills in an artificial environment, while receiving feedback and coaching.
As this technology advances, how people are educated could be revolutionized. This technology could provide “individualized tutoring” without the high costs of human tutors.

Learning could be streamlined so that learners are learning only what they need based on their performance on specific tasks.
Examples / Resources of ITS
Architecture of an Intelligent Tutoring System on the WWW

Very Serious Training Game Yields Performance Improvement for Navy officers
Social Networking Image from Learning Through Technology BlogImage from Learning Through Technology Blog
Social Networking Tools

Boyd and Ellison (2007) define social network as “web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system” (pg. 2). There are many social networking tools such as; blogs, wikis, Twitter, Ning, Facebook, MySpace, etc.
Social Networking tools allow for collaboration for trainers and trainees.

Collaborative problem solving as a process of learning can be exploited with social networking tools.

Quinn (2009) stated “the recognition that learning is 80% informal suggests that we need to support natural connections between people who can help one another. And we can distribute that support between employees, partners, or customers” (para.1).

Social Networking opens up the door to identify people who have expertise and knowledge.
Social networking is relatively inexpensive, with the potential for a huge payoff.

Following more formalized training, social networking tools could be a huge opportunity for support, collaboration and ongoing learning.

Social networking sites can help educators share information and resources, create professional learning communities and improve communications with students and staff.
Examples/Resources of Social Networking Tools
Twitter (Microblogging Tool)

Wikispaces (Wiki tool)


Boyd, D. M. & Ellison, N.B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11. Retrieved

Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Quinn, C. (2009). Social networking: Bridging formal and informal learning. Learning Solutions Magazine. Retrieved

Raybould, B. (1995). Performance support engineering: An emerging development methodology for enabling organizational learning. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 8(1) pg. 7-22 Retrieved


  1. Hi Marne,

    Let me begin first by saying that your did an outstanding job on your blog this week. I love how you made the columns different colors and the pictures that you provided for each learning tool. Isn't it amazing how social networking sites are takin over almost every aspect of our lives. You can't watch a program on the TV without them referencing Facebook. It seems as though if a business today does not establish a Facebook pae, then it is almost like business suicide. As you stated in your blog, social networking tools open up th world of training in so many ways. Honestly, if it wouldn't have been for this program, I don't think that I would have been exposed to so many different tools that designers have as training resources. My step-daughter can't live without checking and posting on her Facebook page every day. She posts everything that she does on that site. I think that it is crazy, however, she lives in the country and Facebook and texting are the only ways that she can stay in touch with her friends when she is not in school.


  2. Marne,
    Good selection of training technologies to review. I also liked your format and use of color to describe the technologies your chose. Thank you for sharing the various websites for each training technology. I would agree that if companies are to have successful experiences with distance learning,they will need to make sure courses are designed specifically for distance learning and that procedures are provided to facilitate and encourage participant interaction. When you look at the implications for the use of a technology in training, you need to consider the advantages as well as the limitations and disadvantages. What do you see as some of the limitations and/or disadvantages that companies need to consider when looking at the effective use of Blended learning or an EPS system?
    I liked the graphics you found for the EPS system and Social Networking technologies. You made a very good case for the potential of Social Networking for training. So why are some companies so hesitant to use Social Networking technologies?