Distance Education

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A6: High-Tech Training

Technology continues to evolve. It is the pace setter for accessing learners from across the world and permitting them to learn anytime and at their convenience. There is a constant debate on the use of technology and the impact on learning.  Noe 2010 indicated “new technologies have made it possible to reduce the cost associated with delivering training to employees, to increase the effectiveness  of the learning environment and to help training contribute to business goals” P. 297.
In this day and age, traditional f2f method of training is fading away as people rely more on the use of technology to improve learning. It is obvious that f2f learning will be needed in some aspects of learning. Technology application to training is effective when used appropriately.  This paper will discuss the impact of five selected technologies on how people learn.

Technologies Used in Training
Impact on how people learn
Implications for training
Intelligent Tutoring System.

Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) are tutoring systems which form with using artificial intelligence
techniques in computer programs to facilitate instruction.

It provides immediate feedback to learners without the presence of an instructor.

The system lay emphasis on learning by doing using its three
ITS environments, tutoring, coaching and empowering.

ITS provides information about the content expectation and trainees level of knowledge.
ITS can be used for training with programmers without the details knowledge of knowing how to program. This is because the four components namely
Domain Expert- Provides information on how to perform the task.

Trainee Model- Provides information about student knowledge.

Trainee Session Manager – Interprets trainees action and reports the result s or provides coaching.

Interactive Video.

Interactive video is another fun unconventional way to train employees. Interactive video combines the advantages of video and computer-based instruction.

Here, is a link to an interactive video used for training.

Instruction occurs one-on-one with the learner through the use of keyboard or touch the monitor to interact with the program.
Employees can control what aspects of the training program they want to view.

They can skip ahead wherever they feel necessary, or they can review topics that are fuzzy. The employees also receive immediate feedback about their performance. Training is also made convenient for employee and employer
Interactive video is very useful in teaching interpersonal skills and technical procedures.
Storage is easy either on video disk or CD.

Employers using this model will incur high cost of developing interactive video programs.  In some organization purchasing the equipment is offset by the reduction in instructor cost and travel costs related to a central training location.

In addition to the cost, interactive video is customized “only” for the organizational use.
Virtual Worlds.

Virtual world is described a synchronous persistent network of people, represented as avatars facilitated by network computers.
Mark (2008)

Second Life is an example of a computer-based, simulated online virtual world that includes three dimensional representations of the real world and a place to host learning programs or experiences
In the virtual world, trainees use an avatar to interact with each other in classrooms webinars, simulations, or role play exercises.

Trainees are real without bias to other comments.
Learners learn alone, with peers or their team.

Virtual world could be used to create classrooms such as virtual reality simulations that actively involve trainees.

It gives the opportunity to imitate the actual workplace.

It provides an opportunity for organizations to explore various options of virtual worlds programs.

 Virtual Worlds could be used for teaching interpersonal skills, leadership and working under pressure.

Consideration for first time users is important since research disclose the lack of ease of use. Organization should build in time for first users to get acquainted with the new technology.

Retention of learned activities should be monitored after the training

This is a type of training method that represents a real–life situation with trainees’ decisions resulting in outcomes that mirror what would happen if they were on the job. Noe (2010).

Simulations are in a way, a lab experiment where the students themselves are the test subjects. They experience the reality of the scenario and gather meaning from it. It is a strategy that fits well with the principles of constructivism.

Simulators are useful in that learners are able to access them anywhere, anytime.

Simulators provide increase involvement with trainees and can be emotionally engaging, thereby increasing willingness to practice, encourages retention and improve their skills. P. 320.

Simulations remove the element of danger from the situation.

Information provided are consistent with what trainees need to learn within the shortest time frame.
One of the set back to this method is the frequent update as new information about the work environment is obtained Noe (2010).

Cost of production is higher. On the flip side, Trainees may be reluctant to learn because the technology lacks human interaction. P. 320.
Hybrid/Blended Training.

Blended learning combines online learning, face -to- face instruction, and other methods for distributing learning content and instruction.

Learners are exposed to f2f and technology –based delivery and instructional techniques.

Blended learning provides learners control and enhances more responsibility for self- learning.

Uses classroom for trainees to get together, discuss and share insights.

Feedbacks are provided live and preferable than online feedback.

Blended learning is demanding and requires a great deal of commitment based on the two learning approaches.

When used for training, provisions should be made for frequent technology updates and other related support system.  Noe, 2010.

Educational Uses of Second Life.  Retrieved June 7 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=qOFU9oUF2HA.

Intelligent Tutoring Systems .Applications of AI to Education. Retrieved from http://aaai.org/AITopics/IntelligentTutoringSystems.

 Instructional Strategies on line (2004-2009) Retrieved June 7, 2012 from http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/de/pd/instr/strats/simul/index.html.
Mark, W.B (2008) Toward a Definition of “Virtual World” Retrieved June 7, 2012 from http://journals.tdl.org/.

Peer-to-Peer Learning in Hybrid (Blended) Courses. Online. Retrieved, June 7, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=so0y0rBgDIY.

Schools Use Games for Learning and Assessment (2007). Retrieved June, 2012 from http://www.edutopia.org/computer-simulations-games-virtual-learning-video.


  1. Hi Folashade,

    Thanks for sharing. Although I'd never heard of the Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS), the hyperlinks listed provided a plethora of information on the subject. ITS seems very similar to simulations, because both approaches leans toward less instructor involvement. What are your opinions about less instructor interaction as technology continues to evolve?


  2. Hi Folashade,

    Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed watching the link you provided on simulations. My son also had a dislike for school and at times I wished they had this type of learning (learning games) for him. I think he would have liked it more due to having a connection to offset his belief that it was boring to learn. I agree with the game theory and its benefits it can provide but its cost associated with the program is at time too costly. I hope as technology becomes cheaper more schools will be able to benefit from this great tool.


  3. Folashade,
    I liked the format you used to present your 5 technologies. Very good choice of technologies, with links to excellent examples to describe and illustrate your technologies. What do you see as the future potential for ITS systems in training and development. You made a very good point on the regarding the advantages of using interactive video for training. I really enjoyed your Youtube video selection on Second Life. You also did a very nice job identifying the implications of using second life for training and development. You also made a good observation on the advantages of using simulations to increase the learners involvement. What role do you see Blended learning playing in the future of training and development?