As Web 2.0 and, in turn, Learn 2.0 become ubiquitous, the learning community needs to embrace and incorporate these technologies into the training that the Stanford community requires. Although the research and implementation of Learn 2.0 technologies is in its early stages, much like the Internet was in the early 1990s, the current and incoming working population is familiar with and uses these tools. The future of training must include collaboration technologies.
In addition, the Stanford University Work Anywhere initiative will involve not only working anywhere but training anywhere, and at remote locations (e.g., Porter Drive, Stanford Menlo Park, North Campus, Hopkins Marine Lab.). This is a compelling reason to employ Learn 2.0 technologies in the future. This is not to say that instructor-led training (ILT), or hands-on instruction, does not have a place and will go away. There are those who will always need a guided tour with an instructor who can hold their hands through the learning of any software application. Rather, it is an additional, new delivery method for technology training with benefits not present in current delivery methods.
Design and development of online training/instruction is costly and requires a skill set in online instructional design, especially if customization, (i.e., Stanford-specificity) is required. There are plenty of off-the-shelf vanilla courses/training available using Learn 2.0 initiatives and tools, but they vary greatly in quality and applicability to the Stanford environment.
eLearning is not simply putting the current ILT content online. The content must be assessed to see if it lends itself well to online coursework, which often involves branching, collaboration, and determination of outcomes. The upside of the high development costs, however, is offset by the reusability of the content.
That said, video capture of ILT classes could be made available for on-demand viewing. Cohorts in a hands-on Excel class could follow one another on Twitter or a blog, for example, (or if not secure enough, an SU-internal mailing list) to provide real-time answers and cohort/peer coaching, much like a Learn 2.0 version of the Expert Partners program on a particular subject.
Adoption for those new to collaboration tools may take some time. Cultural transition is a process. Engaging and embracing this delivery will take a concerted, demonstrable effort. Seeing its benefits may be difficult for the uninitiated. There are those in remote locations who will readily embrace the opportunity to get the training they need on their desktops. Developing online tutorials on collaboration technologies will help those unfamiliar with them to improve/increase adoption. IT Services Technology Training offers courses and tech briefings on wikis, blogs, podcasts, Second Life, Drupal, and more.
- Ability, with limited experience, to deliver customized WebEx training (one-to-many).
- Webinar offerings (as of January 2010) for MS Office, Project, and SharePoint training with outside partner/vendor. See webinars.stanford.edu.
- Video capture for on-demand viewing of tech briefings (as of August 2009). See techbriefings.stanford.edu.
- Online training videos available via Lynda.com premium subscription (with a 25 percent discount for SU affiliates) on a variety of topics from Office to CS4. See onlinetraining.stanford.edu, which also includes other campus resources (e.g., SULAIR and Books 24/7).
- Video capture of IT Services (Technical) Orientation, employing FinalCut Pro to deliver training on demand.
- Video production of tech training commercials.
As the university workforce and community at large embraces Web 2.0 technologies, IT Services must deliver training using these technologies and provide more on-demand, customizable training. These include social networking and collaboration tools, such as Facebook, wikis, blogs, Twitter, podcasts, and webinars. Although the e-learning community and, indeed, the university itself is grappling with these technologies and how best to employ them, IT Services must do the same.
- Employ Web 2.0 technologies in the design and delivery of training to campus end users and IT professionals, in addition to traditional hands-on, instructor-led and lecture classes.
- Provide online, on-demand training for basic software applications (e.g., MS Office) using video capture of live classes.
- Provide online training for basic software applications live via WebEx, for remote delivery of hands-on classes.
- Expand webinar offerings with vendor partnerships.
- Work with current vendors to develop model and pricing to deliver live, hands-on, and lecture classes via WebEx.
- Work with current vendors to develop model and pricing to deliver classes on demand via video capture for on-demand viewing. Examine costs and consider return on investment.
- Develop video helplets in-house on how to use the most common collaboration tools in addition to offering classroom instruction.
- Explore Web 2.0 (Learn 2.0) technologies and how to use them effectively in technology training efforts. Determine how to recover costs using these models of collaborative learning.
Measures of success
- Adoption rates grow as evidenced through enrollments.
- Enrollments sustain associated costs in a service center/cost recovery model