The Six Sigma eLearning-Training Obfuscation

Have you taken an eLearning course in the past?
Do you offer eLearning training through your consulting company?
Have you researched eLearning options in the past?
We want to hear from you.

iSixSigma is preparing to research eLearning options available within the Six Sigma industry. For this study, we’re defining eLearning as:

“Any learning that utilizes a network (LAN, WAN or Internet) for delivery, interaction, or facilitation.” (

Our purpose is not to argue for or against eLearning as an appropriate learning option. It is to help those searching for eLearning decipher the multitude of options available and select the best one for themselves — a task made difficult by the multitude of available training variables and the various ways companies describe them.

iSixSigma needs your help shaping the research questions. Below you’ll find a proposed list of the attributes of eLearning we plan on including in the study. We’d like you to tell us:

  1. What, if any, attributes are missing from the list below
  2. What, if any ,options are missing from a given attribute
  3. Your thoughts on how we should shape or conduct the research

I’d prefer it if you’d share your input via posting a comment to this blog entry so others may see what you have to say (and lead to a constructive progression of thought). But please do feel free to email me also.


Type of Training (select one)


  • Completely online
  • Hybrid online and in-person


Delivery Architecture (select one)

  • Asynchronous (Self-paced) – Full content as web-pages in interactive format.
  • Asynchronous (Self-paced) – PowerPoint-based. Audio or Video laid on top of PowerPoint presentation.
  • Asynchronous (Self-paced) – Textbook based, supplemented with online reading guide, exercises, and/or discussion forum
  • Synchronous (Scheduled) – Instructor-led live webinarsInstructor Support (select one)
  • Immediate support (online chat, telephone, in-person)
  • Delayed support (email, discussion boards)Instructor Support Channels (select all that apply)
  • Bulletin board/discussion forum
  • In-person
  • Online chat
  • TelephoneData Analysis Software (select all that apply)
  • Hand calculations
  • Minitab
  • JMP
  • SigmaXL
  • Excel templates
  • Other software application
  • NoneInteractive Practice Exercises Using Macromedia Flash (select one)
  • Included
  • Not includedKnowledge Tests (select one)
  • Required for progressing
  • Not required for progressingKnowledge Tests Throughout Training (select one)
  • Less than one per phase
  • One per phase
  • More than one per phaseHours of eLearning Instruction (enter whole number)
  • Number of hours, not including testing or project timeVideo Hours (enter whole number)
  • Number of hoursUse of Video (enter whole number)
  • Ratio of video hours per total hours of classUse of Audio (calculated)
  • Ratio of video hours per total hours of class
  • Is a text transcription available for audio portion of class?Requirement to Partially or Fully Read Books
  • List book titlesCorporate Customers (enter list)
  • List Corporate customers purchasing more than 50 seatsSearch Capability (select one)
  • Full search
  • Partial search
  • No searchOperating Systems Supported (select all that apply)
  • Linux
  • Mac OS
  • Solaris
  • SunOS
  • Unix
  • WindowsBrowsers Supported (select all that apply)
  • Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla
  • Netscape
  • OperaSample Course to Try? (select one)
  • Yes
  • NoCourse Credit From University (text field)
  • List university namesCertification Option (select one)
  • Yes
  • NoCriteria for Certification (specify)
  • Course completion required?
  • Number of projects completed?
  • Other criteria?Pricing (enter US dollar)
  • Cost per courseTerms of Use (enter whole number)
  • How many days is course available to studentWill Your Company Allow iSixSigma to Independently Verify Information About Your Course? (select one)
  • Yes
  • No

Comments 4

  1. Thomas Pyzdek

    The list is very extensive. You might have a problem getting people to respond to so many questions and inquiries.

    Having said this, I’m going to suggest that you add another set of questions. Specifically, a set relating to certification. The questions should address how certification is addressed: is it part of the elearning package? Is it integrated with 3rd party exams (IQF, ASQ)? Is project coaching included? How many projects? Will a certification board review the project? Is the review live (e.g., via a web meeting)? etc. etc.

  2. Michael Cyger

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the feedback about certification. One of my biggest pet peeves is about certification, so rather than get into that whole mess I think we may just focus on the training/learning aspect. We can always do another study later on certification and we don’t want this project to experience scope creep. Your ideas about certification are very useful…thanks.

    Another person wrote an email to me and suggested that we it might be useful to add distribution channels or distribution partners to the list: "Since there is no formal accreditation process for Six Sigma, some users take comfort in the de-facto endorsement of a respected distribution partner." Good thought to add to the mix.

    Anyone else?

    Best regards,

  3. Dian Schaffhauser

    I’d suggest these:

    * Report cards for each product/service from at least a couple of users who have sat through the training, in areas such as value, quality and level of interactivity; value, quality and level of materials; and quality of instructor/presenter.

    * Adaptibility of materials to be used for just-in-time learning.

    * Unique “extras” provided to students, such as PDA flashcards or Podcast content.

  4. Matt Vargas

    Hi Michael,

    I like what what I am seeing here.

    How about something that identifies the level of experience/certifications of the instructor support personnel provided with eLearning programs?

    Also, I would maybe add some sections about the course content… Transactional or manufacturing focus for example.

    As an aside, I feel that the certification question is very important in this discussion. I agree with your pet peeves comments as a whole that skill, knowledge transfer, and practical application are the ultimate goal of any Six Sigma training program. However, the fact remains that certification is an important part of the Six Sigma training market and that different provider’s programs are designed for students to obtain a GB or BB certification of some sort. Also, there are many individuals seeking Six Sigma GB or BB training as individuals for personal development. Certifications are a vital component in the Job Market for GB’s & BB’s.

    I would love to participate in any additional discussions/blogs on this if you decide to start a topic forum.

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