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Blended Learning Study

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Blended Learning Study

This topic contains 86 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  Robert S 10 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #52187

    Gary Cone
    Participant
    #183299

    Vallee
    Participant

    Gary,
    Great marketing paper for e-learners.. ..who don’t understand how to use numbers.
    I would be embarrassed to publish this report if I were sponsoring this. Let us see:
    … Compared job roles like they were truly independent
    … Used percentages incorrectly
    … Suggested that e-learning was better than stand alone where there is an inability to discuss and elaborate (okay my bias)
    … So what does satisfied really mean…does it relate to successful in application?

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    #183304

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    Exactly

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    #183305

    Adam L Bowden
    Participant

    Gary,
    I have to say that for “general” information on-line learning might
    well be ok. With Blended learning then you have the opportunity of
    on-line and class/coaching which is more time effective and in the
    cast of Gen Y more appropriate.I still firmly believe that Six Sig GB training is not the mass
    inoculation that TQM was as it is focussed on achieving results. So
    that takes to the next potential issue – that of training and projects
    that are not a priority. With the rise of Blended training and e-
    training we will see, I fear, the mass inoculation of training and
    little emphasis on driving results.So that I do not ramble pages of my thoughts … here is where I see
    the training types segmenting …
    – E-Learning … great for information (kind of like TQM)
    – Blended … great for non urgent projects
    – Instructor/Coach led – for urgent projects that seek urgent
    solutions.Best regards,Adam

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    #183312

    Jim Shelor
    Participant

    Gary,
    The survey draws sweeping conclusions based on numbers that are not statistically different.  The accuracy of this survey is probably on the order of + or – 10% at best.  None of the so called differences are statistically different even at a +- 3% level.
    Sincere regards,
    Jim

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    #183313

    Robert S
    Member

    Guys you might want to lift your heads up from running the numbers through Minitab and look around.
    I’ll bet this was the same chat that was going on with the horse whip manufacturers as someone put a motor in a buggy. Life moves on to more efficient means of doing things and those new means find ways to cure their initial deficiencies.
    Things are changing….

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    #183314

    Jim Shelor
    Participant

    Robert,
    I am not sure of the purpose of your post.
    Was what I said wrong?
    Is there a different/better way of doing this?
    What are you trying to say?
    Respects,
    Jim

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    #183315

    Robert S
    Member

    Jim, I was not saying you did anything wrong. In fact, I’m sure you did an accurate analysis of the data.
    My point, essentially to Gary & Adam, was be careful to not defend status quo too diligently. There are new ways that knowledge & skills are being transferred so to ardently defend yesterday can be dangerous….and fatal to the businesses remaining in the “old ways”.

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    #183316

    Jim Shelor
    Participant

    Hi Stan.  Thanks.  Have a great day and a better weekend.
    Jim

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    #183317

    Vallee
    Participant

    Didn’t they also use to have snake oil salesman back then too?
    The point being made is that change is okay as long as it is truly understood and reported properly.  The paper reports findings with mixed samples and percentages incorrectly yet the writer is supposed to represent a new place to learn a process that should be used properly after taught… maybe it is just the spokesperson.
    Another company recently published that six sigma was dying and being replaced by lean. It was found by the numbers they pulled from adds based on what job postings were current. Because there were more lean positions than six sigma positions being requested. this had to be what the reason was… guess what the company was advertising? Lean training.
    So is it change or the snake oil salesman?

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    #183319

    GalileoLytton
    Participant

    I would love to be a regular contributor to this forum because its potential is great.  However, I agree with the buggy whip analogy that the group think generally rallies around squelching any contrary opinion or novice request for help.  I’d bet if someone took the time to analyze the nature of the comments, 20 – 30% of them would violate the basic principles of constructive criticism, this one included. 
    I personally know a Chief Learning Officer for one of the premier corporate six sigma companies who believes that their entire organization will move away from on-site instructor led courses within the next two years.
    Lenovo, IBM, Cisco, Nokia and Nortel are also making huge bets on virtual learning environments because classical instructor led courses are just too expensive from a cost / benefit perspective.

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    #183323

    Vallee
    Participant

    Galileo was not allowed to come out publicly and did his homework, whereas posters here are asked to be honest about their intentions and do their homework first. Could it be the result of blended, stand-alone, and/or online training without taking the next step to help the new certified trainees apply their knowledge?
    If you search posts you will see new ideas discussed and questions answered. You will also see different personalities that come with IT interaction.. no different here than anywhere else.
    So reviewing the paper, it is not the idea that is challenged just the facts and what the intent of the paper is for marketing. Yes, anytime you present a paper or conference presentation you are trying to sell your product. The fine line however is what the audience learns from your presentation alone without buying the product. Have you biased the data, skewed numbers or left the other data out?
    This paper threw in blended study and did not describe the true differences. It also provided a build up of the study just to say go to e-learning only. So where did the numbers state that? What did you the reader get out of the paper?

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    #183326

    Kluttz
    Member

    Ok, let’s put our money where our mouths are…
    I’ll let you pick any 5 online-only trained Black Belts.
    I’ll pick 5 project-based classroom trained Black Belts.
    We’ll give them each 1 project (evenly balanced between manufacturing and transactional). 
    I’ll wager every single thing I own that my 5 will smoke your 5. 
    So…. care to make a bet?

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    #183327

    Vallee
    Participant

    …this could be fun! 
    Union, you have to make sure your guys hate the internet and swear they have never been trained online. 
    Robert, you have to make sure your guys have not been in a classroom and swear that they got eveything they know from online training.
    The guy that wrote the Blended paper, he can get five people that had 30/70 or 70/30 to make it interesting. 50/50 would just confuse the bargraphs he posts.
    Now who to judge…. someone that would be honest and unbiased? That might take a while.

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    #183328

    Vallee
    Participant

    Forgot to spell check; this one is more better.
    …this could be fun!
    Union, you have to make sure your guys hate the internet and swear they have never been trained online.
    Robert, you have to make sure your guys have not been in a classroom and swear that they got everything they know from online training.
    The guy that wrote the Blended paper, he can get five people that had 30/70 or 70/30 to make it interesting. 50/50 would just confuse the bar graphs he posts.
    Now who to judge…. someone that would be honest and unbiased? That might take a while.

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    #183330

    Kluttz
    Member

    I would guess that we could find some hiring managers that would be willing to judge project results objectively.  Just have them review the finished projects (assuming Robert’s online Black Belts could actually finish their projects) and rate the work on a 1-10 scale. 
    For the record, I’m completely serious – everything I own.

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    #183331

    Dog
    Participant

    Oooo, everything u own…so that’s your portable toothpick, broken
    mustach trimmer and leather jacket. Dog’l take dat bet!

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    #183332

    Robert S
    Member

    Union, I said nothing about one not performing project work in a mentoring format as part of the learning experience….that would be blended learning.
    I’m saying the instructor led, classroom format is becoming a dinosaur. That learning experience can be replaced with online programs…which, by the way, can be structured to measure knowledge transfer; typically a missing measure for those sitting in a classroom (but that’s not my point – don’t get misdirected by that).
    While your proposal is dramatic, it is ridiculous because it is not possible…and you know that so your bravado is, well, silly.
    Blended learning is highly effective and working well in a number of fields and will dominate LSS shortly. So, you guys can sit around and diss it all you want…it will run right by you.
     

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    #183336

    Union of Conjoined Dinosaurs
    Member

    “I’m saying the instructor led, classroom format is becoming a dinosaur. That learning experience can be replaced with online programs…”
    I don’t doubt that online learning will become more “popular” than traditional classroom LSS learning.  But that speaks nothing of its effectiveness.  High School Musical 3 was more popular than Man On Fire.  There will always be more demand for the cheap and mindless.
    But if I spend five minutes with a Black Belt, I can tell you with a high degree of certainty whether or not he/she received his/her certification online.  Why do you think that is? 

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    #183342

    Torrance
    Participant

    Robert S – technology development can be a great
    thing, but like everything, has it’s disadvantages. Training on-line allows those “delivering” it to
    reduce workload in terms of time and resource (you
    dont even have to be there to deliver the training,
    and it can be done 24 hours a day 7 days per week
    etc.)However, the point being made to counter that
    advantage on these posts is very real. It can be a
    big disadvantage to those using it to “learn” –
    despite the fact they get a certificate, and also a
    disadvantage to companies who need our skill-set to
    make a real difference.
    The paragraph below outlines just one disadvantage
    for that kind of training – – – – – – – – – Since non-verbal communication is between 60 to 75%
    of the impact of a message, you could use the power
    of body language to become tremendously
    successful… in your career, business,
    relationships, love life, and anything else that
    involves interacting or communicating with people.- – – – – – – – – –
    If such a significant part of any message is not in
    the content, but in the delivery, how can we
    possibly try to argue that e-learning or reading
    books is every bit as good or credible?You are right in that e-learning will soon be the
    norm. But it would be better not to replace the
    “dinosaur” methods for many different reasons.Davy T

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    #183346

    Robert S
    Member

    OK Davy, I see the merit of your position and there well may be some advantages to the classroom experience.
    That said, I doubt the knowledge transfer success of SS to date has been based 60 to 75% on the “body language” of the instructor. Think about that for a minute – not a viable argument…you learn how to utilize an FMEA by the posture of the instructor? Can’t be.
    My primary point is the good ole boys here discredit anything to do with advanced learning techniques; primarily by tagging them as “certificate mills”…implying soley the handful of brown nosers here are the “real” SS trainers.
    That is simply not the case. There are many effective means of gaining knowledge and learning how to apply that knowledge. My exwife obtained a BS in Nursing from U. of Phx through a blended learning program. She is a highly competent RN providing excellent care.
    The sad part is this forum does not provide for someone seeking more cost effective means of gaining SS skills to assess the options/tradeoffs. The prolific posters here dominate then insult those who have a different opinion.

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    #183348

    Robert S
    Member

    Union, I am not endorsing all online programs. In fact, I’m not endorsing any.
    I’m saying to totally discredit that form of knowledge transfer is ridiculous. It can be a highly effective means of knowledge transfer when properly structured. AND, I agree, for SS it must be delivered in a blended format…I am not challenging the learn/do approach of SS.
    I am challenging the statement “all online course are worthless certificate mills”…that is an argument the dinosaurs are hiding behind. It’s simply not true.

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    #183349

    Vallee
    Participant

    Robert,This discussion was started on the request to review the white paper on blended training. The paper ends with a push for online training based on their survey. While representing a blended style format it never discussed the benefits of blended just what people may prefer based on the survey. So the attack is not to say all online training is bad just the caveats that come with it. Some people can speed through online training but not really get it. Some people have problems with testing online and do not complete it. In the end it can become a speed contest to see how much one can get done to get credit. Not discussed are examples of online training done remotely. Students watch and interact with a live class… from a computer. Change is good when it works.. not just because it is new.

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    #183351

    Robert S
    Member

    Agreed Chris. I absolutely agree with you.
    However, please review a couple of the first responses…they were solely posted to discredit any form of learning other than classroom. Those are the dinosaurs to which I have referred.

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    #183352

    Vallee
    Participant

    Let’s see…The first couple of responses… Mine and Gary’s with the focus on online training as a stand alone based on the article and the intent as a marketing paper only. Then it progressed to stand alone verses in classroom… because someone thought they were being attacked.Then it returned to Blended which is okay if done right. So when reading it helps to read all the posts to see the origin and reason for the standalone discussion. My bias is 30/70 (online/in class) for the reasons I have held true to in all my posts on this site… Dinosaur or reality?

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    #183353

    Union of Conjoined Dinosaurs
    Member

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”
    So let me get this straight – you’ve come to the conclusion that some of us who manage and implement change for a living oppose blended/online learning because we somehow fear change?  Does that actually make sense to you?  Do you honestly think that I/we wouldn’t embrace a potentially elegant & faster/cheaper technological solution to a widespread problem simply because it represent something different? 
    Really?  That’s really the argument you’re trying to make? 
    Because if it wasn’t for my embrace of elegant/faster/cheaper technological solutions, I’d be surviving on the remnants of discarded beanie-weenie cans while I lived in a cardboard box that I fished out of a trash dumpster. 
    Change is what I do for a living. 
    I don’t embrace blended/online learning because, in my experience, traditional classroom-trained belts perform VASTLY better than your “blended” brethren.  And ,again based on my experience, I happen to think that the added time/cost of classroom training is substantially outweighed by the improvements and savings generated by better prepared Belts.  And the savings realized by fast/cheaper “blended” training is outweighed by the fact that putting “blended” Belts into situations for which theyre not truly prepared tends to end up costing jobs and livelihoods.  That’s why I don’t like it. 
    So if you really want to talk about innovation in improvement methodologies, I’m more than happy to oblige.  Maybe you could give me your thoughts on the use of fast fourier transform to identify mechanical sources of process variation.  Or better yet, I could teach you about the innovative use of Microsoft Word’s Spelling & Grammar Check to identify typos in commercially available Green Belt Practice Exam questions. 

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    #183357

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    Robert S,
    You may want to look at the list of the first few responders. It’s me, Chris who you in the current conversation with, Adam Bowden, UoCS. As far as I can tell we are some of the top change agents on here. We are missing Darth, Heebee, Mike Carnell and a few others.
    I posted the link not in opposition to on-line or blended, but to show a mediocre study by a supposed Six Sigma implementation company. I don’t think you can find any words in the responses that say there is anything conceptually wrong with on-line or blended. We all have doubts because we experience the mediocre output of these programs on an almost daily basis. To be fair, we also experience mediocre results from traditional training as well. I, at least, am judging a result. The only consistently good result I continue to experience is coming out of people like Heebee and Mike Carnell. I’d put up the people I have trained against any program out there as well.
    I have been involved with “multimedia” learning since at least 1981. NCR comporation was mixing PC’s and laser disk players to create a new teaching format. I thought it was interesting then and I think it is interesting now.
    Do I agree that on-line, blended, and even your product are getting traction? Absolutely. The problem is the results for the companies paying for this stuff are not there. We saved $20 million on our training this year doesn’t mean much if you are not really driving change.
    For what its worth, I put this “study” in the same cateogry as the folks that were selling Six Sigma based on stock appreciation a few years ago. there was no supporting evidence for that either.

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    #183358

    Vallee
    Participant

    Gary,It was nice to be included in the Top Group (I would not put myself there); for clarification I no longer lead projects but specialize instead in Human Factors and human error while maintaining and applying my scars and bruises as a change agent. Focusing on Safety Reps often left out of process improvement discussions just seemed the right thing to do for me. Funny thing is that I often refer people to online basics so that they can have a conversation with their change agent. I also caution that this does not make them able to lead a project. As you stated in-class mass training is also a problem for the same reason online programs create by training in masses. Thanks

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    #183359

    Robert S
    Member

    OK, you all have convinced me. Nothing can possibly be learned by any means other than sitting in a classroom. I was wrong. Thanks for the enlightenment.

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    #183360

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    Robert,
    People are trying to be patient and engage you.
    Please return the favor. You are diminishing your arguement, not ours, with this type of response.

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    #183363

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Gary,
    I don’t think many will differ in their opinions about the paper. Chris and Jim pointed out the issues with the study as it was presented. Would it be acceptable if it showed up as a SS project? Probably not. There is a huge leap from the data analysis to the conclusion.
    I think the paper and most of the discussions around e-learning ask and argue over the wrong question. The only time an organization may see any value is when what has been taught is applied. If you use Bloom’s Taxonomy it happens when you move from the knowledge and comprehension stages to application and above. That should be a fair question that any company that does any type of training should have to answer. E-learning may be cutting edge or blended may be cutting edge but if it cannot move someone to the place where they create value for the company then the technology may be cutting edge but the result is COPQ. If you can make the transition, and prove it, then there obvious cost and logistics issues that go away with the e-learning.
    The paper talks about people being satisfied but I think it was Chris that asked the question “what is satisfaction?” If someone is satisfied with e-learning simply because they don’t have to print books, reserve a room, arrange hotel rooms, etc then you are talking personal issues not a business result. If the someone is satisfied because the same level or better of knowledge transfer has occurred and there is a cost benefit then you have a business case and that is how most SS projects are decided. The rest is just emotion.
    Just my opinion.

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    #183364

    Robert S
    Member

    Gary, you are correct. It was a frustration post. Seems I am not as able to articulate my points as well as I believe I am or few really want to debate an issue.
    Additionally, none of the other 600,000 people who come here daily (supposedly) care to defend blended learning so perhaps I am off base.
    It doesn’t matter all that much anyway. I just was tired of hearing the sentiment that “You’re not really a true BB unless I trained you my way.”

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    #183366

    Robert S
    Member

    Couldn’t agree more Mike.
    I was battling against those who in a blanket manner called anything but the way they teach a “certificate mill”. Discrediting without any basis.

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    #183367

    Harold Schmurtz
    Participant

    This whole thread, past the first post, is an embarassment to our profession, if it can be called that in the absence of any meaningful standards.  When coaching a project, I hope we wouldn’t accept such generalized conclusions based on limited anecdotal evidence or small sample sizes, with no blocking of known noise variables.  
    The orginal published report on blended training is clearly self-serving, equating success for a given training model with participant smile-sheet data.  Anyone in the training business should be aware that the available data indicate no correlation between how much students like the training and how much they learn – because learning requires work.  However, there may in fact be real data to support the effectiveness of blended learning – it’s just not presented here, for sure.
    The arguments against blended learning are equally weak.  Should I conclude that all classroom-based statistical training is poor because my undergraduate professor couldn’t speak english?  Clearly not. Should I conclude that it is impossible to learn from books because I read a comic book and didn’t learn much of anything?  Again, not true.   Should we conclude that blended learning as a model doesn’t work because the people you happened to run into went through a crappy program? No again.  E-learning, blended training, and classroom instructors all vary significantly, so don’t confuse comparisons of the modality with comparisons of the instance of that modality.
    This is basic stuff.  Our discourse should be more rigorous. 
     

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    #183368

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Robert S,
    From a pure business stand point of a consultant e-learning is a perfect solution. Your costs go down immediately because you do not need to hire trainers and with them goes all the associated costs. As an added bonus you no longer have money tied up in airplane tickets, meals, rental cars, hotels, etc which amounts to about $2000 per week domestically (inside the US) and with an average A/R of 65 days that means you are tying up $18 – $20k per trainer. There is also the A/R time on their billable time. Scheduling is a nightmare if there are more than about 3 clients particularly if it is an international deployment.
    That means from the consulting side why wouldn’t a consulting/training company change or try to move their clients to the e-learning? Most of the people who own consulting companies aren’t stupid. Maybe not geniuses but not stupid so why wouldn’t they change the training model? Lower cost less management issues. There is no business incentive not to change beyond the lack of belief that the product that gets delivered will be the same. Is the onus of proof on the guy that doesn’t change? Probably not. The track record speaks for itself in most cases. The question is the same as any process improvement project. Here is the baseline prove you are equal to or better than before I move.
    It should be even easier for the companies with both standup training and e-learning. Basic hypothesis testing. Show me that your e-learning side delivers equivalent results (not a smiles test). If the answer is yes then there should be no question for either the customer or the training company. That is a win win.
    What gets passed off as data analysis has nothing to do with what the company is paying for. Ask the CEO if they care if the person running the deployment is satisfied. No and they shouldn’t. They want operating results then they may care if someone is satisfied.

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    #183370

    Robert S
    Member

    Well said & I agree. Finally we are getting some valid and well considered opinions.

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    #183372

    Vallee
    Participant

    Robert,
    I have tried to present the issues as I have experienced with e-learning through college courses, company e-learning, and technical courses.  Not just one sample as a poster has suggested.
    There is also the issue of student to teacher ratios. Anyone of us sitting in a classroom with 40 students and 1 instructor know this all too well.  So what are the common ratios with e-learning? Who gets lost?
    E-learning for basics and introduction or refresher training is fine with the right program standards. Using a typical AMOD standard, this could apply to blended training. Application and one on one instruction are the main issues I have when an e-learning program does not have the follow through for the applied skills help and mentoring.
    So aside from resources reduction as Mike C. stated I have not seen a practical and applied discussion from you to see what gaps e-learning as you have experienced can reduce the concerns I have offered.
    And as another poster has presented there are failings in all programs online or not. There is concern that e-learning can encourage commodity training even more.. what barriers have your company put in place to prevent this from happening?
    This is your chance to answer some of the concerns if you so wish. 
     
     

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    #183373

    Vallee
    Participant

    Harold,
    While the discourse could be more rigorous and professional, the problems of each style of learning and further application of such learning are the same. Can you use what you are taught?
    The concern to many is that just as in this forum, the information is surface level only and the next test of integrity of data and ability to use the material is lost and never followed through. As far as sampling and yes there is great “noise” (in more ways than you think) on this forum, look at the level of questions asked by people who just completed training.. whether in person or online.
    The ratio of student to instructor for online training is not conducive to application learning. The goal in many encouraged company programs is to get as many credits online as possible but then they have no idea how to use the new knowledge.
    So is this going to be the next step in commodity training or can we put controls in all modes of training. This is also the same argument for hiring a college graduate with no knowledge of the technical part of his/her job because this is what HR says the requirement should be. Nothing against graduates (I happen to be one), but can they do the job?

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    #183377

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    HF Chris Vallee,
    The question has always been can you use what you were taught? One of the things that drove nails into the TQM coffin was the people who spent all their time teaching classes and nobody driving application. The first time I got involved with a model that had classroom training and application was when we used Juran’s workbook in the 1980’s (that does exclude the application from Phil Crosby that amounted to buying floor mats and posters). Juran must have understood why so much of the other training was failing.
    We are at commodity training. I hate to keep going back to the same model but it is the basic model that Watts Wacker presents in “The Deviants Advantage.” SS fits it well. The journey to social convention and the loss of original content. It isn’t even an issue of delivery. It is more of an issue of emasculation so it is easier to sell. How many times have you had to listen to someone justify removing the Variable MSA because it doesn’t apply to transaction processes. Where would be the value in actually understanding the relationships of the various components of a measurement system? (That was sarcasm)
    When I get asked about e-learning it is almost always by someone from HR. If you don’t have a way to answer yes you have a problem. Once you answer yes it is typically shut off by someone from engineering.
    Just my opinion.

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    #183378

    Robert S
    Member

    OK, Chris, your questions are fair enough. I’ll try to answer them without authoring a White Paper.
    I have been involved in Blended Learning programs in the subject areas of SOP’s for manufacturing; not in LSS training. Similar enough in my opinion, still have to gain knowledge and learn how to apply it.
    There is a robustness to elearning that does not necessarily exist in classroom format. Quizzes throughout the course and comprehensive tests at the end benchmarked against the knowledge of a practicing operator and other learners give an accurate assessment of knowledge transfer. The SS training firms with which I have worked had no such knowledge assessment as a part of the classroom training. You may argue, validly to a point, that the knowledge transfer assessment occurs during mentoring. OK, somewhat…but typically that is only as relates to the issues associated with the participant’s training project and not necessarily with the totality of the SS training body of knowledge. Also, I’m not certain the instructor and the mentor always properly communicated with each other about their experiences with each participant.
    Secondly, I can’t understand your teacher/student ratio comment relative to Blended Learning…with a robust online program it is participant to computer then participant to mentor during the project work; or in our case during the apprentice work.
    So, our experiences with Blended Learning with SOP-type training in the dairy production industry have been excellent; data on knowledge transfer, learner pleased and competent, customer (management) pleased and well satisfied with the financial results of the program.
    Among many metrics tracked relative to the program, mngt. is thrilled with the timing flexibility of the program. Upon hiring a person can immediately be placed in the training program; no need to queue to merit classroom training. Additionally they can benchmark from plant to plant, they have learning data by participant to show FDA and USDA auditors and they can achieve standardization throughout their organization. Multiple benefits. 
    So, there is a bit of info about a specific program.

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    #183380

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    Anyone notice that today’s press release is about the same thing?All the “results” are reduced training costs – nothing at all about the
    real results.

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    #183381

    Vallee
    Participant

    Robert,
    That I believe is the first interaction in posting that was a give and take of information without being driven by emotions or sales.  I appreciate that. 
    “There is a robustness to e-learning that does not necessarily exist in classroom format. Quizzes throughout the course and comprehensive tests at the end benchmarked against the knowledge of a practicing operator and other learners give an accurate assessment of knowledge transfer.” The SS training firms with which I have worked had no such knowledge assessment as a part of the classroom training.”
    My response: A basic fundamental of all training is a baseline of knowledge, a testing of comprehension, and a test of application in one’s own process. The latter usually, in my experience, is not done in many training programs to include many online learning processes. Ask many training departments when the last time they reviewed their training with current employee tasks. This robustness is not due to the mode. I use this method everyday when I teach.
    “You may argue, validly to a point, that the knowledge transfer assessment occurs during mentoring. OK, somewhat…but typically that is only as relates to the issues associated with the participant’s training project and not necessarily with the totality of the SS training body of knowledge. Also, I’m not certain the instructor and the mentor always properly communicated with each other about their experiences with each participant.”
    My response: So by removing the instructor and replacing with a monitor, there is even less communication about onsite application of skills.
    “Secondly, I can’t understand your teacher/student ratio comment relative to Blended Learning…with a robust online program it is participant to computer then participant to mentor during the project work; or in our case during the apprentice work.”
    My response: You and I just had a flexible discussion that many online training programs are not adept to handling. It is like given a workbook with the answers in the back to see if you get it right. Many programs do not control or prevent the user from paging back and going forward until they get it. It then becomes a quick memory test. Now I am a student and have a question and I send it to the computer helper. Based on capacity how effective can one person or a group of people answer the questions effectively long distance? If you want an example, go the online help service for your bank. How many helpers per customers?
    “So, our experiences with Blended Learning with SOP-type training in the dairy production industry have been excellent; data on knowledge transfer, learner pleased and competent, customer (management) pleased and well satisfied with the financial results of the program.”
    My response: Would you consider improving your SOP’s at the same complexity level of working a project? Keep in mind I do believe that there is a transfer of knowledge for any material presented. Simple tasks can be handled with simpler methods… complex require much more. Another key example is getting a learner’s permit and then passing the test to drive. Even with the application test, people are not ready to drive in complex situations. Once trained the testers have no contact with the drivers. Removing the mentor creates more issues and bad habits. This is a symptom for commodity training.

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    #183382

    Robert S
    Member

    OK, Chris, we’re getting somewhere now; as you have acknowledged also.
    Two counterpoints:
    Re: instructor and mentor exchanging info. You say “So by removing the instructor and replacing with a monitor, there is even less communication about onsite application of skills” No – the quizzes and testing in the elearning module test against the body of knowledge…in classroom led, there is NO testing against the body of knowledge – at least with the 4 providers with which I am familiar. The mentor still wroks with the participant on application skills.
    2nd: While you may properly consider dairy SOP’s less complex than SS training you must recognize the capability level of the participant. I would argue the dairy SOP’s are just as complex for that audience as SS is for the audience to whom it is presented. Don’t see this argument holding water.
    Otherwise I believe we’re on the same page.
    PS: Oh yeah, re: ratio, yes, a live or quick response help line must be available. There are convenient, practical means of accomplishing that.

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    #183383

    Vallee
    Participant

    “No – the quizzes and testing in the e-learning module test against the body of knowledge…in classroom led, there is NO testing against the body of knowledge – at least with the 4 providers with which I am familiar. The mentor still wroks with the participant on application skills.”
    My response: Testing has many options: multiple-choice, fill in the blank, essay, and workshop. So the question, are you testing to see if they understand your knowledge or how to use your knowledge? So if the programs above did not utilize any of these testing processes then they were not effective. You would have to define based on tasks the following: general knowledge only, simple application, and abstract application (true application). Finally there is little facilitation practice with people to influence without authority in the simpler testing method.
    “2nd: While you may properly consider dairy SOP’s less complex than SS training you must recognize the capability level of the participant. I would argue the dairy SOP’s are just as complex for that audience as SS is for the audience to whom it is presented. Don’t see this argument holding water.”
    My response: You just answered my long time perspective that not everybody should be trained to lead projects. Even in what I teach now there are certain groups nudged for advanced training and others who will be working with experienced facilitators based on the role and need. I follow up with my students on their real time investigations to continue the mentoring.
    The audience you focused on were the people doing the task. Primarily one off tasks with less complexity even for the target audience. I am sure they learned how they were not communicating with each other and were working non-standard practices. This is also the time that long term knowledge is pulled from the experienced people that was never written down. I worked manufacturing with different nationalities, levels of education, and capacity to learn. They on the average would have been capable to help with an SOP related to what they did.
    … one action per step
    .. cautions on tough tasks
    .. correct limits
    … 4th grade to 6th grade wording
    Once again mode is important when there should be interaction and flexibility to adapt to the student.. this is not just giving them more time to finish learning the body of knowledge dependent on the task.

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    #183402

    John Nycz
    Participant

    First off, thanks for the initila post Gary. It certainly has spawned some spirited conversation. However, for clarification sake reagarding this particular post, there is absolutely no basis for the conclusion that, “It also provided a build up of the study to say go to e-Learning only.”
    FYI – we have never advocated an e-Learning only approach. We don’t provide online certification. Given those statements, skewing numbers or leaving data out in the interest of advocating e-Learning only would be NVA!

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    #183403

    John Nycz
    Participant

    Spot on Robert. There’s 76 million Gen Y learners poised to replace the 72 million Baby Boomers retiring in the next five years. This freight train has already left the station.

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    #183404

    Vallee
    Participant

    John,Thanks for the reply concerning my post. When asked to review the white paper by Gary, there was a strong expectation on my part that I would be getting a better understanding of what blended learning is and how it could be useful. The paper nor the numbers shown expressed that expectation. Just my opinion, but I truly felt that the white paper did not do justice to encouraging blended training. Because of this perceived skewness, I felt that it was a push to use online programs because of the ending feel good bar chart. The information as presented lacked flow to the abstract and title; thus, the opinion that a study representing ‘good” learning for this needed skill and mode of training would have been written differently. Thanks for clarifying what the purpose behind the paper was not.

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    #183405

    Vallee
    Participant

    Funny thing is that BC and AC people (before and after computer people) are changing everyday in their use of computers. Heck, baby boomers are even using face book now. Point is that the quality of the training regardless of the mode is the issue. The purpose behind the training is the concern. The completed product (the student) and its ability to perform is the concern. Failures have been seen in classroom training given to masses without thought of good strategy. Making it easier to access info without the above thoughts in mind will only make it worse.Change is good when done right and lessons learned are shared and evolved.

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    #183408

    John Nycz
    Participant

    Absolutely Mike, but that is the essence of the correct approach to “blended” learning. The online stuff (or community chats, Wikis, etc.)should take the Blooms level 1&2 out of the classroom. With advances in interactive simulations you can now get to a Level 3-4 for certain subjects. But, the value to the organization is to use the online elements to set up better classroom interaction. Done right, the instructor doesn’t have to conduct a class to the lowest common denominator. Learners arrive level-set with the basics in tow.
    Additional value to the organization is represented by the fact that time away from deak has a cost (for learners and instructors). As well as not using MBB and BB training resources optimally. Per your buddy Gary Cone’s position in a similar thread, mentoring is valuable. Therefore, logic dictiates that if you have a good instructor his or her time is better served helping learners apply the knowledge and mentoring them to complete projects than presenting a slide deck on SIPOC.

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    #183409

    Vallee
    Participant

    John,First I wish to acknowledge that I read over the paper again and need to correct my statement based on this reference in your paper, “…points to Blended Learning as the most effective approach to GB LSS training.” and “our survey data shows e-Learning to be an ineffective LSS training solution on its own.” Now part of my confusion came from these types of comments from your paper (one of many):”Although the highest percentage of participants (over 40%) believe that e-Learning technology will play a “Strong” role in accomplishing their LSS GB training goals in 2009, the overall responses were fairly evenly split.” .. wasn’t there only 63 survey takers and this does nudge one towards e-learningHere is the sales portion and part of your public bio: “The Quality Group has been providing best-of-class e-Learning solutions””Responsible for sales and marketing functions for 18 year-old e-Learning software developer with platform solutions and LSS CPI content focus.”So there is an agenda behind what this paper is about.. not just a survey to share information.
    ,
    If you would could you define what you perceive for these terms:ILT, Standalone e-Learning, or Blended Learning based on your paper to help me clarify any misgivings with the use of class room study verse online computer study.

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    #183411

    John Nycz
    Participant

    Let’s keep this in context Harold. We went out to ISSSP and iSixSigma audiences and got as many people to respond as we could. I didn’t write the study, but our data collection tools are good. However, you have to keep and mind that over 70% of the respondants are LSS & CPI deployment leaders. My experience is that they are pretty darned busy to begin with. Every one I work with is. If we get granular enough to satisfy the requirements of LSS project it becomes difficult for people to complete in 7 mins. and our response rate tanks.
    This is an attempt to gather some information around the subject of how orginzations are using blended learning for driving GB deployments. This is NOT presetned as a LSS project.
    That having been said, you are correct re. modality. Some approaches to blended learning for delivering knowledge transfer as it relates to the congnative skills needed to apply LSS are very effective. Some are not.

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    #183416

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    John,Thanks for weighing in. You are in a conversation with some
    serious practioneers and I believe there is hope for Robert. For those who don’t know John – his company has what I believe is
    the best thought out model for “blended”. He is committed to
    making me a believer. Please engage in a constructive
    conversation – I believe it will be of value.

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    #183417

    Robert S
    Member

    Gary, I’ll take that as a backhanded compliment. However, if you review this string I believe you’ll find Chris & I as the only Blended Learning positive comment contributors. Union hates it – clearly.
    In fact, you even posted “I posted the link not in opposition to on-line or blended, but to show a mediocre study by a supposed Six Sigma implementation company.” “Supposed” – now “best thought out model”? I’m confused. Just what is your position?

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    #183418

    Vallee
    Participant

    Robert,
    Many have agreed that the paper seemed to go from one extreme to another on what it supported and that validation of the final product, the trainee, was not really covered. From 100% said yes to what they liked to it was split.
    Speed reading through the paper late in the day looking at the different findings and sections I did miss the final summary that John stated blended and not stand-alone e-learning was the way to go. Meeting John offline today, I am still waiting on his definition of the three variables because I still feel there is more dependency on computers being suggested than may be effective and the need for an instructor interaction is desired, the 30/70 idea from earlier.
    With that said I appreciate John coming to the table publicly to defend and explain the findings. I think it is also safe to say the survey and paper was not purely academically driven and is tied to some marketing. I have no problem correcting my statement in error.
    John and I also agreed that previous e-learning that we were both familiar with was not effective and has been changed for a lot of the same concerns we discussed on this post.
    Tie this discussion to the discussion started by Darth and there is still a desire to improve all types of training and to follow up with some type of mentoring. So think about Gary’s response and see where we all can change.. at least our demeanor including yourself.

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    #183421

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    Robert,Hopefully I am not too old to learn and John has helped me learn
    more about their approach. Conceptually they are addressing the
    issues I have seen. My comment stands on the study. If a BB brought data that off
    target, they would need to go do more work. I still want to see the
    tie to the bottom line.

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    #183427

    Robert S
    Member

    Gary & Chris, I believe the difference in our positions is you two are assessing the paper, I’m commenting on changing trends in knowledge transfer. I could care less about the paper and its error(s), if they exist.
    The initial response by some was – online training, must be a certificate mill! And, then Union’s macho bet proposal.
    My point is a blended learning program for most any topic is the path the world is about to follow for both cost and effectiveness reasons. Is it perfected yet? Probably not. But it’s very good and it will improve.

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    #183431

    Kluttz
    Member

    “a blended learning program for most any topic is the path the world is about to follow for both cost and effectiveness reasons. “
    Yeah, and therein lies the rub.  Nobody is questioning whether or not blended learning is on the upswing.  And nobody is arguing that blended learning isn’t cheaper than traditional classroom training.  The debate is over a point of which you (and the paper in question) seem to be glossing over again and again. 
    Do you think blended learning is more effective?  Fine.  Prove it.  You’re a stat guy, right?.  Should be fairly straightforward.

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    #183434

    MrMHead
    Participant

    At first I wasn’t really sure what was being asked by “Thoughts?”  Thoughts on the paper’s presentation, content or the topic of blended learning?
    Presentation: I got an almost immediate “feel” of reading one of those ad-reports you see in the newspaper that look like legit articles, but looking closer around the border you see “advertisement”.  And by the conclusion, my suspicions were confirmed.
    Content:  I felt there were some leaps of faith, or gaps in logic, based on the information presented.  Maybe there’s more data/info that would back up some of the statements, but I didn’t see it in the paper.
    Topic:  I could see blended learning as a viable method.  Maybe more so for a GB than a BB.  But that’s my personal experience/preference.

     
     

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    #183436

    Shaken Not Stirred
    Member

    Robert S,
    The data on iSixSigma does not say it is 600,000 visitors per day. That is an old number for monthly traffic.
    Use http://www.compete.com for a comparison to the other sites such as sixsigmazone.com and sixsigmaiq.com with isixsigma.com. This site does not have access to all information on the site so the information is not absolute. if you use your 600,000 to normalize the other numbers then it becomes obvious that the other sites are not significant in the market.

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    #183439

    Boba Fett
    Participant

    Maybe he isn’t a stats guy. Maybe he is just a big picture guy with no Six Sigma training at all from a previous post.

    0
    #183443

    Robert S
    Member

    Correct Boba Fett, whoever you are.
    First time here? Or are you a regular posting under a different name…which I’m told is absolutely against the rules.
    I am more of the big picture person – I hire (and fire) stats guys; they’re simply technicians after all. And my input here is about the bigger picture…where are we headed and how do we get there vs. continuing to argue as to why what we’ve done for 20+ years is good enough.
    So, what kind of guy (or gal) are you?

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    #183444

    Darth
    Participant

    If this is the original named Boba Fett then he is a former poster with great credentials and smarts. If it is a pretender, then I can’t vouch for him.Bob, you have let your ego slip out a bit and it perturbs me. It is pretty arrogant to proudly proclaim that you hire and fire stats guys as if they were mere commodities. And I think more than one will take offense to the notion that they are simply technicians. Furthermore, a “Big Picture” guy is usually a euphemism for someone that doesn’t know sxxt about what is going on. I know you are better than that. Believe it or not, a statistically astute guy can also discuss the philosophical debate of where we are going and also contribute to the notion that change for change’s sake is not always the best way to go.

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    #183445

    Kluttz
    Member

    Just a few words of advice to the “big picture” guy…
    I’m a stat guy. 
    I’m also a “controls a training budget” guy.
    And a “potentially in the market for LSS training vendor” guy.
    And a “controls a LSS documentation library budget” guy. 
    So from a “big picture” perspective, its probably not a good idea to alienate potential customers by dismissing them as “dinosaurs” and “simply technicians”. 
    Just a tip. 

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    #183446

    Robert S
    Member

    OK, I deserved that. But in the 3+ yrs I’ve been on here I’ve not seen this name. So, I presumed it was one of the regulars giving me crap.
    Stats knowledge has little to do with assessing business strategies – no don’t go there, I know the benefit of data analysis…but it doesn’t take much data analysis to see the $350K BB wave is not selling well. And, my argument is, blended learning is a powerful tool from both a cost standpoint and, excuse me Union, from an effectiveness standpoint – if done correctly. It will dominate.

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    #183447

    Robert S
    Member

    Union, because you have a great deal of knowledge about stats doesn’t make you a stats guy. Clearly you have a variety of skills well beyond crunching numbers.

    0
    #183448

    Kluttz
    Member

    Oh, those two characteristics definitely are not independent. 
    I have a variety of skills BECAUSE I’m a stats guy.  Because I’m a data guy. 

    0
    #183449

    Robert S
    Member

    Well, perhaps we’re arguing a fine line however I would say your variety of skills does not originate from you being a stats or a data guy but they may well be enhanced because you are.
    There are plenty of stats/data guys who cannot do the other things you mentioned. So, I caution you on your cause and effect logic.

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    #183450

    Kluttz
    Member

    If you’re not a stats guy, then I don’t need a lesson in cause & effect.
    And how is that when I was just some stats guy questioning your endorsement of blended learning, I was a “dinosaur”.  But now that I have a training budget, all of a sudden I am a man of many valuable skills. 
    I have a feeling that you’re about to try to sell me a timeshare in Boca.

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    #183453

    Robert S
    Member

    I’ve read your first sentence a few times; it’s clearly above me. I guess since I’m not a stats guy I am unable to find the logic in it; at least that’s what your logic seems to say.
    dinosuar – valuable skills. I said dinosaur because that’s the creature I thought your response revealed. Later you listed a variety of responsibilities you have. My comment was simply if you do all that you are well beyond a stats guy in capability.
    Don’t sell timeshares – never even bought one.

    0
    #183455

    Taylor
    Participant

    Been on a well needed Vacation and just checking in this afternoon. Interesting Post and here is my two cents 
    I haven’t read the document but have read almost every post under it. My reason is I did not want to be anymore biased in my answer than I already am.
    e-learning as a tool I think will become a very credible tool in the future IF and this is a big IF is presented in the correct way. However, that said many companies presenting class room training today have not mastered that skill set, so how do they intend to present training in an on-line set at your desk format and expect to lend results. I see it as a very time consuming process for the person attempting e-learning without some sort of formal education that would have touched on the subject or a person that has job based knowledge going into it. Engineers and Project managers are a couple that come to mind along with Quality control personel.
    It is the next niche in the business that will be marketed as the “budget friendly” training and someone will make a lot of money from it. As John Ncykz (sorry John if I misspelled your name, I’m worse than Carnell at spelling) put it “That train has already left the station”.
    I’ve said it before and I will say it again. No matter how good the training is or how bad, some will excel and some will fail. It really is that simple. With the right mentor in place, anything is possible. In the end its all about leadership and knowledge of those leading the ship, experience will come and with experience will come knowledge.
    White Papers are sometimes like the white papers in the bathroom, useful for somethings, not so useful for others.
    Just my Opinion, now I will go read the article.

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    #183465

    Union of Concerned Scientists
    Member

    Deming was a stats guy.  Shewhart was a stats guy.  Bill James (my personal favorite) is a stats guy. 
    Thems some pretty good simple technicians

    0
    #183466

    Darth
    Participant

    Darth is a stat guy. Stan is a stat guy. Gary is a stat guy. Carnell is a s……nice guy.

    0
    #183468

    Robert S
    Member

    Well Darth, I think you’ve proven my point, er…I mean your point. What was your point?

    0
    #183474

    Big Picture?
    Participant

    Boba,Robert S is a little picture guy and his claim of hiring and firing is just
    his fantasy.

    0
    #183480

    Harold Schmurtz
    Participant

    Union, Here’s a summary of research funded by the US DOD through the ADL – a meta analysis of published academic findings from multiple investigations of training mode effectiveness, covering 168 different courses delivered to over 19,000 people.  Blended learning was found to be 13% more effective than classroom instruction when teaching declarative knowledge (facts), and 20% more effective than classroom instruction when teaching procedural knowledge (how to do something).   The study does not specifically address lean six sigma training, and the assessment of “effectiveness” is exam-based rather than project-based, so you can argue that the application of these conclusions to lean six sigma could be limited – but within these limitations the effect is very large and probably worthy of consideration.  Link: http://www.aace.org/conf/ELEARN/Sitzmann%20E-Learn%202007%20slides%2010-11-07.ppt

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    #183483

    Darth
    Participant

    Interesting study, thanks for sharing. I think it supports the sense of the thread that the combined internet delivery/classroom model is better than either alone. Have you run across an economic comparison?

    0
    #183490

    Kluttz
    Member

    Yeah, let’s run that through the smell test.
    I could possibly be convinced that BL is more effective than CI.  And the study seems to suggest that (as you noted).  However, the study also reported that 100% web-based instruction is more effective than classroom-based instruction for declarative knowledge and just as effective for procedural knowledge.  That would compel me to believe that a degree from an online university was more valuable than one from a brick & mortar school.  I have a hard time buying that. 
    Red flags like that make me want to see the raw data.  There’s essentially one page of that talks to the comparison between blended and classroom.  The rest is web vs classroom or web vs web.
    The only takeaway I get from this is that there are certain tools and concepts that can be incorporated into any training delivery medium to make it more effective (periodic assessments, prompts, practice, simulations, etc).  Got it.  Don’t disagree with it. 
    In addition to the points you alluded to, there is another element of complexity added for LSS applications.  Even the web vs classroom studies were taken from relatively homogenous student populations (post-high school grads taking air traffic training, professors learning new software).  And where they weren’t homogenous (in the case of age) there were disconnects in the training effectiveness by medium.  LSS training attendees come in all shapes and sizes.  In my BB course, the ages ranged from mid-20’s to mid-50’s.  People came from engineering, finance, management, HR, etc.  Some were very skilled in excel/communications and some were not.  I dont think it lends itself very well to a ‘one-size fits all’ delivery approach. 
    I think we’re going to get the point where we’re just debating semantics.  I could see WBI as a supplement to CI for additional instruction only for the people in the class that need extra help (in excel, minitab, etc).  I don’t think I’d consider that “true” BL.  And I could buy that BL is cheaper than standard CI.  But I still don’t buy that true BL is more effective and delivering BB’s/GB’s that can go out and manage an improvement project. 
    That opinion is based on my own interaction with belts from all 3 training channels.  I’ve been around a little bit and that experience certainly taints my perspective.  Of course, this could also big a horrific case of cognitive dissonance based on my own training history.  Who knows.
    But I’ll probably end up just doing my own study – a few waves with traditional CI and a few with a more blended approach (controlling for other variables).  I would guess that an unquantifiable touchy-feely variable would be how training delivery affects the attendees perception of management’s commitment to the deployment.  Does more web-based and computer-based training put out the vibe that LSS training is just like “workplace safety” training that you have to do for HR purposes?  I’m having a problem verbalizing my thought process here, but I hope you get the point.
     

    0
    #183492

    Robert S
    Member

    I don’t see your post as challenged as to making your poits at all – and they are very valid. Had I taken more time to express my thoughts they likely would have been very much in line.
    Yes, this is all very much still in the experiemental/developmental phase. Yet, we must look at it seriously rather than dismissing any form of elearning as it applies to LSS as a “certificate mill”. That was my entire original premise…because that is the old school reaction.
    Some form of elearning is coming/is here so the question becomes how does it impact LSS capabilty creation and how should it be structured so as not to diminish the results of the traditional approach.
    Re: Mngt’s statement – it can take a fairly sizable financial commitment to initiate a robust elearning program; installation/training in use of an LMS, facilities, deployment rollout program, tracking & reporting, etc. So, many of the same leadership issues are present as they have always been….and to Mike C.’s previous post – these are very much the success critical X’s.

    0
    #183493

    Harold Schmurtz
    Participant

    Union,
    If you would like to speak to some deployment leaders who have been down this path, send me a note and I’ll put you in touch with them.  haroldschmurtz@gmail.com.
    Regards,
    Harold
     

    0
    #183495

    Boba Fett
    Participant

    You continue to talk about the old school reaction. The first 5 posts had no old school reaction. There was a reaction to poor analysis. Your post was the sixth post that threw this whole discussion into an emotional frenzy, confusing the issue of the analysis new versus old.

    0
    #183498

    Robert S
    Member

    We could debate that to no end Boba…I responded to what I saw as resistance to even consider alternative modes. But let’s let that go.
    My question of you is do you have anything to contribute to the topic discussion or is your purpose solely to hassle me? Because that is all your posts have done so far.

    0
    #183500

    Mikel
    Member

    I think Boba’s got your number,Admit that and maybe this conversation will move forward.

    0
    #183503

    Mikel
    Member

    I would like to speak to them. StanMikel@aol.com

    0
    #183509

    Harold Schmurtz
    Participant

    It depends on the model and in particular on the amount of travel involved.  General practice seems to target reducing classroom time and associated travel by at least 50%.  More advanced models don’t reduce MBB/Consultant time comensurate with classroom hour reduction, but rather re-direct toward more one-on-one project/problem-related coaching – sometimes virtual, sometimes face-to-face.  So the ultimate cost savings is usually 25-40%. 
    Key factors include:
    Quality of the e-Learning – degree of real interactivity and depth of content.  Much e-Learning in this industry (and everywhere) is really bad – little more than powerpoints with a voice-over.
    Maturity of the organization.  Pre-existing culture of process improvement and history of using key tools.  Discipline to follow-through on more self-directed activities.
    Technical orientation of participants.  Technical people do relatively better with higher dose of e-Learning than poets due to different learning styles.
    Availability of engaging classroom-based activities and exercises – simulations and the like so the classroom event can be more of a workshop with less telling and more doing.
    Just my observations.

    0
    #183511

    Robert S
    Member

    Harold, I am presuming in your cost savings estimates you are not calculating potential savings of the schedule flexibility the online portion allows. That is, 12, 15, 18 people do not have to leave their work station at the same time to gather. They can do the online portion according to a flexible schedule; allowing them to prioritize their time.
    Also, would you say your savings estimate includes participant travel & lodging if employees come from various geographic locations? I suggest the blended learning approach is even more desired by those who operate facilities in diverse locations.

    0
    #183512

    Robert’s Fans
    Member

    Robert,There is no one here that buys your logic. Give it up.

    0
    #183513

    Robert S
    Member

    So why do you hid behind an alias? Come out and play.
    PS: Don’t speak for “everybody”, speak for yourself.

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