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5 Characteristics of successful virtual trainingWhen you look at a half-filled glass of water, what do you see? Is it half-empty or half-full? While either one can be a correct answer, how you respond depends on your experience and your current perspective.

In a similar vein, when you consider virtual training, do you see it as a chore to complete ("Ugh, another boring online meeting to attend...") or as a refreshing way to connect with others and learn? Again, either answer can be correct. Your perspective is probably based on your experience and your expectations.

Sadly, many people—myself included—have experienced bad virtual training. Perhaps you've heard a monotone presenter who doesn't engage the audience, or you've attended a session beset with technology problems. But these experiences don't mean that all virtual training is bad. Virtual training can be an engaging way to learn--when it is intentionally planned and executed.

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How this unique system compares with competing models and theories.

The ROI Methodology had its beginnings in the early 70s when the first ROI study was conducted to evaluate a cooperative education program at Lockheed Martin. The study was developed at the request of executives and the first study translated into funding, improvement, and support for the program. From this first study, the model was refined over a period of years, presented at conferences throughout the 1970s and 80s. The first book describing the methodology was published in 1983 (Handbook of Training Evaluation and Measurement Methods, published by Gulf Publishing). This book was the first book on training evaluation in the USA. Since then, over 50 other books have been published to evaluate learning and development, including Don Kirkpatrick's book, which was published in 1994. The uniqueness of the development of this process is that it was published early and offered to others to continue to use and refine. At the same time the developer, Dr. Jack Phillips, continued to make improvements and adjustments along the way.

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What's the ROI on ROI?

When an organization implements of the ROI Methodology, the concern about the value or payoff of this approach becomes an issue. This process, when used properly, a function from activity-based to results-based. The activity-based approach focuses on developing programs, counting people involved, and reporting data about activities. The results-based approach requires that programs begin with the end in mind with very specific business measures. It also involves a continuous focus on results throughout the process and creating expectations from all involved to deliver the results. These results include data that are CEO and CFO-friendly.

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