ERIC Number: ED453807
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Combining Technology and Narrative in a Learning Environment for Workplace Training.
Nelson, Wayne A.; Wellings, Paula; Palumbo, David; Gupton, Christine
In a project designed to provide training for entry-level job skills in high tech industries, a combination of narrative and technology was employed to aid learners in developing the necessary soft skills (dependability, responsibility, listening comprehension, collaboration, et cetera) sought by employers. The EnterTech Project brought together a coalition of more than 70 employers, community-based organizations, educators, and policymakers to create a set of employer-validated competencies derived from on-the-job observations and interviews with entry-level workers. The target learners for the project were high school and college students, dislocated workers, incumbent workers, recipients of public assistance, and unemployed or underemployed people. Competencies included understanding an employer's expectations, developing good workplace habits and ethics, utilizing available resources, managing time, communication skills, math skills, problem solving skills and the need for continued learning in the workplace. A series of Web-deployable, reality-based, multimedia simulations for training in the competencies identified for the project were created. Administrative tools were also developed to allow employers to create customized lessons specific to their needs. Once created, these lessons were delivered in an interactive multimedia learning environment that was integrated with other learning resources and activities, including individual workbooks, group projects, peer-support activities, and specialized one-on-one instruction. Results from these varied learning activities feed into a comprehensive assessment system that tracks each learner's progress through the course, advancing the learner to the appropriate level in the curriculum and alerting the instructor when additional support might be needed. This paper discusses how the narrative was developed and tested with significant input from target learners. The innovative blend of computer-based instruction with more traditional teaching and learning activities is examined, along with results from the initial field testing of the training program. Appendices include a list of the competencies identified for the EnterTech curriculum, curriculum outline, and an illustrated example of computer-based learning tasks. (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).