Final Project

Andy Vogel
Dr. Voithofer
April 2015
The Evolution of Workplace Tools

     The workplace has always had a various methods for training. Many employers develop different kinds of teaching methods to educate their workers to be more productive and save the workplace money. Many workplace tools have evolved over the time. In the early days we used physical tools, today we get much of work completed digitally. During these transitions of adopting and implementing tools, mankind has always had education methods to train workers with the evolving workplace. 
Some of these methods are known as On the job training (OJT) “a face-to-face, one-on-one kind of training at the job site, where someone who knows how to do a task shows another how to do it.” (Sleight)  Other employers use classroom training, where a group of workers can learn their job tasks. A variation of the two is used in JIT (Job Instruction Training). Computer based training is what is common today, a form of individualized instruction that is deliver over the computer.

     From the beginning of the middle ages to post World War II, training methods have adapted to the needs of our changing workplace. In the middle ages, many job training consisted of apprenticeships. With tools becoming more complex, workers had to become more knowledgeable. Children would be apprenticed to craftsmen who had the skills to work with these complex tools.  “Apprentices usually lived with the master and received practically no pay, except maintenance and training” (Steinmetz, 1976, p. 1-4).
    Now, in this modern era, the way we train and educate our employees has evolved with the growth of technology. With the evolution of technology, the method of individualized instruction has been pushed onto workers. Modern era training can be defined as “individualized instruction…the basis for computer-based training, which is used extensively in many companies today. Computer-based training (CBT) provides individualized instruction via the medium of computers. It was a natural progression from printed individualized instruction and teaching machines to the computer  with its speed, branching capability and visual display” (Heaford, 1983).  In this modern era, big companies are training their workers to use as a multimedia devices rather then using paper training manuals.

     Understanding these foundations in workplace learning helps us understand how to use complex tools with new workers. With the rapidly growing field of educational technology, more employers can train their workers either at a distance or on site with technology tools. This also allows managers to free up time and refer their novice employees to the training devices.

     One big company that is using educational technology to train their staff is Coca- Cola. Coca-Cola has partnered up with AmericChip to use create their own multimedia tablet. By created their own tablet, the iLearn, Coca-Cola has created their own computer based training program. This tablet can that reaches a large spectrum of learners by having videos and PDFs. This allows learners to learn visually and auditory. Coca-Cola is teaching these skills in such an innovative way, that it might not just change the way the foodservice industry operates, but also how we may conduct are lessons in the classroom. 
    Educational Technologist Charles Reigeluth threes align with what Coke is doing with their iLearn program. Reigeluth outlines his criteria for having performance support system. He outlines that these systems should have “lots of practice of routine tasks, provide practice on small subset of items at a time, and use memory devices to make the learning more meaningful” (Reigeluth, 212-213). Coke meets these critierais and several ways, by having their videos repetitive, chunked and organized, and supported on a memory device. With this iLearn program, Coke has created their own personal support system for their clients. This system allows Cokes clients to train their employees universally. If every employee uses this tablet, they will be getting the same training course.

     Having this program, replaces the need for a manager to train their employees. This hands on training can be accessed anytime by an employee. In addition to the physical edition of the tablet, there is also an online version. By having this personal support system, Coke has found a way to make sure all of their clients are on the same page of operating this machine. The workplace is going to continue to evolve and change their training methods because of the growth of educational technology tools. The methods and tools have changed overtime in the workplace, however, there will always be an expert in the field leading the new workers. 
For the future of technology, Reigeluth argues that there will always need to be an expert for “complex tasks” (210). While this means that tablets and other deceives will not be replacing the role of the manager, it does not necessarily mean that there will be an abundance of managers and experts.

Reigeluth, Charles M. “Chapter 12.” Instructional-design Theories and Models. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999. 207-17. Print.

Sleight, Deborah A. “A Developmental History of Training in the United States and Europe.” Thesis. Michigan State University, 1993. A Developmental History of Training in the United States and Europe (1993): n. pag. A Developmental History of Training in the United States and Europe. Michigan State University, Dec. 1993. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.

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