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Adopting E-Learning: Lessons From the Government
The use of e-learning within government agencies is one area where the government leads much of Corporate America in widespread adoption, the development of innovative applications and its incorporation as an essential component in agency-wide learning in
The use of e-learning within government agencies is one area where the government leads much of Corporate America in widespread adoption, the development of innovative applications and its incorporation as an essential component in agency-wide learning initiatives. In fact, discussions with eight different agencies revealed significant successes that serve as powerful examples of e-learning's potential. In many cases, these successes demonstrate how organizations can maximize dollar investments and learner value by working cooperatively with other units within their own walls, as well as with partner agencies and affiliates.
E-learning success hasn't come easy. The obstacles faced by many agencies - from challenging budgets to technical issues to widely diverse and distributed workforces - can make those faced by business seem paltry. Consider the Department of Veterans Affairs, with 250,000 employees across the United States and 325 medical centers and regional offices. Or the Coast Guard, the smallest of the armed services, with thousands of small bases and ships, which has the lion-sized responsibility for guarding our shores.
This article offers examples of e-learning innovation and best practices occurring in six different government agencies.
Early Adopters and Visionaries
Jerry Sparks, distance learning program manager for the Federal Aviation Administration, was thinking about learning system standards long before some of us had even touched a computer. The FAA has been using computer-based training for more than 20 years. More than a decade ago, the agency realized that it needed an automated system to track and manage the hundreds of courses then delivered to air traffic controllers, technicians, engineers and flight standards inspectors. Since Sparks' department was responsible then, as it is now, for providing the service and infrastructure for the FAA's extensive distance learning, he was thrown into the uncharted territories of LMS interoperability issues, development and delivery standards and user navigation.
"Back then, virtually all LMSs were custom," said Sparks. "And of course, this created real problems. For instance, much of the training for aircraft and aircraft maintenance was delivered via CBT by manufacturers like Boeing or McDonnell Douglas. As different, newer operating systems and infrastructure technologies were introduced, even simple file compatibility became problematic."
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
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