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Asynchronous Training Technologies – Example 3

26 Jan

Asynchronous Training Technologies – Example 3

Let’s say a company needs a series of safety training videos to illustrate best practices for equipment usage and a method to demonstrate trainee learning after completion of the online course.  As an instructional designer, which technology tools would be best used to solve the issue?

There are many options to choose that would help solve this problem.  If you break the question apart, there are two distinct issues at hand.  Distributing step-by-step process instructions for a complex piece of machinery to different shifts will require streaming video to be most effective.  Streaming video has many benefits.  According to Greenberg and Zanetis (2012), the three key concepts that streaming videos impact are interactivity with content, engagement, and knowledge transfer and memory.  Engagement and the student’s apparent value placed on the course are thought to be essential to a student’s retention of material and their positive learning experience (Harrington & Floyd, 2012).  Interactivity occurs when the student is able to relate the video content seen to when they apply the concept.  Video combines multiple input methods in combination to promote learning and knowledge transfer.  By merging pictures, movement, text, animation, graphics and sound together, the student has more control of the learning (Greenberg & Zanetis, 2012).  For example, the Darla Moore School at the University of South Carolina incorporated various video technologies into the organization design class to allow students to interact with experts from NBC facilities in New York. (Greenberg & Zantis, 2012).  Students were able to present their projects to professionals and ask for recommendations for improvement.  Streaming video eliminated the physical distance between the students and the subject matter experts located hundreds of miles away.

The second question involves supervisors ensuring that the employees are both engaged and can demonstrate their learning.  Creating an online assessment or survey can be easily developed to determine the effectiveness of the training.  According to Pellegrino (2009), assessment, in a transformative perspective, can break down the obstacles between competency and proficiency, similar to the role played by educational technology (as cited in Learner Assessment, n.d.).  Websites like SurveyMonkey and KwikSurveys allow anyone to easily create online assessments that can be customized to a particular course or training session ( and Assessments results are automatically collected and tabulated for analysis.  For example, Kaplan University used post-class assessments to get an idea on how their students enjoyed the class as well as their knowledge retention. Surveys showed that many felt bored through the class as they already knew much of the material.  Kaplan instituted a credit for work or life experience, military training and other certifications where undergraduates can create and submit a portfolio for credit considerations (Kaplan University, n.d.).

Streaming video can hold the attention of the student, fit various learning styles and can act as reinforcement to learning (Cofield, 2002).  Greenberg & Zanetis (2012) echoed this reinforcement principle: “Students today are increasingly visual-spatial learners, able to multitask and interact with multimedia” (p. 35).  Online assessments take this interaction capability and allow a way not just to monitor student learning but to improve the quality of the student learning experience (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012).


Cofield, J. L. (2002). An assessment of streaming video in web-based instruction. Presented at the annual meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association, Chattanooga, TN. Retrieved from

Greenberg, A. D. and Zanetis, J. (2012, March). The impact of broadcast and streaming video in education. Retrieved from

Harrington, S. J., and Floyd, K. S. (2012). Enhancing engagement and the value of the course to the student through course organization and active learning. In M. Bart (Ed.). Online student engagement tools and strategies (pp. 16-18). Reprinted from Online Classroom, 2009.  Retrieved from

Kaplan University. (n.d.). Credit for prior learning. Retrieved January 30, 2013 from

Learner Assessment. (n.d.). In Edutech Wiki. Retrieved from

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

Stiggins, R, and Chappuis, J. ().Using student-involved classroom assessment to close achievement gaps.  Theory into Practice, 44(1), 11-18.  Retrieved from



Fitting the Pieces Together

18 Feb

When reviewing the various learning theories and styles, it is very difficult to determine where one ends and the next begins.  There is a significant amount of overlap between all methods that no one person can be pigeonholed into a single area.  Karl Kapp (2007) explains learning as a multifaceted entity as opposed to a single thing.  Complete learning can only occur when the student is engaged in the topic and wants to learn (Lim, 2004).  No particular –ism can appropriately describe how a person can process information and retain it as knowledge but knowledge of all can make you a better instructor or learner.  Each theory has a bit of information that you, as a learner or teacher, can take away and add to your personal bag of tricks.  There is something there that can make you a better educator or student in any circumstance.

Archana Narayan (2010) poses the question of why do we always assume that there is a single correct method of teaching a topic or learning.  The simple truth is that there is not right way.  Fortunately, there really is not a wrong way either.  There are certainly more effective methods that can be implemented given a particular environment or audience.  There are also preferred methods of teaching and learning, depending on who is involved.  Luckily, Howard Gardner created a theory that connects everything together at a high level.  Gardner developed the theory of multiple intelligences as a way of classifying a large array of skills that people possess and to group them into categories (Armstrong, 2000).  His theory is that we all posses some form of each intelligence and have the capability to increase each one.

Increasing our intelligences has become increasingly easier if we utilize the newest forms of technology.  Cloud computing makes it easier to share documents and information as connectivism promotes.  The iPhone’s Siri technology is a perfect example of how semantic-aware applications can make obtaining information by the user simpler, a central topic of cognitivism.  Mobile devices like the BlackBerry and the iPad allow us to interface with others on the go, a key component to the constructionist theory.

At the center of all this technology is the internet.  It has spawned online learning, negating geography as a limitation.  The various web sites that exist provide a plethora of data that a person can get with the click of a button.  Communication barriers have been all but eliminated through email, texts and blogs.  Search engines have made the collection of information simple for a person to obtain on their own in the cognitivist view.  Blogs provide a feedback area that behaviorist crave.  Constructionists like the ability to discuss topics easier and connectivists can keep their finger on the pulse of virtually everything.

There is a little of something out there for everyone.


Armstrong, T. (2000). Multiple intelligences in the classroom (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Kapp, K. (2007, January 2). Out and about:discussion on educational schools of thought. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from

Lim, C. P. (2004). Engaging learners in online learning environments. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 48(4), 16–23.

Narayan, A. (2011, March 4). What is the ‘learning’ world coming to? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from