Posts tagged ‘Blogroll’

Waking up to the call

This may sound unbelievable to us, the knowledge professionals, but let us carefully consider the ramifications of these recent observations.

Surveys conducted across multiple organizations conclude with the following observations:

1. Training only accounts for 10.5 percent of the total potential change in worker behavior. Clarity of objectives, working conditions and other factors are more important.

2. At most, formal training only accounts for 20 percent of how people learn their jobs. Most workers learn their jobs from observing others, asking questions, trial and error, calling the help desk and other unscheduled, largely independent activities.

3. People who do attend formal training never apply 80 to 90 percent of what they learn back on the job. They forget the bulk of what they’re exposed to in a matter of days.

Now, what it says is that training might influence only a mere 1% of worker potential!!!! so, does it ring the death bell for Formal Training programs? certainly not. but it might be the time that we contemplate on revamping the current models / approaches, which are readily accepted in theory, but largely unsuccessful / ignored in practice?

And hence, it is of absolute necessity that learning professionals, who know in their heart that what their client is asking for isn’t going to solve their problem or have the desired impact, feel confident to act on their responsibility/obligation to say as much?

In short, it’s time to think beyond the Traditional approaches that have the propensity to become prosaic, and eventually redundant. or else, the gr8 eLearning diaspora may not live long..

August 8, 2006 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

eLearning ROI

As a consulting company we are often asked to participate in RFPs or to make bids for projects. The client comes to us and, with the best of intentions, hands us a thick 200-500 page book of documentation on the subject and say, “There you go, that should be everything you need. And remember, we need your final bid in 2 weeks.” A whole lot of written words, sacred words even, words that have been agreed on by many people are in that 200-500 page book. Now all we have to do is translate that into an interactive medium that might use audio, video and animation – no sweat, right? Surely there couldn’t be any disagreement about how to interpret this written content into the interactive world. This is the same problem with storyboards or design specs. Text can communicate, but not nearly as much as a working functional prototype of the actual content.

Now we could play a game with our clients, and many of the companies in our industry do. They leaf through the 200-500 pages of written content and then take a stab at how much “stuff” there is or use some Industry Standards such as 8 hours of Instructor-Led Training (ILT) = 1 hour of Computer-Based Training (CBT) “seat time”. Then they take the other Industry Standard, 1 hour of CBT costs $35-50K to produce, and decide to bid $X and hope like hell that they aren’t way off.

But what if they get the project and they were way off, what happens then? Having been on this side of the guessing game we can tell you the truth, but it ain’t pretty. If we’re going to be way over (which happens in this guessing game very frequently) then we start trying to find things to cut, ways to save our skins on the deal. In the middle of prototyping we may discover that a particular interaction could be dramatically improved if we made some changes…but we’re already over budget on this thing – do you suppose we suggest that change? That’s right, anything that might improve the end result but will cost more than the guess doesn’t get done.

What about the other side, say we are coming in under the guess, (something which happens less often than you might think, but does in fact happen), then a company can play the game of trying to make as much profit as possible by again not making any changes that might cost more. Same thing.

Guesses almost always result in the client not getting the best result.

And what about those standards?!? 8 hours of ILT = 1 hour of CBT? Is that because the ILT was so empty and devoid of value that in 1 hour you can read all of the PowerPoint slides that were presented and get the same outcome? Could 1 hour of CBT really replace 8 hours of dance instruction? 8 hours of ILT is not the same from place to place and content to content.

Neither is 1 hour of CBT. What if we could get the same results from your students in 40 minutes? 20 minutes? Considering that most CBT is done on the job during regular working hours (don’t fool yourself, few people will ever actually do it at home) isn’t it better if it takes less time? And this isn’t a movie, the user is controlling the pace of the training and good CBTs are designed to challenge different users differently; it may take 20 minutes for an expert and 2 hours for a novice. So, do you still think that hours of seat time is a good way to evaluate or bid on CBT?

And $35-50K per hour? We could dump some text into a template for a whole lot less than that, a WHOLE lot less. On the other hand, a single, very deep interaction that simulates the actual work environment of your users could cost hundreds of thousands, even millions…and be well worth it. $35-50K per hour says nothing about the quality of the media, the analysis or the instructional design and it certainly doesn’t take into account the interactivity. Do you really want to pay someone $70,000 to create 2 hours of people reading pages of text with clip art next to it? How about $100,000 for that same two hours but the graphics are prettier and there is animation? Let’s get really wild and make it a two-hour video with stop and start buttons and some multiple choice questions – woo-hooo! How much would you pay for that?!?

The truth is that none of those things are worth a single dollar. It would have been better to just print a book or make a videotape…though the value of either of those is also debatable. If you truly want people to learn something they have to have a chance to try it, to practice, to risk failure and get good, realistic feedback when they do. And the cost of good interactive learning varies.


June 4, 2006 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

In the name of education??

The members of the “Bloggers of Bangalore” community would like to bring to the attention of the media and society at large, certain unfair and intimidatory actions undertaken by the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) against members of the Indian blogging community… more here.

to show your support, you can sign an online petition here.

December 18, 2005 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

Battered Bangalore

and once again bangalore is in the hands of rainGod. if getting back to the home after travelling for a back-breaking 3 hours on the hosur road (read Electronic City)was not enough, last night i couldnt even enter my house as the place was inundated with water, which rose way above the waist. thanks to the wonderful planning by the Bangalore Development Authority, the open canal kept us alive and kicking for the survival. and ohh, where was the electricity??? the roads were destructed by the brutal force of water, washing away the low-quality pitches from the roads; a huge traffic jam on the adjacent ring road made our lives rather charming!! just a day before, i somehow managed to capture the scenes in my handycam in a hope that someday i will be able to share the visual experience with my fellow cityMates.
the wipro office in hosur road became no-functional and so are many who declared virtual holidays. the technology capital of india, the back-office of the modern world was certainly at loss, like a confused child looking for its mother amidst the dark…
it’s high time that the govt listens to the people’s pleas, toss aside the local politics and exercise controls over the decaying corporations, who still have no idea that the city is already on the verge of it’s doomsday..

August 8, 2005 at 8:20 am 2 comments

Journey to gokarn

You may never imagine what it takes when a few old pals regroup themselves for a wild weekend trip. sply when the destination to be is equally unknown with only a few pieces of information available. so, when we started for GOKARN, a 12 hours drive from bangalore, we were basically banking on hopes armed with kulti’s multiple assurance and dhamondas’s 2 page print-out, which wud rather scare us as it tells you what a spiritual site that place is! the hearts sank and so did kulti’s chance of coming back as prodipto was determined to dedicate his roommate to the sea-god in case the place turns out to be a flop! bhnuri alias adhikari was given the role of the predator while kulti was the unanimous choice for the victim’s! and our other organsier guha was however left untouched as size really does matter for the lesser mortals. suvrodeep ray, a living symbol of peace and integrity, soon fell to a deep slumber after a brief stop for food and pegs. originaljuto too was subjected to a prolonged ragging for his over-excitement! but something happened! … when kulti took the co-pilot’s seat (the seat beside the driver) at the wee hours of midnite, we realised that a LEGEND was born.

on the way..

15th august: woke up in a rain-soaked morning with lush green stretched to the infinity on both sides of us. couldnt resist ourselves to have a brief photo-session. still long way to go. our bus sped off thru the hilly roads again. meanwhile kulti was severely reprimanded for trying to bore us with some third-grade ghazals. the tagore superceded as the morning mood invoked a bangaliyana among us. by the time we reached the place it was 12. the fact is, we came to know that this place is only 3and1/2 hrs from goa. though a hotel was booked for us, a massive hunt had to be done for a beach-side hotel. the sight of too many temples gave a knee jerk and we swore that we wudnt visit any of them. our self-appointed leader kulti informed that there is a wonderful hotel on the beach and partly in the sea supported by pillars. hoooraaaah! the hunt begun as we already visualised ourselves sipping bacardi in the middle of the sea!! after a few mins of ride we finally located our dream hotel, on the top of a hill overlooking the sea on the far-off horizon!! pillars, sea…??? wait. the shock wasnt over! the hotel looked like a haunted place, cats coming out everywhere. when we approached a handful of persons residing there, a horrible look appeared on their faces; looked to me as if we r mad or what?? PRBM was furious, agar bas chale to kulti ko wohi se fek de niche! the 1st L of the trip was registered. remember the “L dewa” in those ndp days? it suddenly reappeared. and that was just the beginning. the L factor wud dominate our coming days ahead…

we fled from the scene asap with leaving a dream on that top of the hill. hotel “mayura samudra” wud haunt kulti for a while, i am sure. so, we had no option but to go back to our already booked hotel “Gokarn International”. it was quite a good one, i must say and boosted a lot of enthu among the boys as we later found some kochi bong mamonis also anchored here. couple of hours later, after a refreshing bath and hogging a large chunk of food in the downtown restaurant, we headed for our 1st destination point, the temple beach. though the rain tried to pose a threat, we walked past a bunch of temples and reached to the drenched white sand beach.

an old house..

a few “long terms” were spotted as our popped up eyeballs searched for more. well, the “long term” is our given codename to the foreigners who are believed to be the majority of the tourists here in this place. the ratio,as we found later is a staggering 80% !! fondly called as ‘hippy’s den’, the gokarn tempted us so much for the elusive white skinned babes that bhnuri was seen asking every local farmers n fishermen to hook a few for us. but that almost lead us to something else, the alarming drug scenario in the region. supported by the need of the hippys. this place , as we discovered, is having a booming business in drugs/heroines. u wud find hundreds of used syringes at the beach side and cud even get a fresh piece at as low as 40 rupees.

futball time

we walked far more deep to the other side of the beach which was less crowded and a beautiful landscape. tried old skills in futball too. but a 30 mins of play on the beach was too much for most of us and people thought it wud be wise to play throw-ball in water. after spending a memorable few hours on the beach, we decided to return to the hotel when the dark set in. on the way, few more “long term” babes were spotted which boosted our hope to a new height.

the evening is dead in such a remote place. so, we decided to contain ourselves to the vodka that we stocked in ample at bangalore. the dinner was a huge turn-off. by the time we went 4 dinner, everything was over…bhnuri, who eats 2 kg of meat along with 20 chapathis or 45 luchis (not exaggerated, its a fact) was so pale that we felt so sorry for him. anyway, the fluent kannad speaking kulti saved us from the pain as the manager agreed to serve us a few items. and in the night, me and bhnuri roamed around the hotel corridors to spot the kochi mamonis. but the effort turned out to be a futile one as they had already gone in hiding seeing the sheer sizes striding around (we encountered them in the restaurant)!

sleeping time

16th august: it was raining again in the morning. we had 4 destinations for today. the om beach, which looks like an “OM” from top of the hill, and the kutle, paradise and half-moon. these beaches are a little far away, our hotel manager informed, and we wud have to go down for 1.5 kms thru the rocks to reach the beach. the smell of adventure was electrifying. we headed for OM. the journey wasnt a armchair ride as our driver saab had to struggle quite a bit to drive thru the narrow and wet hilly roads. the landscape was stunning. the blue, green and the stony brown blended so superbly with the fresh water-drops. you have to see to believe my words. after a 20 mins ride, we had to stop our bus as we reached at the top of the hill that forms 2 beaches on either side of it. “om” at left and “kutle” at right. my oh my, what a beauty that was. our photographers dhamondas and suvro were busy looking for spots to capture the best out of it. the panaromic view of the sea from the top was mind blowing. after moving a little further, we found the way to the beach, a 1and 1/2 km stretch of downhill; the rocky path was not far from risky, but that wudnt stop us anyway. it was “om” that we 1st headed for. a huge no of long terms anchored here as this is the most beautiful spot of the entire horizon. after a few mins of body-warming futball session we jumped into the water and it wasnt before atleast 3 hours that we sought a relocation. the entire landscape is so calm and serene. it was the most peaceful and beautiful beach i have ever seen. probably better than goa. meanwhile suvro brought a few bottles of beer from the nearby hippy’s den (a small villa where the foreigners stay for months). a big ass boudi with a lil’ ass saathi appeared out of the blue. do i have to mention that this wet big ass was the toast of the remaining period of time we stayed on the beach?

beer hunters..

the next target on our list was kutle beach. though we spotted the beach from the top, nobody was sure how to reach the place. there was no way we cud see. the way to the top from the beach was the toughest part of the entire journey. only after a terrible struggle (me, guha sply) we reached to the bus-spot. the food which we brought was vainshed within a few mins as we felt the stomach aching for more. we thought we wud better go back to the hotel for a proper lunch, though some of us were more eager to go to kutle immediately. but the force of nature prevailed as we headed downwards to the hotel. the kutle invasion was set for the afternoon slot.

om beach

finding the way to kutle was a challenging task. the multi-linguistic kulti had to stretch himself dealing with the villagers. after a prolonged confusion, a glimpse of hope re-appeared on his face. we had no other choice but to follow the legendary man from kulti. when a narrow downhill path, surrounded by thick forest was found, that just might lead us to the beach, kulti became unbearable with his proud smile. however we had to bear that inhuman teasing smile…

kutle was worth the effort we pumped in. and soon we found that we were the only ones on that entire piece of land. and the sea was profound here. afterawhile our loneliness were broken by 3 long term couples. they seemed to come out of nowhere. we guessed they stay at the nearby huts lent to them by the farmers. the bikini clad ladies joined us in exploring the sea (maintaining a safe distance though). it was so amazing to be there on that small piece of land, surrounded by the hills and sea and all that belonged to us for the moment. the rain started pouring in. we had to move out as the rain was a potential threat on the way back. suddenly darkness loomed large on the horizon and rain started hammering on the rocks. we headed back towards the hotel. a peacock crossed our road, bidding us the goodbye perhaps! mind went blank as we remembered that our weekend was suddenly over.

17th august: according to the plan, we started our journey back home around 4 o’clck in the night. on the route is jog falls, the tallest water falls in india, our last destination point. the route to jog falls was amazing with a beautiful mountaineous landscape on both sides of us. after a 3 hours of wild ride thru the hilly road, we finally reached at jog falls. the sight was overwhelming with many water-streams coming from all corners and falling from 1000 ft height. which means that to reach to the down-stream, we need to walk down 1000 ft?? the very thought was stammering enough to call it quit as we decided to enjoy the landscape from the top. but dhamon and juto were determined to go down. while they went ahead with their down-slide journey, we settled ourselves inside a small tea-stall almost hanging from a slice of rock that gives you the most beautiful view of the falls. and so started our endless wait. and finally when the duo came back after 2 hours, we started for home with a loadful of memories and drooling eyes that cud see ourselves back to the so called “thor-bori-khara, khara-bori-thor” life again 24 hrs later… on the way to jog falls

on the wayback to hyderabad that evening, i was overwhelmed by the nostalgia that swept all over my mind. these 3 days were whizzed past so fast that it was over before i cud realize. we spent some wonderful time together that will linger in my mind forever. this write-up, by no means can capture the whole essence of our trip. the leg-pulling of each other, talking endlessly abt the ndp days, the hostel life were so fun. dhamna’s recall of those hard-hitting by arunda which he believed were blessings to his students, kulti’s thrashing at the hand of mridulda, juto’s unlimited ‘L’s…all were part of this trip. if told, this write up wud have been a mini novel by this time. suvrodeep’s amazing capability of sleeping or unusual threats to the hotel boys, kulti’s over confidence and sab-janta bhav, guha’s skilfull management process, prodipto’s fierce kulti bashing, juto’s over enthu, bhnuri’s desperation for a white ass and my unlimited lust for one kochi mamoni in the hotel….

jog falls

and finally, thanx to everybody for their support and enthusiasm that finally made our trip so wonderful. special thanx to kulti and guha for their pillar to post co-ordination of the trip. hopefully we all will meet again for our next journey. so, our assemblyhall-ite brothers, please join us for our next probable trip to munnar in october. wish to see many more of us in that ride. believe me, you’ll remember every bit of it.

See the full album of gokarn trip: Album1

August 1, 2005 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment


July 8, 2005 at 3:19 pm Leave a comment

Tor Mukh dekhi (bengali poem)

May 17, 2005 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

Perhaps we shall never meet again…

April 1, 2005 at 11:17 am Leave a comment

Noble Eagle

Pramod Belose is a little man. and he had no idea, atleast until then, that he would remember this day for the rest of his life. it was a lazy sunday afternoon in Mumbai. when most of the people were busy doing nothing on that warm afternoon, there was a buzz of activities going on at the fag end of the city. at this part of the world it was a festival of colors. the beautiful ladies, more outrageous than the others, flocking thru the lush green outfield. so much so that even the would be stars of this busy afternoon, Equus caballus, moved anxiously at the paddock. if you happened to pass by the Mahalaxmi Layout that afternoon you could easily do a mistake by assuming that there is a cricket match going on . the roar of 40,000 strong crowd would definitely deafen your ears. it was Indian Derby. for those of you who never heard of the term, it is indeed one of the most prestigious and elite event that happens in this country from the ages. the royal sport, on this day, truly gets a face-lift from the infamy and stigma thats been attached to it thesedays. the clock was about to struck 4:30. the runners and riders, amidst the huge whistling and cheers, moved to the starting gates. when i talk about the runners,they were the best of the bests from the stables of the most elite families in the country. the likes of beer baron Mallya, the numero uno of the ghazals, Jagjeet Singh and many. the riders, too, were from the different parts of the world and among the most famous of the racing world. and belose, the lesser mortal, just a local jockey, were taking instructions from his trainer. he wouldnt be a part of the glory anyway as he was only supposed to set the pace and eventually would make a safer place in the finish for his fancied stablemate ridden by a legendary english jockey. belose and Noble Eagle, his mount, would therefore fade into an oblivion whose effort will be soon forgotten. Nothing wrong in it and Belose would collect a mere Rs 600 at the end of the day as that is the only worth of his sweat…so, belose did exactly what he was told to do. when the flag came down for this one and half a mile trip, Belose atop Noble Eagle took a front seat while the prime contenders settled for a waiting game. being a such a long trip they must make their bid at the straight to overtake from the pacesetters who would be, by then,out of their gas and soon fell behind.

As they came into the final stretch, with Noble Eagle still ahead of the rest and apparently slowing down, the riders at the rear alerted their mounts for the final assault and started to close down the gap with the front runners. an overwhelming excitemnt loomed large on the stands as the crowd prepared for an exciting finish. but something happened here. Noble Eagle, with a few crack of the whalebone, sprung into a new life. Despite the fact that there was no cheers for him from the crowd, he kept going at his own self. Belose, clearly puzzled, started looking back feverishly…. he was not suppsed to be here!! he couldnt believe his eyes as his horse touched the line of glory…

Belose cried loud and kissed his horse as a sudden silence came down heavily among the crowd. Not a single soul could believe what happened. Noble Eagle, would probably never know that he had made the biggest upset in the history of indian derby. To confirm the fact, i must tell you that a mere betting of 10 bucks on the horse would have fetched you a unbelievable 1276 bucks!! Though i would be never sure that how many had the faith on him but there is no doubt that i have never witnessed such a thrilling moment ever in my life and probaly never will….

and for Belose, life will never be same again….

February 19, 2005 at 2:07 pm 1 comment

The stranger

I was about to wade thru the pages of my newly bought novel over the small coffee table in shoppers stop, when I heard the voice. There was a tall, handsome guy looking at me. “may I sit here?”. I nodded as he settled down comfortably. “Is that book interesting?” I was getting curious. “oh yeah, looks good to me.”, I replied. As we greeted each other, I learnt that he is from Canada, researching on ‘the effects and behaviors of different religious communities coherently existing in the society’. I found Ivan quite interesting as we started chatting on different topics like Indian society, the current economy blah blah. We talked about for an hour. It was time to leave. I paid the bill and started towards the door when I heard Ivan again. “are you in a trouble?” he said in a soothing voice. There was a mental unrest indeed that was bothering me from the morning. I was a little taken aback. “may I pray for you?”, he said as If comforting my soul. I was completely clueless about what’s happening but a sense of curiosity was overwhelming me. So, we sat across the table as he closed his eyes and started mumbling. a group of gals over the other table, suddenly stopped howling and gaped at us. A few sheepish grins gleamed on their faces. After a few minutes, Ivan stopped briefly and touched my shoulder. “Amen” he said “You’ll be fine. The holy father will erase your pain.”. the cell buzzed in. she was mad at me yelling over the phone, “where the hell are you?” as if waking up from a haze, I realized that it’s more than half an hour since I was about to leave. But I was feeling better. Suddenly, the dysphoria that clogged my mind was gone. I couldn’t believe and found myself groping for a possible explanation. As I rushed towards the exit, a strange feeling was already pouring inside me… I looked back at the table where we were seated, but he was gone. And I realized that I didn’t even say him ‘bye’. I paused for a while trying to find him among the flock of shoppers, but he was nowhere. A tingle of awkwardness shot through me as I left the place.

I am yet to find a reason that could possibly fit into this piece of mystery that I experienced yesterday evening. I am too atheist to term it as something divine. It was as if I was put on a hex for a while. And there’s no doubt that my mind was captivated for long. Was it a witch? An abnormal or supernatural power that can connect to your soul advertently for a brief period of time? A voodoo perhaps?

January 9, 2005 at 11:47 am Leave a comment



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