Sustaining Distance Training: Integrating Learning Technologies into the Fabric of the Enterprise / Edition 1

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A well-educated, well-trained workforce is a competitive imperative in today's global community and as more companies embrace new technologies, distance training has become the fastest-growing method of training delivery. While implementing an emerging technology is difficult, integrating and institutionalizing it fully within the enterprise so that it becomes a significant factor for achieving organizational goals is a major challenge. Sustaining Distance Training shows organizations how to move beyond the initial phases of setting up a distance training program to making it a part of the strategic planning process, including infrastructure, budget, staffing, and policy planning. The ideal companion volume to Berge's Distance Training (with Deborah Schreiber, Jossey-Bass, 1998), Sustaining Distance Training examines distance training programs in seventeen leading-edge for-profit, nonprofit, and government organizations, including MCI, Ford, Hewlett-Packard, the Red Cross, and the Internal Revenue Service. It reveals how these organizations have sustained distance training beyond individual or sporadic training events, integrating it across the organization as a strategic tool for meeting business challenges and achieving objectives. Synthesizing these detailed case studies, Berge provides a framework that other organizations can use to move beyond project management and turn distance training into a powerful instrument for enterprise-wide strategic planning. One chapter, for instances, shows how Hewlett-Packard uses distance training to keep workers abreast of rapid ongoing technological changes in an extremely competitive business climate. Another describes how the Internal Revenue Service has integrated revolutionary organizational change and trained employees for new jobs in a reengineered IRS. How the American Red Cross employs satellite-based interactive television in training 1.3 million volunteers to carry out its mission is illustrated.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A compelling book that addresses the critical issues facingorganizations involved in the dynamic world of distance learningincluding how to sustain and manage distance training in a rapidlyevolving business environment. A must-read for all learningorganizations." —Jolly T. Holden, chief learning strategist,Gilat-To-Home

"This volume is an excellent compilation of case studies that arerich in facts and lessons." —Mick Mortlock, dean, CIGNA Instituteof Technology, and member, advisory board, Internet LearningCompany

"I feel this book is an excellent pulse-check of corporate trainingand education at a distance. Dr. Berge has given us a window intothe challenging and changing world of corporate training-thetrials, successes, and faults of a wide range of organizations areclearly detailed, dissected, and summarized." —Myk Garn, chiefacademic officer, Kentucky Commonwealth Virtual University

Praise for the author's previous book, Distance Training. "DistanceTraining is a solid piece of work, one that will prove useful timeand again for anyone with responsibilities for the design,development, delivery, and evaluation of distance learninginitiatives in organizations." —Educational Technology SocietyJournal

This text for professionals and business students examines distance training programs in 17 for-profit, non-profit, and government organizations, including MCI, Ford, Hewlett-Packard, the Red Cross, and the Internal Revenue Service. Case studies show how these organizations have sustained distance training beyond individual training events and integrated it into their strategic business plans. Contributions from Berge (instructional systems development, U. of Maryland) and other training specialists discuss distance training in the context of dealing with uncommon organizational change, setting competitive standards, and achieving organizational goals. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787953317
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/30/2000
  • Series: Business and Management Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 7.34 (w) x 9.63 (h) x 1.49 (d)

Meet the Author

ZANE L. BERGE is director of training systems, Instructional Systems Development Graduate Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He has edited numerous books on computer-mediated education and is coeditor (with Deborah Schreiber) of the award-winning Distance Training (Jossey-Bass, 1998).

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: A Framework for Sustaining Distance Training

To try to have a distance education plan without a business plan, or vice versa, is to have neither.

My purpose is to present a framework for distance training and education that links several perspectives within an organization. It is important to place this framework within the broader contcxt discussed in Chapter One, where the goal was to spell out the factors and assumptions underlying this view of distance education. What I would like to do here is suggest that there are stages or levels of technological and other capabilities within the organization with regard to technology-enhanced learning and distance education.

I believe managers in successful organizations are effective at managing projects and programs, and I also believe that much of the overall planning at a strategic level is well done. Given that, once managers become aware of the different levels of technological maturity, and aware ofthe relationship among project management, program management, and strategic planning, a better understanding may be gained concerning the need for change management to link these elements used in solving business problems or taking advantage of missing critical opportunities.

Changing Expectations

It is becoming clear that changes in society and the marketplace demand changes in the workplace-including a shift in the focus of distance training and education from instructing to learning. What is not as clear to most people is that the development of enterprise-wide capabilities for sustaining distance training and education takes continuous effort to link project management, program management, changemanagement, and strategic planning. It is also important to realize that these changes affect the expectations, roles, and responsibilities of instructors, learners, and managers as the organization builds capacity for technologically enhanced learning of mission-critical problems.

Organizational Learning

Opportunities to learn are implicit in every new set of tasks or processes a person engages in. Learning events are approached differently by novice and expert performers. By definition, novice performers behave and think differently from expert performers. Experts often have a wider range of experiences from which to draw and access to a learning circle of peers, with all their stored knowledge, on whose expertise they can the call when problem solving and troubleshooting. We talk in terms of learning and growth as a person gains this experience within a field of practice or study.

Organizations are similar to individuals in that they also engage in new tasks and the implementation of new processes, so they are not static in terms of their experiences and the accumulation of new knowledge. The decision within an organization to conduct training at a distance represents a set of new tasks and processes to be organized and implemented, often with a significant reallocation of resources.

When an organization decides to offer a distance training event or program, this effort is often approached from a project management perspective. As the level of the organization's experience with, and capability for, distance training grows (that is, as distance training becomes institutionalized), it becomes useful to think both in terms of program management for the individual events and also in terms of how to manage the organizational change that the introduction of technologically mediated training often engenders.

At some point, the level of change effort needed to ensure the continuation of training at a distance diminishes, as reliance shifts from a focus on organizational changes to the inclusion of distance delivery of training in the strategic planning process. As distance training becomes part of organizational culture, there is a shift in emphasis to include both individual events and continuous improvement of distance training and education. Distance education becomes part of the organization's profile-that is, simply how the organization does business (Berge & Smith, 2000).

There are many sound models for both project management and strategic planning in organizations. My goal in this book is to suggest that there are more than one or two appropriate models for the implementation and management of distance training and education activities. In fact, it is better to use models you have or are establishing in your organization for project and program management and for strategic planning-recognizing that your organization may be reestablishing these models in light of the changing focus of e-business. My point is only that the models used here are generic and each organization will have its own refined processes and techniques for each.

Program management and strategic planning will be described to the extent they have an impact on the distance training delivery process. In other words, I will speak generically to significant issues involving distance training and education that are common to any program management and strategic planning model. Should your business needs be such that increasing the organization's capabilities to deliver distance training and education makes sense, you will find this chapter especially useful. The overarching plan in this chapter is to present a model that will help you identify links between your program management and your strategic planning processes. The emphasis of this book is clearly on distance training and education as a pathway to achieving identified organizational goals.

Stages of Technological Maturity in an Organization

When considering the distance delivery of education and training and viewing the organization collectively, it is useful to think of stages that the enterprise goes through that are analogous to the learning processes of maturing individuals. A brief model that describes stages of organizational maturity, or capabilities, with regard to the delivery of distance education (Schreiber, 1998b) might look like this:
  • Stage 1: Separate or sporadic distance learning events occur in the organization.
  • Stage 2: The organization's technological capability and infrastructure can support distance learning events. When distance education events occur, they are replicated through an interdisciplinary team that responds to staff and management needs and makes recommendations regarding the organization and management of distance learning among the workforce...
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Table of Contents

The Context of Distance Training and Education: Predicting Change(Z. Berge).

From Project Management to Strategic Planning (Z. Berge).


Attracting, Training, and Retaining Instructors for DistanceLearning at the US General Accounting Office(J. Longnecker).

Center for Learning at SBC Communications, Inc. (N. Friend & T.Eisma).

The World is Officially Open for Business: How MCI WorldComUniversity Used the Corporate Intranet to Train a New EraCommunications Company (C. Treanor & J. Irwin).

Learning at a Distance: Surviving Implementation at the US ArmyIntelligence Center's Distance Learning Office (J. Ellsworth &L. Iorizzo).

Making It Work: Training Short-Term Personnel at a Distance fromReseau Interaction Network (D. Larocque & N. Thomas).

Distance Learning Implementation at the Internal Revenue Service: ACatalyst for Organizational Change (T. Scheer).


UAW DaimlerChrysler NTC (J. Codde & R. Egidio).

FirstUnion: Distance Learning at Work (S. Latten, et al.)..

Fordstar: Sustaining Distance Education at Ford Motor Company (J.Dessinger).

Learning to Work in Web-Time—Evaluating Time-to-Market Instructionat Nortel Networks (G. Michalski).

The Need for Coaching in a Distance Learning Environment: LessonsLearned at Cap Gemini (J. May & J. De Jong).

Hewlett-Packard's Regional Training Center (A. Brance, etal.).


Building Motivation for Distance Learners in Public Health (B.Polhamus, et al.).

Supporting an Enterprise Distance Learning Program at NYNEX (B.Howard)..

US Postal Service's Integration of Distance Learning Initiatives toMeet Organizational Goals (M. Wankel).

TeleEducation NB: A Province-Wide Distributed Distance LearningNetowrk (R. McGreal).

From Training Enhancement to Organizational Learning: The Migrationof Distance Learning at the American Red Cross (N. Rogers & S.Becker).

Tools for Change: Linking the Organizational Perspective withDistance Training and Education Programs (Z. Berge).

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