Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Firms Are Moving to Multimedia for Employee Training

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Firms Are Moving to Multimedia for Employee Training

Article excerpt

Firms Are Moving to Multimedia for Employee Training

Exploiting the best that educational technology has to offer, two large companies that serve transportation needs are utilizing multimedia-based systems to further the on-the-job education of their employees. United Airlines is training its flight attendants; Nissan Motor Corp. USA is instructing its mechanics.

In The Air

Chicago, Ill.-based United airlines is the first airline to use an interactive multimedia system for attendant training. The first multimedia learning module covers all the features and operating systems of United's new fleet of Boeing 747-400 aircraft. United put the new planes into service in September 1989. Four-and-one-half hours of instruction compose thir first program, which includes discussion and review of topics such as aircraft familiarization and equipment operation.

Michele Manoski, a designer of flight-attendant training for United Airlines, explains that attendants can train at their own pace and at a variety of locations, a plus considering their constantly varying flight schedules. IBM Info Window learning systems have been placed in 14 different training sites, including New York, Denver, San Francisco and Tokyo, Japan.

Attendants are given their own computer disk, which they keep with them while traveling. At each training location, they can insert the disk and pick up where they left off during the last training session--a capability that has resulted in enthusiastic support from the flight attendants themselves.

Continuity of training is enabled by the progress-tracking operation that the system stores on each computer disk. "Using this system...also provides us with an effective means for measuring student comprehension," says Manoski, "something we were not able to do effectively with traditional classroom instruction."

Another advantage of the Info-Window system is that its touch-screen interface helps attendants become more adept at using the touch panels being incorporated in the cabins of newer aircraft, says a spokesperson for United.

The in-flight training modules were developed for United Airlines by The Roach Organization, (TRO), of Bloomington, Minn. …

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