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Designing World-Class E-Learning: How IBM, GE, Harvard Business School and Columbia University Are Succeeding at E-Learning [Hardcover]

Roger Schank
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Dec 2001 0071377727 978-0071377720 1st
This is a leading Guru's guide to "e-Learning by Doing". The majority of corporate training programs are weak, ineffective, costly - and inconvenient for the time-pressed employees they are supposed to train. "Designing World-Class e-Learning" explores online learning - today's hottest business training topic - and explains the "learning by doing" approach that the author and his firm have used to develop effective online courses for Harvard Business School, IBM, GE, Columbia University, and other leading organizations."Designing World-Class e-Learning" explains how Web-based simulations and role-playing scenarios can be used to radically rethink the process of providing training in organizations. Roger Schank - widely recognized as a leading e-Learning guru and innovator - demonstrates steps and strategies proven to excite employees, make them want to learn, and decrease training costs as they increase productivity. Schank's approach to e-Learning involves: encouraging employees in training to fail - and learn from that failure; just-in-time storytelling from experts; and powerful emotional impact." Designing World Class e-Learning" explores the ways in which the Web can improve the content of training programs, by placing employees in virtual work environments, that allow them to experiment and practice without fear of failure. Written by Dr. Roger C. Schank, creator of custom-designed, interactive training programs for many of today's largest corporations and universities, this innovative book examines the known components of effective training, then explores how they can be greatly enhanced by technology and the Web. "Designing World-Class e-Learning" examines every aspect of designing and implementing Web-based, user-friendly training programs , from three essential steps you must take before creating an e-learning course to methods for assessing and measuring the results of your e-learning program.Opinionated, innovative yet down-to-earth, the book explores: examples of flawed e-learning initiatives, with analyses of how each could have been improved; methods for orienting new-hire employees through interesting, interactive activities; strategies for teaching complex tasks and attitudes to all employees, even those with lower educations or skill levels; and seven criteria for assessing the effectiveness of an e-learning course. When organizations simply transfer existing training programs to the computer screen, they miss out on 98 percent of the Internet's impact and interactivity. "Designing World-Class e-Learning" explains how to design an e-learning program to leverage 100 percent of the delivery and content advantages of the Web, substantially decreasing training costs as it increases overall productivity and training results.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 1st edition (1 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071377727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071377720
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.1 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,295,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Publisher

Explains:

 how to create e-learning systems that will provide the highest quality learning experience

 how the Web prevents and enables good training.

 how to deal with executives who want cheaper training but who also want good training.

From the Back Cover

A Leading Guru's Guide to "e-Learning by Doing"

The majority of corporate training programs are weak, ineffective, costly­­and inconvenient for the time-pressed employees they are supposed to train. Designing World-Class e-Learning explores online learning­­today's hottest business training topic­­and explains the "learning by doing" approach that the author and his firm have used to develop effective online courses for Harvard Business School, IBM, GE, Columbia University, and other leading organizations.

Designing World-Class e-Learning explains how Web-based simulations and role-playing scenarios can be used to radically rethink the process of providing training in organizations. Roger Schank­­widely recognized as a leading e-Learning guru and innovator­­demonstrates steps and strategies proven to excite employees, make them want to learn, and decrease training costs as they increase productivity. Schank's approach to e-Learning involves:

  • Encouraging employees in training to fail­­and learn from that failure
  • Just-in-time storytelling from experts
  • Powerful emotional impact

Designing World Class e-Learning explores the ways in which the Web can improve the content of training programs, by placing employees in virtual work environments, that allow them to experiment and practice without fear of failure. Written by Dr. Roger C. Schank, creator of custom-designed, interactive training programs for many of today's largest corporations and universities, this innovative book examines the known components of effective training, then explores how they can be greatly enhanced by technology and the Web.

Designing World-Class e-Learning examines every aspect of designing and implementing Web-based, user-friendly training programs , from three essential steps you must take before creating an e-learning course to methods for assessing and measuring the results of your e-learning program. Opinionated, innovative yet down-to-earth, the book explores:

  • Examples of flawed e-learning initiatives, with analyses of how each could have been improved
  • Methods for orienting new-hire employees through interesting, interactive activities
  • Strategies for teaching complex tasks and attitudes to all employees, even those with lower educations or skill levels
  • Seven criteria for assessing the effectiveness of an e-learning course

When organizations simply transfer existing training programs to the computer screen, they miss out on 98 percent of the Internet's impact and interactivity. Designing World-Class e-Learning explains how to design an e­learning program to leverage 100 percent of the delivery and content advantages of the Web, substantially decreasing training costs as it increases overall productivity and training results.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks depth 21 Jun 2002
Format:Hardcover
Looking at the list of chapters provided on the Amazon web site I was very excited by this book particularly the chapter "WHY GOOD E-LEARNING IS NOT CHEAPER OR FASTER TO BUILD THAN TRADITIONAL TRAINING". However when I got the book I was unable to find anything about it?
The book is a good easy read giving examples of good and bad practice, unfortunately mainly in the less academic areas of learning. The author is very bold in telling us what the students think of his course, a nice touch of humility!
Unfortunately there is little in the way of references or detail - much empirical research has been done on this topic now.
The best bit of the book I felt was the postscript. He describes what everyone knows about university teachers - implying there should be teachers and researcher - nice to see it in print at last and also touches the doing / learning issue. Basically a book which promises much but actually delivers little. How about a sequal with the missing content and chapter in it?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with Knowledge! 10 April 2003
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
E-learning expert Roger C. Schank describes the secrets of a good e-learning program. He emphasizes using e-learning to train in-house employees, although his methods could work in any setting. Schank clearly establishes the basic principle that makes e-learning work: learning by doing. He outlines methods using scenarios and simulations that permit the learner to put new ideas into practice immediately. He's a little too fond of failing and trying over as a learning method, when one might learn just as well by studying others' failures and successes. However, he supports his approach with education-based examples that demonstrate how children learn, along with an inside look at IBM and GE programs. Visuals in the book show the computer screen in a teaching mode as displayed to the user, so you see how your e-learning material should look, whether on a Web site or on a local intranet. We from getAbstract recommend this solid hands-on instruction manual for training and development managers, and for those who are building e-learning experiences.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
122 of 127 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Modern Alchemy That Produces Some Gold 4 Feb 2002
By Todd Smyth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For masochists who can only learn from their own mistakes, this book provides the best way to teach them. Roger Schank's methods create temporary results that can help people react well in a situation but can limit a persons ability to think ahead avoid problems and communicate issues and solutions appropriately.
Schank's "Sink or Swim" approach of leading the learner to failure encourages educators to be clever and sneaky about the way they craft their training. He warns against telegraphing your punches to the learner. His methods manipulate peoples fears to get them to do what he wants them to do. The golden rule of education is to respect the pupil and Schank unfortunately treats learners with more contempt than he claims traditional methods produce.
The good news is there is plenty of useful insight and examples that aren't covered in other books that I know of. I have mixed feelings because I like so much of what he points out that is wrong with most training and education today. I am also in agreement on how he stresses the importance of good stories and examples and I'm in the car with him right up until he locks the doors, floors the gas and steers the car off a cliff.
Like many alchemists, Schank really believes in his methods to turn base metals into gold and is unyielding in his opinion that all other methods are worthless. He uses only the worst case examples of traditional training methods to reject the educational establishment while using the most idealistic examples to promote why he is the only one who can teach people anything. Thank god, he was there to help Enron communicate issues better to their employees. See the case study on page 44 "e-learning at Enron".
Schank's basic philosophy is that people can only learn from their own failures. He states, "Real thinking never starts until the learner fails." This is a serious flaw. Not many of us would survive if it were true. Learning from our own mistakes is how we keep from falling behind but learning from others mistakes is how we move ahead. And this is what traditional education methods can accomplish, if they are done correctly.
Schank states that "Small children are failure machines, failing hundreds of thousands of times before they learn." He seems to think this is okay and that's the way it should always work. But, most children don't need to be run over by a car to learn not to play in the street. Most children don't need to poke an eye out to learn not to run with scissors.
Schank continually refers to flight simulator training as the ultimate way to educate because pilots are immersed in a completely realistic three dimensional environment. But flight simulator training is just one part of a larger effort that pilots go through. If he would bother to follow up on this a little more, he would find that the FAA and the major airlines discovered a big problem, some time ago, with too much reliance on simulator training.
The problem is that people don't like being set up to fail. When this happens they begin to blame the computer training and don't take responsibility for the failure. The significant changes that have been made include providing more preparation of presentational information and guided practice before pilots enter the flight simulators.
Schank brags throughout the book about how people get through his training courses and graduate classes without learning anything new but that they know how to do something. Well, that just doesn't fly in most of the world. The reason you teach people a certain process and test for knowledge instead of just how to do something is because people tend to take short cuts that may seem productive in the short term but can get other people killed or in trouble. Schank's programs teach people to figure their own way to accomplish a goal. Who cares how they get there? Well sometimes, the Justice and Treasury Department care how you get there, often the news media care how you get there and usually your co-workers care. Ask the ex-employees of Enron whether they care.
Schank couldn't find any psychological research to support his theories, so he made up his own and refers to his own books for support. If you read a broader selection of books than what he recommends, you'll find that most research supports that people consider motivation to be a personal responsibility while they perceive de-motivation to be the responsibility of the system or person they work for or learn from. This means you can pump people up or scare them for a short period of time but ultimately people motivate themselves. However, they are quick to blame the system if you trip them up.
Schank's entire methodology is based on artificially imposing failure on people, to motivate them to learn. When you set someone up to fail, you may teach them not to repeat a mistake but they will become increasingly resistant to this form of training and will begin to blame the system for their failures.
Schank's psychology and methods are at odds with human nature but while Schank rejects all traditional methods of training and education, like multiple-choice tests and Instructional System Design (ISD), I can't reject all of his experience. Overall, he is too extreme and dangerous for me, but like all good agitators, he provides a unique perspective and makes some good points because he has so passionately pursued how to educate people.
Reading this book has been good for me if only to provide a backdrop and comparison to what I am currently doing. Writing this review has helped me deal with the snow storm that people like Schank stir up. There is actually a great deal of valuable information (knowledge) in this book on real corporate case studies, using stories, examples and gathering content that you won't find elsewhere. I just recommend being very careful how you apply it.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for Instructional Designers 24 Jan 2005
By Star Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Designing World-Class e-Learning did not meet my expectations-so by Schank's definition, I must have learned something. As an instructional designer, I found it infuriating. Schank preaches, full-pulpit preaching, his perspective on effective training solution by bashing public education, university education, professional trainers, and professional instructional designers. What Schank does do is try and sell you his team providing eLearning solutions for your business. These solutions are excellent approaches for performance improvement, as seen in the case studies. They are ideal for uptraining. I am not yet convinced it is the right approach for new hire training. He also compares the "right" way of learning to that of a child, having expectations fail and changing one's mental models as a consequence. Since adults have some learning skills developed beyond that of a pre-schooler, I felt this was a limited basis of argument. Schank tailors the process, including evaluation, to his premise of what is "good" training. Unfortunately, he does not provide the tools or explanations so that the reader can also put into practice these ideas. Dr. Schank, my one question is, "If Learning by Doing is such an intrinsic necessity for effective learning, why does the reader never have any engaging opportunity to do something?"
7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with Knowledge! 10 April 2003
By Rolf Dobelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
E-learning expert Roger C. Schank describes the secrets of a good e-learning program. He emphasizes using e-learning to train in-house employees, although his methods could work in any setting. Schank clearly establishes the basic principle that makes e-learning work: learning by doing. He outlines methods using scenarios and simulations that permit the learner to put new ideas into practice immediately. He's a little too fond of failing and trying over as a learning method, when one might learn just as well by studying others' failures and successes. However, he supports his approach with education-based examples that demonstrate how children learn, along with an inside look at IBM and GE programs. Visuals in the book show the computer screen in a teaching mode as displayed to the user, so you see how your e-learning material should look, whether on a Web site or on a local intranet. We from getAbstract recommend this solid hands-on instruction manual for training and development managers, and for those who are building e-learning experiences.
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