More Online Training from GSA

Government Executive reports that GSA is increasing its use of online training for employees government-wide, to cover “conference etiquette,” among other things:

The agency has teamed up with the online learning platform Blackboard to provide Web-based training to federal employees across government. A manual and in-person process for registering for and attending classes is moving online, allowing feds to register, pay for and attend classes via Internet. The Blackboard platform also provides tools such as discussion boards to collaborate, Concklin said.

GSA plans to launch its first online course, “Travel Basics,” through Blackboard in January, Concklin said. Another course – “How to Attend a Conference” – will go live in February or March, she added.

“Thanks to the big mistake we had in the last year, GSA is using that as an opportunity to say, ‘here’s what we did wrong,’ and helping other federal agencies to learn from our mistakes,” Concklin said. “So ‘How to Attend a Conference’ is one course that’s going to be piggybacked off that theory.”

The new online platform also is enabling GSA to offer training in a more creative, game-like setting. “There is a difference in the way generations like to be trained, but one thing we know for sure is that the old click-style of PowerPoint training isn’t always the most effective, especially when it comes to training employees on things like travel,” Concklin said. “Doing it in a more integrated, creative way is more engaging.”

Most online training I’ve seen has been marginal at best. It allows you to “check the box” and say “We had training on Topic X,” but it is rarely as effective as in person alternatives. I look forward to seeing if GSA’s efforts are more effective.

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