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Monday, June 02, 2008

Frank Nguyen - EPSS - at ASTD

Frank Nguyen is presenting at ASTD on EPSS. You can find his presentation on his site. His major points were:

  • Search is not an effective method for performers to find information.
  • Integrating information closer to the work flow and work interface can improve performance.
  • Novices cannot effectively use the same support systems as experts.
  • Providing learners with more on-the-job performance support does not eliminate the need for training and there are cases where training is preferred
  • When in learning mode - people want minimal information. When in performance mode - they want more detail. Thus, you can't use the same content for both - EPSS needs more than training.
  • You must focus on more than the technology in order to drive adoption of EPSS.
Choices for what to do as performance support vs. training:
  • Routine (perform the task often) -> Training
  • Not routine -> EPSS
  • Critical -> Training
Only situation safe to do only support (not training), not critical, not routine.

One of the points that Frank made that I had to jump on at the session and mention Work Literacy was that even though most people know how to use Google search, they wouldn't find it to be an effective tool. I don't disagree that often search is not a great vehicle to support particular performance. However, I take issue with the claim that most people are good at using search. In fact, I would claim that most people muddle through search.

Frank is doing great research in this area. Really enjoyed his relaxed presentation style and his method of engaging the audience around key questions.


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Anonymous said...

Tony, thanks for coming by the session and great summary. You said in less than five minutes what took me over an hour :)

Actually, I totally agree with you that the vast majority of people don't know how to search effectively. In fact, the multiplicity of search engines complicates things -- even if you think you're pretty good at Googling, you may not be good as using another tool because the syntax and operation are different. That is why many organizations end up having to train their employees how to use an EPSS. Sad but true. They are just unfortunately not always intuitive.

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