Corporate E-Learning
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Just a story, but worth learning a lesson from it

A Modern Parable......

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing. Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channelled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and cancelled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India.

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results: TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, while collecting their bonuses... and now wants the Government to 'bail them out.'


cross posted to Random Walk in Learning


Sunday, September 24, 2006
The Solution to Obesity

Peregryn suggests to use financial incentives offered by the government to solve the problem of obesity.
Whenever you show up [in a government sponsered gyn] you sign a form or swipe an ID card which will then entitle you to that day's payment on your tax return.

I suggest we look to the East and copy their solution.

For schools, each day would start with a morning assembly/exercise where everybody gather in the playground and do 45 minutes of exercise.

For workplace (white collar workers in particular), ditto.

The key is to include *everyone*, no exception. Managers and executives should lead by examples.

cross posted to Random Walk in Learning
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Dress code of tele-worker

There are increasing people working from home (like me) and attend teleconference regularly.

One of the thing I like about working from home is the freedom of dress. I enjoy my Tees and boxers. With increasing video-conference need, this is what you can do. Get a

See a flickr show here
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
SCO fetcher

Warwick Bailey of Icodeon Ltd from United Kingdom sent me an email today asking me to comment on one implementation issue of my SCO fetcher solution for overcoming the cross-domain issue when delivering content within a SCORM environment. [see my other papers on SCORM here.]

In particular, it is related to the linked javascript files. In Warwick's solution, after fetching the SCO, the LMS will parse the incoming HTML and add a BASE tag to the SCO. By doing this, all referenced images, CSS (as long as their paths were relatively) will be displayed correctly in the client. However, linked javascripts, originating from a different domain will NOT be able to interact with javascript from the LMS domain. This is a browser implemented SECURITY and should NOT be broken.

Here is a minor details - albeit a very important one in the SCO-fetcher solution.

The original model is based on using multiple content management systems at the same time. ALL assets are stored in some CMS and we allowed multiple CMS support for a single SCO. That is, a SCO will consist of its base HTML (say stored in CMS-1), plus other assets such as images, CSS, animations etc sources from other CMSes (say CMS-2, ... CMS-n). Hence, we implemented absolute referencing to the resources.

As SCO, it is necessary to have javascript (at a minimum, javascript is needed to establish the connection to the LMS). In the original implementatin, all javascripts were embedded within the SCO and hence post no cross-domain scripting violation.

In Warwick's situation, if the javascript is linked in, the BASE tag will point the javascript to its original domain and hence the browser will block any communication of the loaded javascript with the javascript from the LMS.

As far as I can remember, the SCORM specification does not specify how the SCO should implement the javascript (whether embedded or linked) and I understand it is much easier to use a linked solution.

A little intelligence can easily overcome the problem - but is NOT the best solution. In Warwick's case, since the LMS is parsing the incoming HTML anyway, it is just a matter of locating the javascripts, fetching them and sending the javascript from the LMS domain (or embedding the javascript into the SCO).

A better solution would be to extend the SCORM specification slightly, including the two scenarios (embedded and linked javascripts) to describe a unified way of handling the situation. As an extra, this work will also open up the opportunity of defining a mechanism for overcoming the Mosaic Effect of Multi-use SCOs. [I am aware of other works in customising the look and feel of SCO, but I still believe my solution is a better fit to the development workflow of current SCORM content development efforts.]

I am in the private sector and have a family to feed. That means I cannot put public good before my responsibility of provding for my family. :-) I am happy to put in the effort to do this work if someone can sponsor my time and any associated costs.

cross-posted to Random Walk in Learning
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
2 hrs of Mandated training

Jay Cross is passing around a letter:

We understand that the Fair Employment & Housing Commission is drafting regulations for Assembly Bill 1825 dealing with sexual harassment and requiring “employers with 50 or more employees to provide 2 hours of training and education to all supervisory employees….”
The specification of two hours appears to be drawn directly from a Connecticut statute, Sexual Harassment and Training Requirements, which became law fifteen years ago, long before the advent and widespread adoption of networked learning (“eLearning”). Times have changed.

He correctly pointed out that "The classroom hour is an increasingly poor measure of learning.", however he recommends the Fair Employment & Housing Commission to interpret the two hours in AB 1825 to mean the possession of knowledge at least equivalent to what would have been acquired by the average learner by attending a two-hour instructorled course and to measure that by proficiency test rather than two hours time on task.

I believe that once a mandated training hour is imposed (even explicitly stating that it should be interprreted as minimum training required) will become the defacto and becomes the maximum amount of training. Stating requirement in time, instead of learning outcomes, given all business are engaged in cost reduction, will result in 2-hour of online training.

Sexual harrassment requires changing of attitude and belief. I don't believe it can be done in 2 hours anyway.

cross posted to Random Walk of Learning
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Why (Most) Training is Useless

by David Maister 2006

Quoting from the article:
Monday, August 14, 2006
Free games for trainers

Training games by Thiagi
140 proven games. Cannot miss this!
a very long list of ice breaker games.
The Grube Method of Instruction first debuted in 1984 at The University of Michigan and was refined in Michigan Public School Districts. This teaching and learning methodology has nine sequential, game design steps.
1. Assemble-A-Bibliography - Collect Game Resources
2. Write-A-Book - Identify Useful Information
3. Create-A-Deck - Design Playing Cards
4. Design-A-Gameboard - Create Artistic Work
5. Learn-A-Set - Evaluate Game Principles
6. Pen-A-Page - Write Game Questions
7. Master-A-Theory - Apply Experiential Learning
8. Play-A-Game - Test and Refine
9. Teach-A-Method - Master the Methodology

Learn-a-tivity is the notion that individual and organizational effectiveness depends on learning better, faster, smarter and through the consistent application of learning, combined with creativity, flexibility, and paying close attention to the right things.
Musings during my journey into elearning implementations for the corporates

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Conversation With My Evil Twin Learning for 2020  Asynchronous Collaborative Learning Activities

March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / August 2006 / September 2006 / February 2009 /

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