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23 - Skills for On-Line Trainers: Expanding the View; Learning Update from The White House and Pentagon

1. Skills for On-Line Trainers: Expanding the View ---- Training people in a classroom and training them on-line are two similar, yet distinctly different skill sets. Over the past eight months, The MASIE Center has been developing an analysis of the evolving roles of On-Line Trainers. Here is an executive summary of the skills:

a) Engagement Strategies - engaging the learner in the content and process of the on-line class.
b) Content Delivery - skills for preparing and delivering learning content to the class, focusing on questions of When? What? What Style? How Much? and How?
c) Remediation Skills - when they are confused, how does the training know and respond.
d) Collaboration Strategies - building collaborative relationships amongst the learners and facilitators, including the difference between mediated and unmediated collaboration.
e) Linking - expanding the learning content collection through linkage to private and public collections of additional material.
f) Facilitation - "facil" means easy.. how to make the learning process easier or smoother for the learner. Strategies for intervention
g) Reflection - how to get the learner to internalize and "work" the content as part of their reflection process.
h) Accountability - strategies for providing accountability for the learner for workplace learning via on-line methods.
g) Assessment - building assessment processes into learning without demotivating the learner.
i) Contracting for Learning - articulating the roles and expectations of the on-line learning process.
j) Virtualization Decisions - what aspects of physical classrooms can and cannot be virtualized: doughnuts? supportive conversations? sidebar consulting?
k) Live vs. On-Demand - when should on-line learning be conducted in a live (synchronous) vs. on-demand (asynchronous) fashion.
l) High End vs. Fast Food Training - using ranges of content, from fully authored simulations to just-in-time content.
m) Appropriate and Inappropriate Content for On-Line: which topics are ideal and which topics are totally inappropriate for on-line delivery.
n) Typing vs. Talking - the differences of typing and talking, implications for "cognitive rehearsal" in each style.
o) Personality Issues - dealing with assumed roles and on-line "acting out"
p) Technical Support - strategies for low-overhead technical support, to avoid turning on-line trainers into technical help desks!
q) Trainer Development - processes to build and expand on-line trainer skills, including strategies for using non-classroom trainers in on-line teaching roles. Plus, staying current in a rapidly changing time.
r) Scalability - how large and how far reaching can on-line classes be, without sacrificing quality or overwhelming "digital" trainers.

In the next 2 weeks, The MASIE Center will announce a new 2 day course that I will be teaching entitled: Skills for On-Line Trainers. Sessions will be offered in cities across the United States and overseas, as well as offered on an in-house or licensed basis. If you would like an early announcement of this, please send a note to

2. Learning Update from The White House and Pentagon: Last week, we met with technology and learning leaders at both The White House and Pentagon. The President's memo on Technology & Learning has created great support within both Federal Agencies and Corporate Training Departments. The Pentagon's ADL efforts are most impressive and wide reaching. Check out their web site at: Their commitment to build collaborative efforts for the learning and technology fields will push our field forward in the months ahead. More to follow!

3. Coming Up! TechLearn Trends is going to provide Corporate Tours for its readers. We'll do a behind-the-scenes look at the training and learning operations of major organizations. The first one will be coming in our next edition, a look at IBM's Education & Training operation.

Correction: We made a mistake in our Early Glance! of DataBeam's new product in a recent TechLearn Trends report. It is called EventTools and can be found at

Tip: Readers can go directly to our Learning in the Digital Age video on-line by going to the Eloquent Page: Check out the Gallery for the 36 minute segment.

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