Advanced Web-based Training Strategies
By Margaret Driscoll and Saul Carliner
Advanced Web-based Training Strategies is not for the beginner. Actually, it reminds me of a grad-school textbook. It contains three "portfolios"—design and curriculum, high-level design strategies, and detailed design strategies. The authors discuss a whole herd of approaches, including simulations, blended learning, e-mentoring, e-coaching, storytelling, and the live virtual classroom.
Each chapter offers rich content, followed by a real-life example of the design. A Conclusion section summarizes the main points of the chapter, and a Learn More About It section suggests additional reading. The Web site of Interest section (my favorite) does exactly what it sounds like it does, and a Reflection and Application section gives us the opportunity to consider how we would apply the concepts to real situations.
The authors won me over in the first chapter with their problem-solving approach to instructional design. "Rather than advocating one theory or concept over another, such as constructivism or behaviorism, a problem-solving approach says that the appropriate theory or concept is the one that helps the designer best address the problem identified." They go on to say that rather than advocating one medium of instruction over another, the designer should consider numerous factors to determine what method will best deliver the message.
I learned a new term: mLearning is mobile learning that takes place on devices that are portable, and have their own power supply. I will admit that I was skeptical about this. But at the end of the chapter, there is a fascinating example that presents how Chris von Koschembahr, an executive in IBM's Innovation and Transformation Group, developed mobile learning for a large retailer.
My favorite quote from the book is, "There is no limit to the number of things that are not recommended in the live virtual classroom." Of course it does go on to explain what things might actually be appropriate for the live virtual classroom.
If you are an experienced professional, you will find that this book an excellent resource. —J.L.