Conference Paper

E-learning Strategies at Workplace That Support Speed to Proficiency in Complex Skills

  • Speed To Proficiency: S2Pro© Research
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The complexity of business and complexity of skills slow down the speed with which employees comes up to desired proficiency in the skills required to do their job. However, the pace of the business and the cut-throat competition does not allow organizations enough time waiting employees to acquire proficiency in required job skills Time-to-proficiency is now becoming a crucial survival metrics for the business to accelerate customer satisfaction and profits. This business challenge requires organizations to rethink the training and learning strategies to bring employees up to speed. It appears that traditional training and learning interventions do not address the need for speed to proficiency. Extensive literature review indicates a lack of systematic research in this business-critical topic, especially on availability of any proven framework or model to design and deliver training interventions to accelerate speed to proficiency. To address this gap, as part of the doctorate research, the author has explored the training and learning strategies that have been implemented successfully by leading organizations to shorten the time-to-proficiency and accelerate speed to proficiency at the workplace. Author conducted a qualitative research across 42 industries through in-depth interviews with over 86 leading experts from renowned organizations who are known to have reduced the time-to-proficiency of employees. Using thematic analysis, a conceptual model is developed for various training and learning strategies to accelerate speed to proficiency. Preliminary data analysis revealed several workplace training, classroom training and e-learning strategies to reduce time-to-proficiency. However, the intent of this paper is to present a subset of the overall preliminary findings of this large research study. The focus of this paper is to report only the e-learning strategies found in the main study that hold strong potential to reduce time-to-proficiency.

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... Hoffman, et al., (2010, p. 9) position accelerated proficiency as 'phenomenon of achieving higher levels of proficiency in less time'. While considerations like time-to-market and competitiveness are the main drivers for a shorter time-to-proficiency, the additional factors Page2 that drive this need are constant obsolescence of the skills, increasing complexity of jobs and skills, attrition or ageing workforce constantly getting replaced and need faster readiness to do the jobs which senior experts were doing earlier (Hoffman et al., 2010).Therefore, organisations are striving to figure out the interventions, systems and strategies to shorten time-to-proficiency of employees in acquiring skills for a given role (Attri, 2014;Attri & Wu, 2016). ...
Conference Paper
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The high pace business environment poses great competition among firms. The key to an organisation's survival is its workforce. Time taken by the workforce to reach to full proficiency in their job role takes very long in certain job roles. Thus, shortening time-to-proficiency of employees is a critical business problem for today's organisations. This qualitative research study explored the proven practices and strategies that have successfully reduced time-to-proficiency of the workforce in various settings. A total of 93 participants from seven countries participated in the research study. Bounded project case (with a defined start and defined end) was used as a sampling unit and unit of analysis in this study. This study collected 67 successful project cases with the evidence of significant reduction in time-to-proficiency of the workforce in their settings. These project cases are spanned across nine economic sectors, 20 business sectors and 28 industrial groups. This study revealed that project leaders across the board used six practices to successfully reduce the time-to-proficiency. The purpose of this paper is to present the model of accelerated proficiency in the work place developed in this study.
... Hoffman, et al., (2010, p. 9)position accelerated proficiency as 'phenomenon of achieving higher levels of proficiency in less time'. While considerations like time-to-market and competitiveness are the main drivers for a shorter time-to-proficiency, the additional factors that drive this need areconstant obsolescence of the skills, increasing complexity of jobs and skills, attrition or ageing workforce constantly getting replaced and need faster readiness to do the jobs which senior experts were doing earlier (Hoffman et al., 2010).Therefore, organisations are striving to figure out the interventions, systems and strategies to shorten time-to-proficiency of employees in acquiring skills for a given role (Attri, 2014;Attri & Wu, 2016). The intent of this research study is explained in the simple pictorial form in Figure 1. ...
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This book deals with solving a pressing organizational challenge of bringing employees up to speed faster. In the fast-paced business world, organizations need faster readiness of employees to handle the complex responsibilities of their jobs. The author conducted an extensive doctoral research study with 85 global experts across 66 project cases to explore the practices and strategies that were proven to reduce time to proficiency of employees in a range of organizations worldwide. This book provides the readers with a first-hand account of findings exclusively related to training and learning strategies, instructional methods, and curriculum design. This book delivers over 21 training and learning strategies across online learning, classroom instructions, and on-the-job learning. These strategies will allow training designers and learning specialists to design workplace training programs that hold the potential to shorten time to proficiency of employees. The book not only describes findings of the study and theoretical underpinnings, but it also provides practical guidance for implementation to equip corporate learning specialists, HR professionals, training leaders, performance consultants, and direct managers. Chapter 1 of the book introduces the research study that was conducted and describes the sampling, participants, data collection and data analysis methodology. Chapter 2 introduces the concept and definition of accelerated proficiency and metrics such as time to proficiency and speed to proficiency. The chapter sets the premise for the business need that demands learning designers to explore methods to shorten time to proficiency of employees. Chapter 3 describes the result of proficiency curve analysis that revealed four possible trajectories to accelerate employee proficiency. Chapter 4 introduces the four key hurdles in the form of the inefficiencies of traditional training models that hamper the acceleration of proficiency. This chapter sets the stage what needs to be avoided when designing training meant to accelerate proficiency. Chapter 5 addresses the group of findings related to online or e-learning. A conceptual model is presented to describe five e-learning strategies with the great potential to accelerate proficiency in work-place skills. Chapter 6 focuses on findings grouped as the formal classroom or instructor-led instructional strategies. The chapter specifies five instructional strategies to design classroom training and deliver an enriched learning experience to put learners on an accelerated proficiency path. Chapter 7 explains the findings grouped as on-the-job learning or workplace learning strategies. The chapter describes three strategies for workplace learning design to leverage workplace opportunities and interventions which reported great potential to accelerate proficiency. The chapter presents a conceptual model of workplace learning strategies to guide the implementation of these strategies. Chapter 8 consolidate the strategies for online learning, classroom learning and workplace learning into a simple model for training design that holds the potential to create training that can contribute into shortening time to proficiency of the employees. Chapter 9 concludes the book with final thoughts on the role of training and learning strategies toward accelerating proficiency in the long run.
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Increasingly, universities are using technology to provide students with more flexible modes of participation. This article presents a cross-case analysis of blended synchronous learning environments—contexts where remote students participated in face-to-face classes through the use of rich-media synchronous technologies such as video conferencing, web conferencing, and virtual worlds. The study examined how design and implementation factors influenced student learning activity and perceived learning outcomes, drawing on a synthesis of student, teacher, and researcher observations collected before, during, and after blended synchronous learning lessons. Key findings include the importance of designing for active learning, the need to select and utilise technologies appropriately to meet communicative requirements, varying degrees of co-presence depending on technological and human factors, and heightened cognitive load. Pedagogical, technological, and logistical implications are presented in the form of a Blended Synchronous Learning Design Framework that is grounded in the results of the study.
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One of the most problematic issues for researchers who conduct qualitative research using semi-structured, unstructured interviews or story telling data collection methods is the analysis of large quantities of rich data. In the past this has often led to fairly unmethodical approaches to analysis which in turn has led to qualitative business and management research being seen as insubstantial and unworthy of consideration. A relatively recent development in organisational research has been the application of Template Analysis to rich unstructured qualitative data following the primary data collection phase. Template Analysis appears to have emerged from the USA during the 1990s and academics familiar with the Grounded Theory approach to data analysis may see similarities in the techniques used. Nevertheless, it has gained credibility in the UK through the work of Nigel King and other colleagues researching in health and sociology related fields. This paper provides an overview of the origins of Template Analysis and discusses how it has been used to structure qualitative data. It then goes on to examine through the two case studies how Template Analysis has been extended and used by the authors in two different research projects. In the first case study the research team worked within a Primary Care Trust in the North East of England on a project that explored the Diffusion of Innovation of clinical and administrative computer systems across General Practice within the Trust. Seventeen Trust members were interviewed for approximately one hour and this led to over 85000 words of rich data. The second project focused on the NHS Secondary Care sector and examined IT project management practice related to the development of integrated pathology computing systems across eight separate laboratories in the North of England. Eight senior managers were interviewed and this, combined with participant observation and over 3 years of document collection, also resulted in a large volume of rich textual material. The use of template analysis, combined with a critical success factors methodology, resulted in a novel approach for learning about current IT project management practices. This paper critically examines these two case studies in terms of their particular research philosophy, epistemological approach and the lessons learnt from the techniques employed. The paper then provides a discussion of the principles and practicalities of template analysis and explores the benefits to the business and management research community at large.
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Thematic analysis is a poorly demarcated, rarely acknowledged, yet widely used qualitative analytic method within psychology. In this paper, we argue that it offers an accessible and theoretically flexible approach to analysing qualitative data. We outline what thematic analysis is, locating it in relation to other qualitative analytic methods that search for themes or patterns, and in relation to different epistemological and ontological positions. We then provide clear guidelines to those wanting to start thematic analysis, or conduct it in a more deliberate and rigorous way, and consider potential pitfalls in conducting thematic analysis. Finally, we outline the disadvantages and advantages of thematic analysis. We conclude by advocating thematic analysis as a useful and flexible method for qualitative research in and beyond psychology.
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Kornell and Bjork (Psychological Science 19:585-592, 2008) found that interleaving exemplars of different categories enhanced inductive learning of the concepts based on those exemplars. They hypothesized that the benefit of mixing exemplars from different categories is that doing so highlights differences between the categories. Kang and Pashler (Applied Cognitive Psychology 26:97-103, 2012) obtained results consistent with this discriminative-contrast hypothesis: Interleaving enhanced inductive learning, but temporal spacing, which does not highlight category differences, did not. We further tested the discriminative-contrast hypothesis by examining the effects of interleaving and spacing, as well as their combined effects. In three experiments, using photographs of butterflies and birds as the stimuli, temporal spacing was harmful when it interrupted the juxtaposition of interleaved categories, even when total spacing was held constant, supporting the discriminative-contrast hypothesis. Temporal spacing also had value, however, when it did not interrupt discrimination processing.
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This methodological paper addresses practical strategies, implications, benefits and drawbacks of collecting qualitative semi-structured interview data about Internet-based research topics using four different interaction systems: face to face; telephone; email; and instant messaging. The discussion presented here is based on a review of the literature and reflection on the experiences of the authors in performing completed research that used those four interaction systems. The focus is on functional effects (e.g. scheduling and other logistics, data transcription and data management), as well as methodological effects (e.g. ability to probe, collecting affective data, and data representation). The authors found that all four methods of data collection produced viable data for the projects they completed, but that some additional issues arose. Five themes emerged that form the organization of the paper: (1) interview scheduling and participant retention; (2) recording and transcribing; (3) data cleaning and organizing; (4) presentation and representation of data; and (5) the detection/presentation of affective data.
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As new technology becomes available and is used for educational purposes, educators often take existing training and simply transcribe it into the new technological medium. However, when technology drives e-learning rather than the learner and the learning, and when it uses designs and approaches that were not originally built for e-learning, then often technology does not enhance the learning (it may even be detrimental to it). The success of e-learning depends on it being 'brain friendly', on engaging the learners from an understanding of how the cognitive system works. This enables educators to optimize learning by achieving correct mental representations that will be remembered and applied in practice. Such technology enhanced learning (TEL) involves developing and using novel approaches grounded in cognitive neuroscience; for example, gaming and simulations that distort realism rather than emphasizing visual fidelity and realism, making videos interactive, training for 'error recovery' rather than for 'error reduction', and a whole range of practical ways that result in effective TEL. These are a result of e-learning that is built to fit and support the cognitive system, and therefore optimize the learning.
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The race among global firms to launch its respective products and services into the market sooner than the competitors puts pressure to equip its employees with job related skills at the pace of business. Today’s global and dynamic business requires employees to develop highly complex cognitive skills such as decision-making, problem-solving, troubleshooting to perform their jobs proficiently. Traditional training models used by some organizations lead to a very slow speed at which employees gain an acceptable level of proficiency in the targeted job skills. Also, these models have long and regimented instructional development cycle. Thus, traditional models are inherently counter-productive to the business and do not enable employees and organizations for today’s business needs. Therefore, business organizations need to explore new training models and strategies that could reduce the time an employee takes to reach target proficiency in complex skills without compromising the effectiveness or outcome. A comprehensive review of the literature shows a very limited amount of academic or practitioner research on this topic. This doctorate research study aims to find various training strategies that have proven successful in organizations for accelerating proficiency of employees in complex job skills. The researcher collected data primarily through 74 in-depth interviews with 86 training experts with known work experience of reducing time-to-proficiency in various settings. A total of 105 project cases is collected across 42 industries to date. A grounded theory approach with constant comparison method is used to guide the theoretical saturation, analyze the data and to develop a theoretical model of training strategies. This paper presents the preliminary findings and the conceptual model of major training and learning strategies discovered in this study that leverages workplace to shorten time-to-proficiency of employees. This paper will also discuss the implications for practitioners and academicians. The preliminary findings of this study confirmed that boundaries between work and learning are getting diffused. It is further noticed that organizations are now more inclined to leverage workplace learning and training strategies as the primary mode to accelerate skill proficiency as opposed to lengthy traditional or formal training methods. Research findings suggest a pattern of three workplace training and learning strategies that are more successful in reducing time-to-proficiency - 1) manufacturing and structuring on-the-job experiences; 2) sequencing activities in a lean learning path; 3) providing performance support systems and resources. This paper will also discuss the implications for practitioners and academicians.
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This volume is the first comprehensive history of task analysis, charting its origins from the earliest applied psychology through to modern forms of task analysis that focus on the study of cognitive work. Through this detailed historical analysis, it is made apparent how task analysis has always been cognitive.
Affordances of contemporary communications technology challenge the unquestioned assumptions and rationale of lectures. Furthermore, as students have changed their patterns of engagement with learning, universities have begun to reconsider their tradition of offering students lectures. These circumstances have prompted a group of teachers in one department to develop an alternative lectures: the bite-size mobile learning initiative. The initiative involved replacing some of the lectures with short video recordings of course material, " video-clips " , that could be watched by students at their convenience then elaborated and used to stimulate discussions in subsequent tutorials. We found that close to one-half of all respondents agreed or strongly agreed that video-video-clips worked as a learning tool, either alone or in combination with the tutorials; however, only 35% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they enjoyed watching the video-video-clips. The overwhelming majority of respondents agreed on one aspect: shorter is better.
The coherence principle is important because it is commonly violated, is straightforward to apply, and can have a strong impact on learning. This chapter summarizes the empirical evidence for excluding rather than including extraneous information in the form of background sound, added text, and added graphics. What is new in the chapter is some updating of the growing research base, but the main conclusion remains the same: Adding interesting but unnecessary materials to e-learning can harm the learning process. The chapter explores the merits of adding extra sounds, pictures, and words that are intended to make multimedia environments more interesting to the learner. The authors recommend avoiding adding extraneous sounds or music to instructional presentations, especially in situations in which the learner is likely to experience heavy cognitive processing demands. Much of the research reported in the chapter deals with short lessons delivered in a controlled lab environment. e-Learning
The growth in qualitative research is a well-noted and welcomed fact within the social sciences; however, there is a regrettable lack of tools available for the analysis of qualitative material. There is a need for greater disclosure in qualitative analysis, and for more sophisticated tools to facilitate such analyses. This article details a technique for conducting thematic analysis of qualitative material, presenting a step-by-step guide of the analytic process, with the aid of an empirical example. The analytic method presented employs established, well-known techniques; the article proposes that thematic analyses can be usefully aided by and presented as thematic networks. Thematic networks are web-like illustrations that summarize the main themes constituting a piece of text. The thematic networks technique is a robust and highly sensitive tool for the systematization and presentation of qualitative analyses.
This paper describes a two-year study in which high levels of performance were achieved and sustained among so-called low-level workers in a biotech company. The purpose of the study—funded by National Science Foundation and lnvitrogen Corporation—were to explore the effectiveness of an accelerated learning Operational Simulation (OpSim) training on workers in biological manufacturing. While greater responsibility is demanded of “front-line” workers in biotech, efforts at “empowerment” have not worked well in this context. In this particular OpSim, workers were facing a large and expensive backorder problem. The OpSim did not target or specify the skills or means for greater responsiveness; rather we emphasized only goals and challenged the groups to develop a solution. All groups failed on the first try, but exceeded desired outcomes on the second try and subsequently sustained these performance objectives. Implications for Naturalistic Decision Making, training, and empowerment are discussed.
Formulated and tested two hypotheses regarding skill learning, competent cognition, and instructional psychology. Our goals in this chapter are to explicate these hypotheses, report experimental results, and then propose the feedback to theory and educational practice that our results suggest. The cognitive analysis of performance capabilities of a range of experienced problem solvers on a set of graded, authentic diagnostic problems can yield (1) a performance model of the technical expertise used as the criterion performance to be targeted by an instructional system, (2) a naturalistic progression of performance models that depicts how apprentice performers acquire expertise over time, and (3) a specification of the individual differences that result in impasses or barriers along the skill acquisition trajectory—differences that must be accommodated by instruction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Libro de metodología cualitativo para investigación en las ciencias sociales. La utilización de la computadora, el uso de datos y la recolección de los mismos. Se describen detalladamente numerosos métodos de datos y análisis.
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