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IL Results—So What's the Difference? Measurement Challenges

Measurement of training effectiveness is not a mature process—measurement is rarely even done, only 12% of corporations have formal training evaluation processes, and measurement can be difficult [1]. Potential measures include student satisfaction with the training, perfor­mance in knowledge learned, and performance in skill or knowledge applied.

General Results with IL

IL has been measured at tranferring knowledge up to five times faster than traditional techniques [2]. Additionally, Earl's [1] study on different methods of Performance Ap­praisal training showed that the IL method transferred 2.5 times as much knowledge as the lecture method. This measurement was based on performance on a case study, which is accepted as a good measure of training transfer.

APICS Rochester Results

Student satisfaction, the only measure used, indicates very positive improvements using IL. Effort in the future will be concentrated on requesting certification exam results from my PAC students and comparing to APICS national averages.

Kodak Results

The Kodak Educational Resources division was teamed up with Peter Kline Associates and Cornell University to develop the original IL MRPII course and to study IL's effectiveness compared to conventional teaching methods. The study showed mixed results as reported in a paper by Cornell's Bretz and Kodak's Thompsett [6]. Students learned and retained approximately the same amount of knowledge as measured by post-training tests. Many reasons were cited to explain why the IL results may not have been higher. These reasons include: MRPIIisahighly cognitive/abstract subject (IL may perform better for harder skills), the excellence of the traditional instructors in terms of subject matter and instructional experience, the IL-instructors were not subject matter experts, and the post-test measured only two of the seven intelligences (mathematical/logical and linguistic). Additionally, train­ing transfer and application on the job were not measured.

My experience with my manufacturing team demonstrates that IL was tremendously effective at enabling the team to successfully apply new skills in our improvement efforts. The skills were learned in relatively short training course, they were retained well due to the enjoyable, positive learning experience, and they were applied effectively.


As Earl [1] states "the only goal of all training [is] to create the ability to generalize correctly in the classroom and to apply it to real life situations." The conclusion is that IL's holistic approach to learning, when compared to tradi­tional methods, will indeed:

1. Transfer a large amount of knowledge/skill in a short time frame.
2. Transfer at least as much and, in the case of hard skills or interpersonal skills, transfer a great deal more knowledge/skill.
3. Deliver a much greater ability to APPLY the knowledge on the job


The IL approach will deliver more results to the bottom-line. The company that chooses to use IL has engaged a competitive weapon that will greatly improve its chances to win the manufacturing war.

Ideas for Application

The following list suggests different strategies and meth­ods for an organization to apply IL.

1. Develop an in-house team of IL-certified instructors to design and deliver training in skills considered to be critical to the organization's success.
2. Purchase training from outside companies that offer IL-based courses.
3. Require in-house courses to incorpoate IL techniques in their design.
4. Focus IL-based training delivery on natural family groups that plan use of the skills right away—i.e., "just-in-time" training.
5. Use IL techniques for all shop floor training—IL works very well here—particularly for "overview"—type courses of MRPII or ISO9000, e.g., use a four hour MRPII Overview to satisfy the Class A MRPII requirment for 80% of employees having the appropri­ate MRPII education.
6. Build IL-techniques into APICS certification review courses.
7. Use the Focused Study Group approach for CPIM/ CIRM exam preparation. This approach uses IL tech­niques and would appeal to learners who do not want to do independent study or to attend a formal chapter-sponsored certification review course. [7]
8. Learn more about IL yourself and incorporate the concepts in training or presentations, e.g., use posters, concerts, mind-maps, etc.


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