Education

Book Review: Technology-Based Training

Do you have the same old material, but need a new way of teaching? Then this book is for you.

Your material might be new, but are you still using old methods to teach? How about trying technology-based training (TBT)? Kevin Kruse and Jason Keil left no stone unturned in their newest book, Technology-Based Training: The Art and Science of Design, Development, and Delivery. From cover to cover, this book is filled with all the information you need in order to implement, manage, and sell TBT solutions.

TBT is created through multimedia CD-ROM and the Web. According to the authors, “TBT is really nothing more than using technology to deliver training and educational materials.” The process sounds simple enough and, with this book, it becomes even simpler.

TBT is a growing trend in the IT world that is pushing to change the face of business as we know it. No longer will office space just be a place of 9-to-5 production; through TBT it can become an environment of continual creation and learning. Kruse and Keil warn, “Perhaps nobody’s life will be changed more than the training managers and instructors of today’s workforce. Keeping up with new technology, managing new vendor relationships, tracking bigger budgets, and providing more accountability to senior executives are but some of the new challenges to face.”


By Kevin Kruse and Jason KeilJossey-Bass Publishers, 1999288 pages, softcoverISBN: 0787946265Price at fatbrain.com
Kruse and Keil take you step-by-step through every process needed to create your own TBT for internal use in your office or for marketing to clients. From beginning to end, the tone is friendly and conversational. The vocabulary is quickly defined so that even a novice will have no problem understanding this profusion of IT terms. And just to make sure you’re getting the concepts, there are questions at the end of various chapters to make sure you remember the highlights.

As easy as 1-2-3
The book is divided into three parts:
  1. Designing Effective Technology-Based Training
  2. Managing Technology-Based Training
  3. Case Studies

The first section discusses the overview of TBT. In this section, you find the foundational elements for TBT. In personalizing the TBT concept to your needs, you will first want to choose what mode of TBT you want to implement. The book discusses these options:
  • Tutorials
  • Simulations
  • Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSSs)
  • Instructional games
  • Test, record keeping, and guidance
  • Combining modes

Section one instructs you on creating a team, from the project manager to the administrators, and stating the responsibilities of each team member. It gives you an outline of all the tools needed from hardware to ink. This section also shows you a glimpse of all the advantages and disadvantages of different software, CD-ROM or Web, and even TBT in general.

In the second section, Managing TBT, you are supplied with the tools to manage and apply or sell your newly fashioned training tool. Highlighted in this segment are:
  • Measuring costs and benefits
  • Working with a vendor
  • Selling your product

You’ll find that you have little trouble measuring your costs because every aspect is covered—from factors that influence price to pricing rules of thumb. Your chance to find a potential vendor will increase after you read about how to use associations, trade shows, and how to narrow the field.

The last section, which features actual case studies, takes you from conception to resolution. This section teaches you how to:
  • Increase sales rep knowledge
  • Orient new hires
  • Strengthen management skills
  • Introduce new work processes

It doesn’t stop there
As if there weren’t enough information already in these sections, the book also includes model proposals and presentations, worksheets, and sample documents and scripts. In addition, you receive a CD-ROM. These bonuses add demos, shows, training aids, sample documents, and Web links to your already overflowing fountain of new TBT knowledge. To further enhance the material in the book, you can visit the TBT Supersite.

This book would make a wonderful addition to any business bookshelf. If you are thinking about implementing TBT into your company, this book is the place to start and the road to the finish.
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