ITIL training: The benefits of e-learning

ITIL training: The benefits of e-learning

ITIL training: The benefits of e-learning

Date: Aug 10, 2009

There are various IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) training options available to enterprise IT organizations, including e-learning, on-premise and location-based. Each offers its own pros and cons. Some of the benefits of e-learning include flexible delivery options and easy navigation.

In this video, ITIL consultant David Pultorak presents a CIO's top 10 list of considerations for e-learning as an option for ITIL training. Stay tuned at the end of the video for information on receiving a 15% discount on ITIL e-learning tools from Pultorak & Associates.

VIDEO PRESENTER: David Pultorak is founder and chairman of Pultorak & Associates. He is a 20-year veteran IT professional who has helped many leading companies implement and improve service and systems management processes and tools. Pultorak has reflected that experience in his content contributions to ITIL and the Microsoft Operations Framework, as well as in numerous books, articles and speeches. Prior to his consulting career, he managed support and data center operations at pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. Pultorak has a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.


Read the full text transcript from this video below. Please note the full transcript is for reference only and may include limited inaccuracies. To suggest a transcript correction, contact editor@searchsecurity.com.   

ITIL training: The benefits of e-learning

David Pultorak: Welcome to what to look for in ITIL eLearning, a CIO's top 10 list, presented by SearchCIO.com and Pultorak & Associates. I'm Dave Pultorak, president and founder of Pultorak & Associates. I'm going to walk you through that top 10 list. As a CIO, you know you can get value out of applying ITIL concepts, but that value is going to be a function of how prepared your staff is to apply those concepts. In these times, with travel and expense budgets down, you want to get the most for your training dollar. You want to do that anytime, but especially now, and that presents an opportunity, and that opportunity is ITIL eLearning. Not all ITIL eLearning courses are created equal. Some of them actually help you as much or more than instructor-led training, traditional more-expensive, instructor-led training. I want to give you the criteria to look for in an ITIL eLearning set of courses.

So let's get started right off the bat. So we're getting into the first day here, it stands to reason, but I think it needs to be said. ITIL eLearning should prepare you better to pass the exam and apply the concepts and transfer that knowledge back to the workplace than just reading the books, just looking at sample exams or some other method, so better preparation to pass the exams. I'm going to give you an example. If you want to learn better, you need to retain things, so things like the mnemonics, fill in the blanks, reference materials for later use down the line. Are those things included in the course you're going to get? That's important. Also, importantly, think about it, hard copy book, you can flip around in it, what about with an eLearning course? Do you get a hard copy book? Do you also get easy navigation through the materials? Is it easier to navigate the course than a hard copy book? You can get the glossary reference entrances. If the course page or slide references some reference, can you URL right through to it? Is the material cross-referenced or is there an index, a glossary? Those things are very important to aid learning in the moment, and make it effective. In addition, can you track progress? Do you know where you are, you are here in the course, at any given moment? That's really important, to be able to track where you are and track progress, for example, through quizzes and module quizzes, etc.

So in addition to better prep and easy navigation, you've got the need for performance support, learning support in the moment. That's what we call ITIL expert learning  support, so do you have access to an ITIL expert? You're looking at something like the service catalog.  What is that exactly? How would I go about doing one, maybe can I get a template? Well, gee, can you access an ITIL expert in the moment, click on a link, maybe talk to somebody live via chat or via email? That's very important. Is the courseware authoritative? That means is it written by ITIL experts? For example, Pultorak and Associates contributed to ITIL. Can you say that about the people that have written your courseware if you choose it, and is it engaging, meaning does it engage a student, is it interesting? By that, I want to be very careful because there are some very expensive feature-based and fit and finish items that don't really contribute to learning. You want to avoid those sorts of gold-plated options and focus on things that actually contribute to learning. What we've learned over the years is there's some pretty low-tech methods that really enhance learning, and there's also some methods with Javascript, things flying around the screen, that don't actually help with training. They cost money that you don't need to spend, so really be careful there as well.  Is the courseware accredited, and are the instructors accredited to buy that training? That's very important. Pultorak has that; does your provider?

How about technical compatibility?  You might meet all these other top five criteria, but it comes down to does it work with your learning management system?  Is it compatible with the browser that you've chosen for your organization?  Also, from a performance standpoint, if you're got learners spread all over the globe, some of them on low speed connections, is the courseware architected in a way that allows them to learn effectively? That's very important, especially with far-flung operations, that they work effectively.  Simple technical decisions like how to handle media and sizing and placement, and how it launches, can make the decision between a great course and a great experience, and a course that's not able to be used by people with low speed connections.

In addition to that, does it have for example, 508 compatibilities? That's accessibility. Can people with low vision or low hearing or no hearing use the courseware? That's the features some people look for, accessibility options. One other kind of accessibility is, does it work with my language if I'm a native speaker? So multi-lingual capability. I do want to point out here for both accessibility and multilingual capability, and other capabilities that are built in the courseware features, they cost money to implement, and you want to really look at things and say, 'What do I really need for my team?' because if you have a lot of nice-to-have features that cost money versus must-have features that are missing, it's probably not the solution for you.

Does the vendor have a full line of offerings? So for example, if you buy in at the awareness level, I'm going to get awareness for my group and maybe smaller groups and foundation, and maybe in the smaller group, some intermediate level courses. Can they take me all the way?  Do they have the goods to that? So a full line of offerings, and then also importantly, a full line of what learning professionals call modalities? In other words, flexible delivery options. Do they have e-learning, but also hard copy traditional classroom courses? Do they have virtual instructor-led training where it's synchronous online training where you have a live instructor who takes the students through the materials, classes are recorded, very flexible option. Do they have those modalities, are they good at them, have they practiced at them? So those sorts of things, I think, are important.

Let's check out the vendor's references.  Has the vendor been around for awhile?  Are they viable, do they look like they'll be around for awhile? Do they have good customer satisfaction numbers for metrics that matter, relative to the courses, and do they have decent pass rates? You know you're putting people through; one thing that you may want to do is make sure that they get certified as one measure of the effectiveness of the course.  Let's not forget also, can they transfer what they learned to the workplace? So those two are very important.

Then there's the idea of attractive pricing options, so when you look at the total cost, including the instructor, the certification, travel and living expenses, your people's time out in a hard-copy classroom if that's what you're going to do. Look at all those things. Are those attractive? Also, look very carefully at the options that you want, the required options included. We've seen some people make some mistakes with regard to procurement of training services when they thought, for example, that certification was included, that optional pocket guides were included, or other kinds of materials. You want to make sure those required elements are there if you need them.

Lastly, look for unattractive terms. Make sure that the terms, you understand them. For example, with e-learning, some people have a 90-day e-learning turnaround, so you buy some courses, you have 90 days to get everyone through. That may not be reasonable for you, so there may be other terms and conditions that just don't work for you. Be careful to look at those as well.

So that's it, a top 10 list of what to look for in ITIL eLearning.  I'm very excited to say that  Pultorak and Associates has some ITIL eLearning that stacks up well against this list. This is a wish list. If you looked at every option, and a vendor had all of these included, the courses would be way out of the price range. So we've made some decisions to make sure that we provide very cost-effective and effective, authoritative courseware for your consumption that meets most of these criteria. And we're making that available to you.

So, the first thing you can do as a call to action as a result of this webinar, is to go ahead and have a look at our e-learning.  It's at elearn.pultorak.com, the URL you see here. The second thing you can do is you can sign up and get started with your training. You can go right to Pultorak's store, order it, and I'm pleased to announce that Pultorak has come up with an agreement with SearchCIO.com, that their members receive a 15% discount on all e-learning, so go ahead and enter this code here. If you go to pultorakstore.com, click on "e-learning," click the course you want, you can enter this code, receive your 15 % discount, and get started learning today.

Lastly, if you have groups to get through and you need a variety of customized options like maybe some virtual instructor-led training, maybe some traditional classroom courses, in addition to e-learning and what we call a blended approach, or maybe customized content, give us a call: 206-729-1107, or email us at info@pultorak.com.

So thanks for listening. I look forward to you succeeding with your ITIL endeavors, including your training preparedness for your staff by using ITIL eLearning. Thanks.

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