The Training Officer’s Consortium is a non-profit organization for federal trainers and industry professional committed to improving the practice of human resources and training. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend their 2012 Annual Institute, which featured valuable presentations on strategies to improve professional education, especially in the federal government. Considering the numerous changes going on in the government workplace, from increased use of mobile devices to tightening budgetary restrictions, now is a more important time that ever for trainers to stay abreast with the latest knowledge in their field.
This year, representatives from our partners at The Graduate School presented “Engaging Federal Learners Using New Technologies” to share their insights on best practices for high-quality distance learning. Below are the slides from this presentation, which will be especially insightful for trainers who are looking to leverage innovative technologies to enhance or extend the distance learning experience within their agencies:
Thank you to the nearly 100 attendees for making our second Military Education & Training Blackboard User Group (METBUG) conference such a great success! For those of you who were not able to join us, here is a short recap of what you missed!
Opportunities in Online Training METBUG’s opening speaker was Col. Jeff Waechter of the Joint Forces Staff College, who spoke on his institution’s progress on creating a continuous learning environment for the joint warfighter. Colonel Waechter emphasized the role that education plays in today’s military environment, which must face widespread and fast-paced challenges in the face of fiscal constraints. He argued that online and distance education presents interactive and engaging learning opportunities for the military, and predicted that digital learning tools would play an expanded role in the future of Joint Forces education.
Next Generation SCORM & Social Learning
In the past, I’ve discussed how online learning technologies can help federal agencies maintain high-quality training in the face of budget cuts and travel mandates. This continues to be a topic of interest for those of us who work at the intersection of technology and government, especially as the Obama Administration encourages federal agencies to implement mobility, cloud computing, and other IT innovations.
I recently discussed these developments along with my colleague Rajeev Arora, the Vice President of Marketing Strategy for Blackboard Collaborate, as part of an interview with cyberFEDS. Rajeev noted early on that the professional development experience can be incredibly engaging even without face-to-face instruction. With today’s digital platforms, interactive learning can now occur online, even on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet PCs. This level of early-stage engagement is highly important for federal agencies, which see average attrition rates of about 30% among new employees each year.
Enhance Training with Blackboard Collaborate
Rajeev and I then discussed several key reasons why Blackboard Collaborate is an ideal platform for delivering the engaging online learning that federal agencies need.
Steven VanRoekel, Federal Chief Information Officer
Last month, I noticed a lot of buzz in the blogosphere and on Twitter related to policy developments in mobile government (or #mobilegov). These conversations were largely driven by Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel’s National Dialogue on the Federal Mobility Strategy.
According to FedScoop, the goal of this Dialogue was to discuss ideas for implementing mobility in government and to find ways to expedite the adoption of emerging mobile technologies. VanRoekel stated that his motivation to pursue a mobile government strategy was its potential to increase employee productivity, reduce technology costs, and streamline the acquisition process. Though a final version of the federal mobile strategy won’t be published until March 2012, I see the dialogue itself as a great step in promoting the many benefits of mobility in government.
The first step to embracing mobile is realizing that mobility is more than just a trend; it is a necessity. Going mobile presents organizations of all kinds, from corporations to federal agencies, with the opportunity to leverage new technologies for cost savings and improved efficiency, benefits that can’t be overlooked in today’s economic climate. This is especially true in government, where budget cuts and travel freezes deepen the need for mobile access to training and collaboration.
Though you may have never heard of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), they play a crucial, behind-the-scenes role in the American healthcare system. CMS’s important work includes promoting effective, up-to-date health care coverage and ensuring quality care for beneficiaries. The face of CMS is its team of 6,500 surveyors responsible for examining hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and ambulatory centers to make sure that they comply with Medicare and Medicaid regulations.
The task of training the CMS team is a formidable one: surveyors are spread over twelve time zones, travel up to 80% of the time, and must maintain a broad knowledge base within the ever-changing healthcare industry. When CMS needed a way to make this compliance training more manageable, they turned to Blackboard Learn for the following reasons:
- Ease of Access: Even when traveling extensively, surveyors are able to stay connected to their course material and their peers online.