McGraw-Hill Ryerson, the Canadian branch of the U.S. publishing company McGraw-Hill, has three divisions: College (higher education): School, (K-12); and the Trade divisions. The company supplements its classroom training with "courselets" -- fast, easy-to-navigate online training programs that support employees after the initial classroom training.
McGraw-Hill Ryerson initially used off-the-shelf on-line training programs. According to Miriam Abraham, manager of learning and development, the programs were too long and generic in format and content to be of practical use. Essentially, it was a case of "building it, and no one came."
"We wanted more tailored, streamlined courses for just-in-time training," says Abraham. "Instead of lengthy courses, we wanted shorter courselets that would enable employees to quickly run through the entire course in 45 minutes or less. Or, if someone simply needs a quick refresher in a particular area, it can be easily accessed."
However, the company needed an authoring tool to create the courselets. When Abraham took a course in on-line learning, a fellow student recommended the ReadyGo Web Course Builder (WCB).
"The ReadyGo WCB is easy to learn and to use," says Abraham. "I'm not technically inclined, nor do I have time to spend months learning how to use an authoring tool. ReadyGo is a great solution."
The ReadyGo WCB Solution
To date, Abraham has created two courses: Recruitment and Selection (hiring training) and Performance Management (how to conduct evaluations, build goals, etc.) Abraham took the 250-page document used for classroom training in performance management and distilled it down to "must do's" to create the online version. In most instances, she could simply cut and paste.
"It took me about a month working off and on to finish the Performance Training courselet," says Abraham. "I didn't need to know HTML, or any sort of computer-ese. The ReadyGo template is easy to follow and use."
The courses will be posted shortly to the McGraw-Hill Ryerson web site. Abraham has formulated a campaign to launch the company's shift to e-Learning. This campaign will include mechanisms such as certification programs, incentives for usage and a 'bulletin board/chat room' format where staff can post questions and answers related to the topics. Abraham anticipates a much higher use of these courses, because they are both tailored and quick.
Other course preparations are currently in progress.