HPT trends, tactics, and tools

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  • 2Performance Improvement, vol. 47, no. 8, September 20082008 International Society for Performance ImprovementPublished online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com) DOI: 10.1002/pfi.20017



    KYONG-JEE KIM, Curtis J. Bonk, and Eunjung Oh begin this issue with an illuminatingreport of findings about the present and future state of blended learning solutions. Whileresearch shows that most U.S. organizations have integrated some form of blendedlearning into their workplace training strategies, little is known about their actual effec-tiveness. In a survey of training and HRD professionals who have deployed blendedlearning solutions to enhance organizational performance, significant implementationchallenges and barriers were identified. Survey results include predictions and implica-tions for HPT practitioners around optimal instructional strategies, emerging technolo-gies, and effective evaluation techniques.

    Kevin Taylor and Seung Youn Chyung follow this exploration of the virtual strengthsand limitations of blended learning options by taking readers into the world of virtualreality (VR). VR has also become a popular consumer product, as demonstrated by theproliferation of massive multiplayer online role-playing games. Second Life (SL), in par-ticular, is a relatively new technology that offers a three-dimensional virtual world, thecontent of which is open-ended and created by its users and based on their imagination.Although SL was not designed or intended for use in corporate environments, it hasrecently gained attention because the open-ended aspect of the system allows a highdegree of customizability on the part of SL users, which in theory would make it a poten-tially powerful learning and development tool. However, since SL is a relatively new tech-nology, the authors investigate its strengths and weaknesses in specific key areas andprovide important implications for practitioners who may wish to adopt SL as a tool toenhance training, collaboration, or marketing strategies.

    Next, Joanna Dunlap describes how a problem-centered instructional approach canimprove organizational performance and support a learning organization culture.Elements of this approach include the use of realistic work problems that increase thelikelihood of learning transfer and on-the-job performance. This technique can helpbridge the gap between analysis and design by helping instructional designers developcontextual learning activities, define relevant knowledge and skills needed by learners, anddetermine the resources needed to support learning.

    Aaron U. Bolin then offers a case study describing how the human performanceimprovement model was applied to close performance gaps and influence the timelinessof personnel transactions in the U.S. Navy. Maintaining accurate personnel accountingrecords is a critical requirement for effective organizational performance in any context.Lessons learned from this study have implications for global organizations that mustaccount for the whereabouts and work assignments of its workforce.

    Josephine Larbi-Apau and James Moseley close this issue by presenting a frameworkfor evaluating implementation success with a training program implemented as a broad-based performance improvement initiative. Their E3 process for success provides evalu-ation guidelines and recommended actions for practitioners to take during specific,defined phases of implementation. The authors persuasively show that applying theseactions can help practitioners ensure success when trying to standardize improvementprocesses and institutionalize a performance improvement or change effort.

    In this time of seasonal change, we hope the trends, tactics, and tools presented in thisissue will help you reinforce the importance of standardizing HPT principles and prac-tices in your organization and will help you get past common tendencies to view perfor-mance improvement efforts as merely a passing fad.



    Matt Peters, PresidentDarlene Van Tiem, President-electJeanne Farrington, Past PresidentTimm Esque, DirectorMary Norris Thomas, DirectorPaul Cook, DirectorDavid Hartt, DirectorSteven Kelly, DirectorApril Syring Davis, Interim ExecutiveDirector

    PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTEDITORIAL GROUPApril Syring Davis, PublisherHolly Burkett, EditorJohn Y. Chen, Publications Manager

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