"Successful organizations understand that investing in workplace learning and performance is the key to a highly skilled workforce," said Tony Bingham, president and CEO of ASTD.
Corporates investments in online learning technologies are paying off through cost savings and efficiency gains as e-learning reaches a high level of complexity.
A good example
Cisco Systems created an innovative training program called E-Service Training (EST), which makes the most of the potential of Internet capabilities and technologies. The objective of the EST program is to ensure that Field Engineers are ready to repair and maintain new merchandise as soon as they're released to consumers. Owing to the speedy nature of new product deployment, the growing number of products, and the global location of consumers, training all of the FEs in time becomes very complicated.
The E-Service Training program changed the conduct of both the people who created training, as well as those who received it. Training developers were used to to using a very ordered process to create training for a classroom setting. In the course of developing the E-Service Training content, trainer had to learn how to create material on an array of file formats other than PowerPoint®. Devices such as HTML editors, image editors, and multimedia applications are now incorporated in the toolbox for trainers. Trainers realize that content development is not just about slides, but about creating training that was appealing, educational, and fun.
The EST program is a mature model and is widely accepted by global Field engineer's organizations. The EST program is not fixed. The developers constantly review the needs of the training audience to work out changes and additions to the program. Lately, online active assessment modules for the E-lab were added. New, tracking and metrics tools have been formed so that the success of the EST program can be monitored, and get insight into areas which need upgrading.
Without a doubt, the EST program decreases time to market for services, enhances developer productivity, minimizes costs to both developers and learners, and betters field engineer confidence. The consequence is increased value and satisfaction for consumers. The execution of the EST program reduced training expenditures (excluding human resources) by more than 80 percent while the number of developers needed to create it shrank by 35 percent. the number of training courses that were delivered amplified by 60 percent. The preliminary expenditure for the EST program infrastructure (hardware, software, and so forth) was less than US$10,000.
According to Karl Kapp, Assistant Director, Institute for Interactive Technologies and Professor of Instructional Technology, Bloomsburg University, USA--
"Gadgets, games, and gizmos will rule the e-learning landscape in 2007. On the one hand, organizations will seek to develop e-learning with an eye toward 3D environments using Second Life and other commercially available platforms. On the other hand, an increasing number of simple, quick games, so called casual games, will be developed to teach facts and concepts to employees who are used to being entertained as well as educated. Mobile devices will finally begin to be used for mission critical learning events such as prepping for sales calls and troubleshooting large machinery. Web-based tools used by individuals such as social bookmarks, RSS feeds, blogs, wikis and avatars will become more mainstream in academic and then corporate environments."
This view is shared by many industry experts, who believe the gaming generation is more successful at teamwork, decision making, and calculated risk taking. All of which are qualities necessary for successful leadership.