Resource 2.4.1 - Simulations for Skill Formation 
The first significant use of simulations was to train airplane pilots. The flight trainer was invented by Mr. Edwin Link in 1929. In aviation, the most forceful reason to use simulation is safety. At first, the Link Trainer was used to teach pilots instrument flight. But as simulators became more sophisticated and computers were introduced, the main use became a tool to teach pilots how to handle emergency situations. Pilots need to know how to react to life-threatening situations. Yet, turning off a turbine or disabling a rudder control in a jetliner in order to test pilot reaction is not a good idea. Modern flight simulators are multi-million dollar machines, often not much cheaper than real airplanes. But nobody thinks of costs when deciding to use them. The reason to resort to simulation is that it permits reproduction of conditions that, if reproduced in real flight, would be very dangerous. Thus simulators give pilots a chance to acquire the proper reactions under safer conditions.
Simulation of CNC Machines
Another very common family of simulations is those that reproduce the operation of numerically controlled machine tools (known as CNC machines). An apprentice will get to know a conventional lathe by handling it under controlled conditions, by machining initially simple parts, always being careful to keep the tool far away from the faceplate. Accidents happen. An extra turn of the lever and the tool may hit the turning plate. But a broken bit and a scratched faceplate in a learning lathe is not much of a loss. Yet, CNC lathes - that are programmed like a computer - cost several times more and are more prone to serious accidents. A wrong line of code may zoom the turret towards the faceplate, provoking a horrendous collision causing serious losses. Students are said to be traumatized by the crash and administrations have to write off the losses.
Therefore, the obvious first idea was to couple the CNC to a simulator that would trace on paper the trajectory of the cutting tool. The drawing would immediately reveal an eventual mistake. Only after the simulation shows the program to be devoid of gross mistakes, can the real machine be used. With computers becoming more common, a monitor replaces the paper plotter. The obvious follow up development is software that simulate the entire process, dispensing with the real life lathe altogether. Clearly, this applies to milling machines and the whole gamut of CNC-controlled machine tools.
Today, computer simulations of CNC machines are very common, being quite sophisticated and inexpensive. If properly used, they can speed up the training and lower the costs significantly because trainees can learn much from them and they require a lot less supervision. Whether they altogether dispense with first hand contact with real life CNC machines is a controversial subject we need not be concerned with here. Let us only remember that the challenges of moving from a manual lathe to a CNC version resides at the programming end, not in handling the machine - which, once programmed, requires little human input in the first place. That being the case, it makes little difference on whether the programming is for a machine simulated in the monitor or a real life machine.
Simulations for Troubleshooting
Another very common family of simulations occurs in electric and electronic circuits. Vocational schools frequently use panels where components are installed, reproducing the typical electric wiring, for example, of an automobile. After students understand the circuitry, the teacher may introduce faults in the circuit, either by disconnecting wires or by inserting malfunctioning components. Students have to troubleshoot the defective circuit and find the faults. Obviously, this is much more convenient and faster than working in real automobiles, where access to components and wiring is far more time consuming. In more modern versions, the defects can be introduced electronically, by means of central controls in the hands of the instructors. There are also simulations of defects in real life automobiles or tractors that have been wired to a computer that simulates the faults.
Simulations for Manual Dexterity
A less usual form of simulations are those that teach manual dexterity without incurring the costs of consumables. For instance, arc welding requires a steady hand to keep the electrode at a constant distance from the parts being welded. At the same time that the hand has to move at constant speed, it has to adjust for the distance, as the electrode shortens. This operation requires hundreds of hours of practice, burning expensive electrodes. There are contraptions that simulate a welding machine and permit significant savings in consumables.
The Electronic Bench
Perhaps the most impressive developments are coming from the use of computers to simulate electrical and electronic circuitry. One can use a mouse to pick up electronic components in a virtual storeroom and connect them in any way desired. A virtual battery or power supply is then connected and the circuit energized. It will display the properties of a real system, from turning on a light bulb to far more complex roles. Then, using a virtual multi-meter or oscilloscope, the student can make any measurement in this circuit, as if it were a real circuit. The Electronic Bench is the best known software of this type. With it, or with other similar programs, one can quickly assemble an infinite variety of virtual circuits and watch them work. This not only avoids damages to real world components, but the speed of assembly is much greater, even compared to panels where no soldering is required.
Software to Simulate Hardware
At the limit, in digital electronic simulations, the student can build a computer that works just like in real life. The parts are picked up with the mouse and connected, creating digital circuits, starting from flip-flop gates, and/or switches and moving up to more complex microprocessors. In so many words, on the screen of a computer one can assemble and operate a computer. The software simulates the hardware. Ultimately, this is no different from a major thrust in real computer design, i.e. the use of software to simulate or, as said in the industry, to emulate hardware.
Resource 2.4.2 - The Francis Tuttle Vocational School 
The Francis Tuttle School was established in 1979 and given the name of the founder of the VoTech system of Oklahoma (USA). Currently, more than 30,000 students are taking at least one short-term course, and they have a wide variety of courses to choose from, since the school offers more than 30 daytime education programs and over 300 short-term courses. 
Multidimensional Nature of Skills
The speed of change of technology has increased so much in the last few years that experience is becoming an almost irrelevant asset when it comes to hiring employees. Firms can no longer require many years of experience because in most cases the equipment and the processes did not exist to allow anybody to acquire it. What matters then is the ability of a worker to think through the overall manufacturing system involved in the fabrication process. Workers who can only work with their hands are becoming a relic of the past in an increasing number of occupations. Francis Tuttle prepares its student for critical thinking while teaching them lifelong skills. As a matter of fact, one of the hallmarks of its main program in technology is the multidimensional nature of the skills taught. The orientation of the courses is justified by two main findings. First, not only do some firms offer higher wages to workers with multiple skills, but also in periods of crisis firms do not lay off these types of workers. Second, there is an immense market for the maintenance of complex equipment.
The school programs are developed in very close collaboration with industry in order to offer students courses that will enable them to participate in high demand jobs. There are more than 300 business representatives looking at the school's curricula and course content as participants in the various program advisory committees.
Technology for Training
Each instructional program at Francis Tuttle is fully equipped with industry standard equipment valued at over $10.9 million. The school's services and programs include a teaching factory, advanced technology programs and VAN SAT, which is an engineering and electronic commerce center provider. In addition, the main campus has an 11-meter satellite teleport for distance learning, which is the largest in the state. This allows students to surf on the Internet during real-time 12 LIVE interactive classes as part of their daily activities or take specialized classes taught at other locations. 12 LIVE is the first cooperative network that is able to connect a mixture of city and rural schools to a vocational center, a community college and a university. Furthermore, each classroom has remote-controlled cameras, television monitors, microphones and speakers. The teachers' workstation includes an image document camera, a VHS player, a computer loaded with software and tied to a laser printer, Internet access, and a fax machine.
The overall direction of all the training is the operation and maintenance of the new generation of machines and technology equipment. The school builds on the belief that the ability of enterprises to generate new technologies has far outstripped the ability of servicepersons to maintain them. As a result, these maintenance requirements will create more jobs in the next several years than the country is able to train individuals to fill. There is clearly a scarcity of maintenance technicians who can understand the mechanics, electronics, and pneumatics of such machines. One interesting example mentioned at Francis Tuttle is the new generation of pagers transmitting through satellites. The technology and satellites are available, but there are very few technicians who have the breadth of skills and the specific knowledge required to repair them.
All of the courses offered are competency-based. This factor alone indicates the commitment of this institution to offer serious training that is clearly geared to the needs of industry, since competency-based training clearly shows the links between training and expected performance. This approach leads to teaching methods that avoid conventional lectures as is the case at Francis Tuttle, where all live lectures have been eliminated. Videotaped lectures, written materials and computers are used instead. Yet, teachers are not replaced so the valuable interaction between teachers and students is fully preserved. The experience of this school suggests that not all students operate well with this system and there are attempts to help those who have initial difficulties with computers and VCRs. However, only a few consider this method to be inadequate and curiously they are not necessarily the weakest students academically. The school uses one-to-one tutoring in the difficult cases and this is the price to pay for an otherwise interesting innovation.
By eliminating lectures and using competency-based training materials, this system allows each student to move at his own pace. Students can join the course at any moment and leave when they finish their modules. They use Learning Activity Packets (LAPs) to advance and they are required to take performance tests in order to demonstrate mastery of one LAP before moving on to the next. Others do not slow fast moving students down and slow students can fully master the contents by taking as long as they need. LAPs are used because they are an excellent tool for delivering competency-based instruction. Some estimates based on similar programs elsewhere indicate that efficiency increases can be quite substantial, depending on how they are defined. On the downside, the fixed investment to operate with this method are consistently higher, the logistical problems much more pressing and the administrative and technical overheads are somewhat higher. But all these are minor problems. Overall, the method seems to be a step ahead that, unfortunately, is not taken up by many schools.
A Modular Program
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the series of courses offered by Tuttle is the modular nature of the curriculum and the vast common core of subjects. There are no more than five basic processes: Mechanics, Electricity, Thermal, Fluid and Optics. In all of them, there are 13 major concepts (such as force, energy and so on) and all the manufacturing processes are based on a combination of these. To become a technician, one needs an integrated view of all of them.
Students devote about 30% of their time to classroom theory work and the remaining time is spent on applications and on hands-on activities. In addition, given the weakness of high schools in math and science and the importance of this type of knowledge in the various high demand occupations, remedial courses are offered to those who need them. All students spend about 60% of their time taking common core modules and the remaining time in specialization. Since these basic processes change very little over time, 60% of most courses is common for all specializations and needs no frequent updating. In electronics programs, for instance, 80% of the materials are the same in all the courses offered. Therefore, the fixed investment of developing a systems approach based on five processes can be justified.
Can It Be Replicated?
The Francis Tuttle School remains committed to continuous quality improvement and the word on its intriguing achievements has spread worldwide. Tour groups from around 50 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Pakistan, Russia and Saudi Arabia have visited the school.
Resource 2.4.3 - Interactive Media Training 
Interactive software is out there, and it’s not just for children. One of the most useful applications for multimedia (videos and CD-ROMs) is skill enhancement and training. Below is a sample of such products:
Automation Studio (www.ttaweb.com) is a technical and interactive CD package that trains individuals in circuit design and automation technology. The software package is designed so users are able to outline, simulate, and animate their own circuits while using various methods of electrical controls, including hydraulics and pneumatics. Appropriate for engineers, teachers, and students alike, Automation Studio is available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese.
Aircraft Systems Review (www.nolly.com/asrv.html) can be used to train pilots on unfamiliar aircraft and enables those in the aviation field to refresh their knowledge. The videos incorporate one-on-one instruction with visual explanations and procedures, viewed from a pilot’s perspective. These videos are also “generic” in the sense that they can be used universally despite an individual trainee’s airline affiliation.
TPC Training Systems (www.tpctraining.com) offer an extensive video and interactive CD library. They specialize in machine and mechanical training and have provided training to more than 3 million employees. The training videos cover such topics such reading blueprints, schematics, and symbols; electronics and digital electronics education; and engine mechanics, hydraulics, and even heavy machinery use. The training CDs cover process instrumentation, mechanics maintenance, and air conditioning/refrigeration systems.
TUTOR Series (www.labmed.washington.edu/tutor/products) is a set of interactive CDs produced by the University of Washington. They cover several different aspects of evaluating medical data and train individuals in interpreting multiple results. ElectrophoresisTUTOR, for example, is an interactive computer program that teaches electrophoresis interpretations of proteins in various body fluids. With its illustrations, charts, and tables, the CD is useful for instructing beginning students or evaluating competency levels. PhlebotomyTUTOR simply trains individuals in the appropriate methods and techniques of taking blood from a patient.
PedsLink (www.pedslink.com), a resource for pediatric health care, produces a series of training videos geared to home health clinicians and nurses who are in charge of providing care for infants and children with various illnesses. Videos, such as Home Phototherapy for Infants, take the care provider step-by-step through treatment methods and assessments and use specific procedural demonstrations.
General Skill Training
Glencoe Online (www.glencoe.com) is a source of several tools, one of which is The Job Interview CDROM, an interactive guide that trains job seekers in all aspects of the interviewing process. The CD also provides information on commonly asked interview questions and gives advice on how one should respond.
It uses video clips depicting job interview scenarios, narration, tips, and questions to reinforce concepts that are vital to a successful interview.
BrainwareMedia (www.Brainware-tm.com) offers several videos and CDs for business and managerial training but can be useful to everyone. The Art of Communication is an interactive CD-ROM that allows individuals to improve their communication skills. It features advice; interactive role-playing using common, everyday situations; and self-assessment exercises, and is ideal for training in giving presentations, public speaking, or just communicating with people in general
Resource 2.4.4 - Applications of E-Training
Axa - The French Solution 41
The growth of e-training in France has been slow, compared to the United States. While e-training accounts for 60% of the expenses of corporate training in the United States, in France it accounts for only 11%. Surveys of French companies indicate that face-to-face is still the preferred training model, and that many human resources employees are not clear about e-learning’s potential as a training tool.42 Axa is among the exceptions.
Axa is a multinational insurance group with close to 100,000 employees in 25 countries. Providing training to this large and scattered workforce was becoming increasingly complex and expensive. Axa’s Human Resources Department in France decided to use its intranet connection to develop a distance learning program that could ensure fast distribution to a large audience. A modular structure was adopted to facilitate frequent but cost effective updates of the content material. The company entered into a partnership with IBM for the technical aspects of the training and had a number of partners for production of educational material.
Before starting the project, in 1997, the Human Resources Department organized a five-day retreat to ensure the managers’ support for the program. Then, the Department met with the employees to discuss the new training and orient them on how to use the intranet for training purposes. Only after ensuring that managers and employees were ready to accept and use distance learning strategies, the Department began to introduce e-training gradually into the employees’ traditional training schedule. Training programs vary between 40 and 400 hours per employee, depending on the topic. The employee can go through the training individually or with the help of a tutor. Tutors are experts in the content area who volunteer to work with the distance education experts. They can be reached by mail, telephone, or face-to-face contact. Piloted in one of the French branches, e-training is now available to Axa’s employees worldwide.
The pilot stage provided good results and some important lessons for companies that are thinking of developing their own training:
- Developing training materials for multinational workforces is a major challenge, since learning
preferences vary across countries. For instance, English speakers referred lessons that began with
anecdotes and moved from the particular to the general, while the French preferred to look at the
general before going into the particular.
- It is important to have a place reserved for training and someone to encourage and prod trainees; few
individuals have the self-discipline to search for training independently.
- Supervisors’ support is essential for the success of any training project.
Carrefour - A Brazilian Experience
Carrefour is probably the largest wholesale chain in Brazil, with almost 50,000 employees. The chain, founded in France in 1963, has a long tradition of employee training. In the late 1980s, Carrefour founded one of the world’s first “corporate universities,” the Institute Marcel Fournier, and used videoconferencing for employee training. Currently, the chain has three “corporate universities,” one of which is in São Paulo, Brazil: the Instituto de Formação Carrefour (Carrefour Institute for Professional Development).
The reasons Carrefour moved into e-training are similar to Axa’s. As the chain spread throughout the country, the distance between stores and training centers escalated costs. E-training was the strategy of choice because it (1) provides economies with traveling costs, (2) reduces the amount of time employees are away from work, and (3) avoids the complex logistics of planning and implementing training for large numbers of individuals coming from many different places. In addition, it is easier and less expensive to update e-learning material than to produce printed material. The company also perceived a need to maintain a technological lead. According to the Institute’s Training Director, “The majority of large businesses in the world are investing in online training . . . and some are well advanced in this area. We could not be left behind.”
Carrefour universities offer a variety of training, not only to employees, but also to clients and vendors. The Brazilian Institute provides 114 courses in different areas that include informatics, marketing, management, etc. The programs have different platforms, including multimedia, video, DVD, television broadcast via satellite, and intranet. The training programs vary in length from four hours to 15 days. Some courses are mandatory while others are elective, and participation depends on the interests of the employee and his or her supervisor. Courses can also be provided on site, and the Institute has many training rooms in addition to a large auditorium with simultaneous translation capabilities. At this time, the Institute is serving only employees, but training programs for clients and vendors are programmed to begin in late 2002. Plans for expansion also include courses on the Internet and a mix of online and face-to-face strategies. In less than one year of functioning, the Institute trained about 3,000 employees.
Cisco Learning Network
Cisco Systems is one of the largest network companies in the world, with annual revenues of over US$20 billion. Headquartered in the United States, the company has 225 sales and support offices in 75 countries. For years, its training programs were managed independently at each different unit, resulting in redundant and inconsistent programming. To streamline, expedite, and improve the quality of the training programs, the company developed the Cisco Learning Network (CLN).
CLN training is developed using multimedia technologies and stored in a centralized database. The employee selects either a full curriculum or individual modules and takes an assessment test. The test results guide the adaptation of the module to respond to the employee’s specific needs. The employee is evaluated at different intervals to gauge the effectiveness of the program, and results are stored in a personal training file at the Human Resources database.
The programs can be provided in two ways: (1) in scheduled delivery, at a fixed time and place, or (2) ondemand, for individuals who have particular needs. Scheduled delivery uses three platforms: multicasts (videos that are sent over the network to desktops), virtual classrooms, and remote laboratories. Ondemand training uses Web-based on-demand content, CD-ROMs, and remote labs. Laboratories, used to supplement complex topics, include simulations that provide virtual access to equipment and techniques too costly to be available for every learner. It was observed that CLN courses reduced the time sales
employees spent away from their customers by up to 40%.
Cisco’s training expertise has outgrown the corporation and the company is now a major developer of training solutions. The Cisco Networking Academy Program prepares high school and college students in how to design, build and maintain computer networks. There are more than 6,000 academies spread throughout the 50 American states. The Academies reflect partnerships between the company and private or governmental organizations, including public schools. Cisco also provides online seminars and Career Certifications programs. The certification program has grown from 6,000 students per year to 100,000 and is offered online or through more than 130 sites and 750 certified instructors worldwide. Some of the courses are offered by Cisco Learning Partners, which are organizations authorized to deliver Ciscodeveloped learning content. . According to Cisco management, in the current economy, the key to gaining a competitive advantage is the ability to rapidly disseminate information, education, and training.
Lucent Technologies 
Lucent Technologies is a spin-off of Bell Telephone Laboratories, which has been at the center of major innovations in communications technology for more than a century. Launched in 1996, Lucent has focused on research, production, and services in optical, data, and wireless networking; optic-electronics; communications semiconductors; communications software; and Web-based enterprise solutions and professional network design and consulting services.
The Global Learning Solutions (GLS) Learning Architecture, developed by Lucent Technologies’ New Enterprise Networks Group, combines the Internet, voice network, and small-dish digital video technology to expand the outreach power of traditional training without losing the human interaction aspect. It uses independent, self-directed learning events (asynchronous strategy) with a virtual classroom in which the instructor and most of the learners are at locations distant from each other (synchronous strategy). A typical course operates much like a college class. Learners meet for one to two hours for the live, facilitated part of the course and work on their own until current assignments, exercises, and readings are complete.
Often subsequent live sessions are scheduled with the instructor to follow up on assignments and discuss new material. The extent to which this happens depends on the instructional design. During these interactive sessions, the students can present results to the class, have questions answered, pose new questions, participate in group discussions, and receive their next assignment. Between sessions, the learner still has access to the instructor and the other learners through chat rooms, threaded news groups, email, and instructor Web “office hours.”
Using the GLS Learning Architecture, Lucent has developed a training approach to reach a large workforce dispersed across the world. Its training branch, LucentVision Interactive (LVI), was launched in 1999 initially to train more than 9,000 direct and indirect sales personnel. LVI was able to deliver over 150 hours of training per month with similar or better results than those obtained by traditional, face-to-face strategies, while reducing the number of contact hours by 35%. LVI is now expanding into a “Sales and Marketing University” with an audience of more than 22,000 direct and indirect sales, technical sales support, marketing, and product marketing personnel. A total of US$3.4 million in capital investment and US$2 million in expense budget have been allocated to expand uplink portals in three U.S. cities and Singapore, with another 120 downlinks worldwide.
Corporate Universities 
Many companies have developed their own universities to provide training in the core competencies necessary to them to conduct business and compete in the marketplace.
In the beginning of the 20th century, General Motors had already developed its own educational division: the General Motors Engineering and Management Institute (GMI). Other companies soon followed. In 1961, the American fast-food chain, McDonald's, opened "Hamburger University." As the more traditional education and training division, the University aimed at instilling corporate values and teaching basic business skills. However, it instituted a major innovation-a concern with involving all those connected with the fast-food chain, either directly (McDonald's employees) or indirectly (franchise owners and their employees). Hamburger University, now with branches in
England, Germany, Japan, and Australia, started a trend that continues to grow.
While the traditional means for delivering a corporate education has been the classroom, many companies are embracing the Internet as a medium of instruction because it offers many advantages over face-to-face teaching. A Web-based system of instruction allows centralized coordination but dispersed learning, can be adapted to each individual's learning needs, can provide numerous resources without taking space on a computer's hard drive, and is more convenient to incorporate into the workday than traditional classroom instruction.  It also usually cuts costs, often dramatically, when personnel would otherwise have to travel to another city for the instruction.
It is not only big companies that can benefit from corporate universities. Verifone, with about 2,500 employees in regional offices in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia, operates its own university. Verifone University created its curriculum using in-house experts when possible and contractors when necessary. They made all course information available on each employee's computer or at office-based learning centers, and are moving toward making all education available on company Websites. Verifone encourages employees to take charge of their own education, going so far as to provide subsidies for employees' home computer purchases.
Two professional associations may be of assistance to those establishing corporate universities: the American Society for Training and Development is a professional association of corporate education officers and consultants, and the European Consortium for the Learning Organisation is a network of business and academic professionals that collaborates on learning. The Corporate University Review is a journal available online at http://www.trainingworks.org/pdf/corpuniversities.pdf. Several Websites now index e-learning firms, such as L-Guide; the Clearinghouse for Training, Education, and Development; and EdSurf. For-profit firms also have sprung up to consult and provide services in this new field. These include the Corporate University Xchange, The Corporate University, The Virtual Corporate University Extension, Woohoo Inc., and McGraw-Hill.
| Excerpted from: Claudio Castro. July/August 2000. "Skills Training: Where Simulations Are At Home." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org
Excerpted from: Claudio de Moura Castro. July/August 2000. "What, No Lectures? The Francis Tuttle Vocational School." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org
Francis Tuttle web page (http://www.francistuttle.com/ )
|40 Excerpts from Lewis, J. (July/August 2000). "Enhancing Vocational Skills: Interactive Media Training." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org
The descriptions of e-training applications in AXA, Carrefour, and Cisco are taken from: S. Jurich. May/June 2001. "Corporate Universities: Three Examples from across the World." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org
|42 S. Ghys. E-learning, les enterprises francaises restent a convaincre. In Jurich, op cit.
|43 This description is taken from: R.L. Vigil. July/August 2000. "Getting the Most out of Online Training: Integrating the Missing Ingredients." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org
|44 This section includes excerpts from J.Y. Jones. May/June 2001. "Business, Corporate Universities and E-Learning." TechKnowLogia. Available at: www.TechKnowLogia.org
|45 N. Chase. 1998. "Lessons from the Corporate University." Quality Magazine. Available at: http://www.qualitymag.com