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Link E-training 

Link  Tasmanian Tiger

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E-training

A E-learning is the unifying term to describe the fields of online learning, web-based training, and technology-delivered instruction, which can be a great benefit to corporate e-learning. IBM, for instance, claims that the institution of its e-training program, Basic Blue, whose purpose is to train new managers, saved the company in the range of $200 million in 1999. Cutting the travel expenses required to bring employees and instructors to a central classroom accounts for the lion’s share of the savings. With an online course, employees can learn from any Internet-connected PC, anywhere in the world. Ernst and Young reduced training costs by 35 percent while improving consistency and scalability.

B In addition to generally positive economic benefits, other advantages such as convenience, standardized delivery, self-paced learning, and variety of available content, have made e-learning a high priority for many corporations. E-learning is widely believed to offer flexible “any time, any place” learning. The claim for “any place” is valid in principle and is a great development. Many people can engage with rich learning materials that simply were not possible in a paper or broadcast distance learning era. For teaching specific information and skills, e-training holds great promise. It can be especially effective at helping employees prepare for IT certification programs. E-learning also seems to effectively address topics such as sexual harassment education,5 safety training      and management training — all areas where a clear set of objectives can be identified. Ultimately, training experts recommend a “blended” approach that combines both online and in-person training as the instruction requires. E-learning is not an end-all solution. But if it helps decrease costs and windowless classrooms filled with snoring students, it definitely has its advantages.

C Much of the discussion about implementing e-learning has focused on the technology, but as Driscoll and others have reminded us, e-learning is not just about the technology, but also many human factors. As any capable manager knows, teaching employees new skills is critical to a smoothly run business. Having said that, however, the traditional route of classroom instruction runs the risk of being expensive, slow and, often times, ineffective. Perhaps the classroom’s greatest disadvantage is the fact that it takes employees out of their jobs. Every minute an employee is sitting in a classroom training session is a minute they’re not out on the floor working. It now looks as if there is a way to circumvent these traditional training drawbacks. E-training promises more effective teaching techniques by integrating audio, video, animation, text and interactive materials with the intent of teaching each student at his or her own pace. In addition to higher performance results, there are other immediate benefits to students such as increased time on task, higher levels of motivation, and reduced test anxiety for many learners. A California State University Northridge study reported that e-learners performed 20 percent better than traditional learners. Nelson reported a significant difference between the mean grades of 406 university students earned in traditional and distance education classes, where the distance learners outperformed the traditional learners.

D On the other hand, nobody said E-training technology would be cheap. E-training service providers, on the average, charge from $10,000 to $60,000 to develop one hour of online instruction. This price varies depending on the complexity of the training topic and the media used. HTML pages are a little cheaper to develop while streaming-video (presentations or flash animations cost more. Course content is just the starting place for cost. A complete e-learning solution also includes the technology platform (the computers, applications and network connections that are used to deliver the courses). This technology platform, known as a learning management system (LMS), can either be installed onsite or outsourced. Add to that cost the necessary investments in network bandwidth to deliver multimedia courses, and you’re left holding one heck of a bill. For the LMS infrastructure and a dozen or so online courses, costs can top $500,000 in the first year. These kinds of costs mean that custom e-training is, for the time being, an option only for large organizations. For those companies that have a large enough staff, the e-training concept pays for itself. Aware of this fact, large companies are investing heavily in online training. Today, over half of the 400-plus courses that Rockwell Collins offers are delivered instantly to its clients in an e-leaming format, a change that has reduced its annual (training costs by 40%. Many other success stories exist.

E E-learning isn71 expected to replace the classroom entirely. For one thing, bandwidth limitations are still an issue in presenting multimedia over the Internet. Furthermore, e-training isn,t suited to every mode of instruction or topic. For instance, it’s rather ineffective imparting cultural values or building teams. If your company has a unique corporate culture it would be difficult to convey that to first time employees through a computer monitor. Group training sessions are more ideal for these purposes. In addition, there is a perceived loss of research time because of the work involved in developing and teaching online classes. Professor Wallin estimated that it required between 500 and 1,000 person-hours, that is, Wallin-hours, to keep the course at the appropriate level of currency and usefulness. (Distance learning instructors often need technical skills, no matter how advanced the courseware system.) That amounts to between a quarter and half of a person-year. Finally, teaching materials require computer literacy and access to equipment. Any e-Learning system involves basic equipment and a minimum level of computer knowledge in order to perform the tasks required by the system. A student that does not possess these skills, or have access to these tools, cannot succeed in an e-Learning program.

F While few people debate the obvious advantages of e-learning, systematic research is needed to confirm that learners are actually acquiring and using the skills that are being taught online, and that e-learning is the best way to achieve the outcomes in a corporate environment. Nowadays, a go-between style of the Blended learning, which refers to a mixing of different learning environments, is gaining popularity. It combines traditional face-to-face classroom methods with more modem computer-mediated activities. According to its proponents, the strategy creates a more integrated approach for both instructors and learners. Formerly, technology-based materials played a supporting role to face-to-face instruction. Through a blended learning approach, technology will be more important

Questions Answers

 


Tasmanian Tiger

A
Although it was called tiger, it looked like a clog with black stripes on its hack and it was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modem times. Yet, despite its fame for being one of the most fabled animals in the world, it is one of the least understood of Tasmania’s native animals. The scientific name for the Tasmanian tiger is Thylacine and it is believed that they
have become extinct in the 20th century.

B
Fossils of thylacines dating from about almost 12 million years ago have been dug up at various places in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. They were widespread in Australia 7, 000 years ago, hut have probably been extinct on the continent for 2, 000 years. This is belived to be because of the introduction of dingoes around 8, 000 years ago. Because of disease, thylacine numbers may have been declining in Tasmania at the time of European settlement 200 years ago, but the decline was certainly accelerated by the new arrivals. The last known Titsmanijin Tiger died in I lobar! Zoo in 193fi and the animal is officially classified as extinct. Technically, this means that it has not been officially sighted in the wild or captivity for 50 years. However, there are still unsubstantiated sightings.

C
Hans Naarding, whose study of animals had taken him around the world, was conducting a survey of a species of endangered migratory bird. What he saw that night is now regarded as the most credible sighting recorded of thylacine that many believe has been extinct for more than 70 years.

D
“I had to work at night.” Naarding takes up the story. “I was in the habit of intermittently shining a spotlight around. The beam fell on an animal in front of the vehicle, less than 10m away. Instead of risking movement by grabbing for a camera, I decided to register very carefully what I was seeing. The animal was about the size of a small shepherd dog, a very healthy male in prime condition. What set it apart from a dog, though, was a slightly sloping hindquarter, with a fairly thick tail being a straight continuation of the backline of the animal. It had 12 distinct stripes on its back, continuing onto its butt. \knew perfectly well what I was seeing. As soon as I reached for the camera, it disappeared into the tea-tree undergrowth and scrub.”

E
The director of Tasmania s National Parks at the time, Peter Morrow, decided in his wisdom to keep Naarding’s sighting of the thylacine secret for two years. When the news finally broke, it was accompanied by pandemonium. “I was besieged by television crews, including four to five from Japan, and others from the United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand and South America,” said Naarding.

F
Government and private search parties combed the region, but no turther sightings were made. The tiger, as always, had escaped to its lair, a place many insist exists only in our imagination. But since then, the thylacine has staged something of a comeback, becoming part of Australian mythology.

G
There have been more than 4, 000 claimed sightings of the beast since it supposedly died out, and the average claims each year reported to authorities now number 150. Associate professor of zoology at the University of Tasmania, Randolph Rose, has said he dreams of seeing a thylacine. But Rose, who in his 35years in Tasmanian academia has fielded countless
reports of thylacine sightings, is now convinced that his dream will go unfulfilled.

H
“The consensus among conservationists is that, usually; any animal with a population base of less than 1, 000 is headed for extinction within 60 years,” says Rose. “Sixty years ago, there was only one thylacine that we know of, and that was in Hobart Zoo,” he says.

I
Dr. David Pemberton, curator of zoology at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, whose PhD thesis was on the thy thylacine, says that despite scientific thinking that 500 animals are required to sustain a population, the Florida panther is down to a dozen or so animals and, while it does have some inbreeding problems, is still ticking along. “I’ll take a punt and say
that, if we manage to find a thylacine in the scrub, it means that there are 50-plus animals out there. ”

J
After all, animals can be notoriously elusive. The strange fish known as the coelacanth’ with its “proto-legs”, was thought to have died out along with the dinosaurs 700 million years ago until a specimen was dragged to the surface in a shark net off the south-east coast of South Africa in 1938.

K
Wildlife biologist Nick Mooney has the unenviable task of investigating all “sightings” of the tiger totalling 4, 000 since the mid-1980s, and averaging about 150 a year. It was Mooney who was first consulted late last month about the authenticity of digital photographic images purportedly taken by a German tourist while on a recent bushwalk in the state. On face value, Mooney says, the account of the sighting, and the two photographs submitted as proof, amount to one of the most convincing cases for the species’ survival he has seen.

L
And Mooney has seen it all—the mistakes, the hoaxes, the illusions and the plausible accounts of sightings. Hoaxers aside, most people who report sightings end up believing they have seen a thylacine, and are themselves believable to the point they could pass a lie-detector test, according to Mooney. Others, having tabled a creditable report, then become utterly obsessed like the Tasmanian who has registered 99 thylacine sightings to date. Mooney has seen individuals bankrupted by the obsession, and families destroyed. “It is a blind optimism that something is, rather than a cynicism that something isn’t, “Mooney says. “If something crosses the road, it’s not a case of * I wonder what that was?’ Rather, it is a case of ‘that’s a thylacine!’ It is a bit like a gold prospector’s blind faith, ‘it has got to be there’. ”

M
However, Mooney treats all reports on face value. “I never try to embarrass people, or make fools of them. But the fact that I don’t pack the car immediately they ring can often be taken as ridicule. Obsessive characters get irate that someone in my position is not out there when they think the thylacine is there. ”

N
But Hans Naarding, whose sighting of a striped animal two decades ago was the highlight of “a life of animal spotting”, remains bemused by the time and money people waste on tiger searches. He says resources would be better applied to saving the Tasmanian devil, and helping migratory bird populations that are declining as a result of shrinking wetlands across
Australia.

O
Could the thylacine still be out there? “Sure,” Naarding says. But he also says any discovery of surviving thylacines would be “rather pointless”. “How do you save a species from extinction? What could you do with it? If there are thylacines out there, they are better off right where they are. ”

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