Monday, November 28, 2016

A New Frontier for Training with Technology

Image result for technology images

Learning is a complex and multifaceted process that requires various fields of study to understand how each individual learns. In today’s 21st century, technology is having a direct influence on learning and training across multiple platforms. Through this summary I will be showing how these five selected technologies are having implications on training.

      Computer Based Training (CBT), Online Learning, Web-based training: 
Online learning, e-learning, and web-based training all include delivery of instruction using the Internet or web (Noe, 2013). As technology increases across the globe and as networks of communities become more connected there is going to be an increase in these forms of online learning. This from of training is only going to increase as companies are realizing its cost saving benefits and its effectiveness to train a large number of employees. These web tools, computer trainings and interactive videos are also especially valuable for helping trainees learn technical or interpersonal skills (Noe, 2013). The implication for training with these tools can also provide autonomy to the learner. Noe (2013) states that, “online learning provides the trainee with content, but it also can give learners the ability to control what they learn, the speed at which they progress through the program, how much they practice, and even when they learn” (p.325).

      Distance Education:
Distance learning delivers content to other locations online through webcasts or virtual classrooms and is supported with communications tools such as e-mail, videos and online discussions (Noe, 2013). Today’s modern landscape of distance education is constantly shifting and so are the students who are currently entering this vast field. Simonson, Smaldino & Zvacek (2015) state that the modern “distance learner can be of any age, have attained any educational level, and have a variety of educational needs” (p.188). The implications for this field are going to weigh heavy on the education designers to not only understand the characteristics of the modern distance learner, but also be able to shape learning experiences that engage everyone and meet the diversity of needs. Moore and Kearsley (2005) note that one of main reasons people choose distance education is because it offers the “combination of education with work and family life” (p.8). This is where distance education is evolving and it is also going mobile and transferable to any device across various fields (Moller, Foshay & Huett, 2008).

      Social Media:
Social media technology is changing modern forms of communication through interactive communications such as wikis, blogs, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube (Noe, 2013). This form of social networks can also be known as connectivism and it can create tremendous learning scenarios across multiple disciplines (Davis, Edmunds & Bateman, 2008). As these technologies emerge there are numerous implications for trainings. Now, the learner can receive training from anywhere and connect with anyone from anywhere. Through social media the training can be delivered to geographically dispersed employees and it can be delivered faster and to more employees in a shorter period of time (Noe, 2013).

          Blended Learning:
Blended learning is also a form of instruction that is impacting training. It is generally delivered by combining technology with a face-to-face delivery approach (Noe, 2013). This blended approach serves the both the modern learner and those who need face-to-face instruction. As training programs advance this blended learning approach is becoming more common since technology is readily available and user friendly. 

Stories are an important way to tap into the heart of an audience and provide meaning in alternative ways. This form of digital storytelling combines the ancient form of narrative with new technologies. Research shows that 70% of what we learn is consumed through storytelling (Malamed, 2011). This statistic will begin to affect how training's are designed whether it be online training or a live presentation. Trainers will need to start organizing information into a story arch format, which can work for many topics (Malamed,2011). This is an example of how video storytelling can make an impact on numbers.                                                                                                                                    


Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.),
Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education

Stolovitch, H. D. (2011). Telling ain't training: updated, expanded, and enhanced, 2nd edition. American Society for Training and Development.

Tracey, M., & Richey, R. (2005). The evolution of distance education. Distance Learning, 2(6), 17–21.

Moore, M., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. 

 Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66–70

Noe, R.A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill. 

Malamed, Connie (2011). The Elearning Coach. Retrieved from:

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Needs Assessment

The Organization that I choose to take a deeper look into was Whole Foods. These stakeholder questions regarding the needs assessment will be focusing on the organization of Whole Foods.  

What stakeholders would you want to make sure to get buy-in from?
Before one understands which stakeholders to get buy-in from they must first understand the company they are seeking to serve. Whole Foods places a priority on organic foods and they strive to bring their clients the best foods that have been locally grown. Whole Foods truly is the leader in organically based food and they have numerous markets across America. In order to get buy-in, I would target corporate managers, specific store owners, employees and the farmers that they use to source food. This organization is multifaceted because it doesn’t follow a typical top down approach to business. Its organizational structure reflects its values, therefore the needs assessment needs to ask specific questions that uncover the need. Noe (2013) states that, “the goal of needs assessment is to determine whether a training need exists, who it exists for, and for what tasks training is needed” (p.116).

What questions would you ask (and to whom would you address them) during the organizational, person, and task analysis phases?
What? Organizational Analysis: (President, CFO, Corporate Mangers, Store Owners)
·       -What is the history of your organization? (Who is involved etc.)?
·       -Will you tell me a little about your mission and vision?
·       -What are the organizational goals?
·       -In order to achieve these goals what are some challenges you are facing?
·       -How do you think these challenges need to be overcome?
·       -How would you define success in your business?
·       -What role do you see the training having you in helping you realize this goal?

The Organizational Analysis phase is the stage when asking questions of stakeholders is the primary task so that you can understand the current situation (reality) alongside the desired situation (goals). A key goal in this section is for the client/stakeholder to put words on their version of success so that the selected intervention sets realistic expectations, meets actual needs and is in line with the client’s current mission/vision.

Who? Person/Learner Analysis: (Store Owners, Employees, Farmers)
·       -What do they do? Can you describe a typical day in the life?
·       -Can you give me a general sense of their demographics (age, gender, etc.)
·       -What was the process you have for finding and hiring them?
·       -Where do you see a performance or organizational gap occurring?
·       -What motivates and drives their performance? What doesn’t?
·       -How are they currently trained to perform their work tasks?
·       -What is there work environment like?
·       -Do they use any essential tools/methods for performing their tasks?
·       -What is their current skill level? (new, experienced, expert)?
·       -How do you encourage or motivate other lead drivers? Do you use incentives or rewards?

Noe (2013) notes that, “the needs assessment process results in information related to who needs training and what trainees need to learn, including the tasks in which they need to be trained, plus knowledge, skill, behavior, or other job requirements” (p.125). Discovering the knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities is crucial for this stage along with the tasks related.

How? Task Analysis: (President, Store Owners, Farmers, Employees)
·      - Based upon the performance gap you shared, what do you think the training/learning objectives should be?
·       -What resources or training content do you already use?
·       -What content needs to be covered?
·       -Can you identify behaviors needed for effective job performance?  
·       -What skills are necessary to meet today are needs, as well as the company’s future skill needs?
·       -Can you  provide a common set of criteria that are used for identifying appropriate development training and learning activities for employees, as well as for evaluating and re- warding them?

Noe (2013) noted that the “task analysis results in a description of work activities, including tasks performed by the employee and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to complete the tasks” (p.135).

What documents or records might you ask to see?
Since Whole Foods in national known I would want to collect their pre-existing data on previous trainings, workplace performance reviews, hiring processes, specific store organizational structures, employee development and incentives, and what areas of learning and development have worked in the past. With this much data it will be easier to understand the instructional context for the need and therefore understand whether it is a performance issues that needs a training solution. Collecting existing data saves time and money for organizations, and also delivers a more accurate solution that aligns with the business goals.

What techniques would you employ and why?
Observations, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and collecting historical data. Using a mixed method approach that includes collecting pre-existing data, interviews, focus groups, and surveys will target the diverse student population that Whole Foods serves. There needs to be a multifaceted and diverse approach to collecting viable information. Fitzpatrick, Sanders and Worthen (2010) make the exact same point stating that, “in fact, stakeholder involvement in interpreting the results of the data analysis can serve several purposes. In addition to potentially adding to the validity or comprehensiveness of the conclusions, their involvement can increase their later use of the information as they understand more about why the conclusions were reached” (p.448). Using these techniques and showing the findings to the stakeholders during the process will be crucial. 


Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Stolovitch, H. D. (2011). Telling ain't training: updated, expanded, and enhanced, 2nd edition. American Society for Training and Development. 

Fitzpatrick, J., Sanders, J., & Worthen, B. (2010). Program evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.