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This article introduces the field of social research with some preliminary observations about the differences between social sciences and the physical or the natural sciences. In addition, this article also examines some recent trends in the world of social scientists. Finally, this article also discusses the concerns that social science is becoming politicized.
Practical Research Methods for Educators
Understanding Research Methods from University of London, SOAS University of London. This MOOC is about demystifying research and research methods. It will outline the fundamentals of doing research, aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at the …
Qualitative Research Methods from University of Amsterdam. In this course you will be introduced to the basic ideas behind the qualitative research in social science. You will learn about data collection, description, analysis and interpretation …
Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods from University of Pennsylvania. Learners discover how apply to research methods to their study of Positive Psychology. In this course, we study with Dr. Angela Duckworth and Dr. Claire …
Experimental Research Methods in Psychology from Georgia Institute of Technology. This is a five-section course as part of a two-course sequence in Research Methods in Psychology. This course deals with experimental methods whereas the other …
Descriptive Research Methods in Psychology from Georgia Institute of Technology. This is a five-section course as part of a two-course sequence in Research Methods in Psychology. This course deals with descriptive methods and the second course …
A survey is a data collection tool used to gather information about individuals, commonly used in market research to collect self-reported data from study participants. Whether you’re using it to gather factual information or just take an opinion survey, here’s what you need to know.
Methods and Statistics in Social Science – Final Research Project from University of Amsterdam. The Final Research Project consists of a research study that you will perform in collaboration with fellow learners. Together you will formulate a …
Learn about the differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods and when to take a deductive or an inductive approach to market research.
Three qualitative research methods can be used to analyze responses to interviews and surveys and to obtain actionable insights from collected data.
Develop strong, broad-based, and actionable research insights and recommendations by combining qualitative and quantitative methods in a single study.
Figure out how and when to use quantitative methods versus qualitative methods when conducting market research.
What goes into market research? Learn about qualitative and quantitative market research methods, including causal models, competitive intelligence, interactive and online, focus groups, surveys, and web-tracking.
Learn about the several methods of protein purification as well as its importance for biotechnology research in biotechnology laboratory applications.
The strongest market research methods capitalize on interactive research opportunities, including mobile device strategies and a mix of entertainment.
Market research designs typically use qualitative or quantitative methods and some studies combine methods to achieve deeper broader insights. Learn more.
Qualitative market research methods can be as rigorous as quantitative market research methods. Clients may need help understanding why this is true.
If social media research is going to produce robust, high quality, and trustworthy data, researchers must apply qualitative research methods to data.
Learn about market research methods which are grounded in philosophy and logical reasoning, such as deductive and inductive research.
Market research analysts must have an affinity for quantitative methods and be able to collect and analyze data to create actionable consumer insights.
Ruth Colvin Clark is a specialist in instructional design and technical training with a focus on bridging academic research and practitioner application in instructional methods. She holds a doctorate in the field and is president of her own company, Clark Training & Consulting. Her most recent book, Evidence-Based…
A number of meta-analyses (statistical methods for contrasting and combining results from different studies) have been conducted in the field of game-based learning attempting to create widely usable findings that can help instructional designers select and create meaningful educational and instructional game experiences. Here are three guidelines culled from research on the subject. 1. Embed the Instructional Game Into the Curriculum Games should be embedded in instructional programs that include debriefing and feedback so learners understand what happened in the game and how these events support the instructional objectives. The best learning outcomes from using a game in the classroom occur when a three-step process is followed. This process ensures that learning occurs from playing the game. Sources: 2. Games Need to Include Instructional Support In games without instructional support, participants will tend to learn how to play the game rather than learn domain-specific knowledge embedded in the game. Instructional support to help learners understand how to use the game increases the effectiveness of the gaming experience by allowing them to focus on the instructional information rather than the requirements of the game. Instructional support features can include elaborative feedback, pedagogical agents, and multi-modal information presentation. Sources: 3. Ensure Game Objectives Align with Curriculum Objectives Learning outcomes achieved through computer games depend largely on how educationalists align learning (such as learning subject areas and learning purposes), learner characteristics, and game-based pedagogy with the design of an instructional game. In other words, if the game objectives match the curriculum objectives, disconnects are avoided between the game design and curricular goals. The more closely aligned curriculum goals and game goals, the more the learning outcomes of the game will match the desired learning outcomes of the student. Sources: Want to learn more about game design? Join Karl for the LearnNow: Game Design event, December 8-9 in San Francisco.
Management consultants must mix solid scientific research techniques with innovative applications.
Raytheon BBN Awarded $10.5 Million to Develop Game-Based Training Methods and Systems to Improve Decision-Making
(From PR Newswire) — The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, through an Air Force Research Laboratory contract, has awarded Raytheon BBN Technologies a $10.5 million multi-year contract under the Sirius program. The goal of the Sirius program is to develop serious games that result in better decision-making by teaching participants to recognize and mitigate the effects of their own biases when analyzing information used to make decisions. The team — which includes game designers, cognitive psychologists, and experts in intelligence analysis and in measuring game-player engagement — will design a relevant and engaging game that is based on an international detective theme, blending best research and practices in bias-mitigation with best practices in game-based teaching.
The failure of senior leaders to grasp the importance of instructional design is a big stumbling block for organizational learning and development efforts, according to a new study from the Association for Talent Development (ATD), formerly ASTD. Instructional design (ID) is critical to effective organizational learning and today the field is navigating an abundance of new tools, technologies, and evolving learning delivery methods. Organizations that want their employees to engage in learning initiatives that enhance performance on every level, must value the essential role instructional design plays. In the report, Instructional Design Now: A New Age of Learning and Beyond, ATD teamed with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) to gather insight from instructional designers and learning professionals worldwide to assess the current and anticipated future states of ID and its contribution to business success. When ATD and i4cp collaborated for the 2010 report, Instructional Systems Design: Today and in the Future, the main focus was instability in organizational learning, complicated by ongoing technological advances and globalization. Today, those factors still exist, however, the new research indicates that ID professionals must become faster, more strategic, global, and tech-savvy. The research also indicates that buy-in from senior leaders has remained low due to the lack of competencies, which has led to low funding. Key findings from the Instructional Design Now: A New Age of Learning and Beyond include: Instructional Design Now: A New Age of Learning and Beyond, is available on the ATD store. Visit Instructional-Design-Now.
Recent data on sales training practices reveal that that the highest priorities in sales training are teaching employees how to sell and teaching them about what they’re selling. To achieve a more detailed picture of how sales training hours are being allocated as well as the methods used to deliver it, the research study examined the relative importance organizations place in addressing sales training in terms of the “mix” of five different categories of sales training: selling skills, product training, industry training, company-specific training and sales management. These five sales training categories all contribute to success, but organizations place more emphasis on some of them than they do with others. Selling skills emerged as the most critical type of training, accounting for more than one-third of the annual sales training hours. Product training receives the next largest share, while industry training, company-specific training, and sales management training receive a share that is typically at a much lower level overall. In fact, sales management training is the category of sales training focus addressed with the least frequency – less than annually, if at all. These findings appear in the recently-released ASTD/Intrepid/i4cp State of Sales Training Study, which explores how today’s organizations are approaching sales training and sheds light on opportunities that organizations are missing to optimize those approaches or consider new ones. The data included in the report provides new insight into the current – and future – state of sales training globally. Based on a survey of more than 500 experts, the ASTD/Intrepid/i4cp study includes statistics to inform important sales training decisions and provides a background on the current sales training environment, as well as detailed policy recommendations that can drive sales training efforts. Source: State of Sales Training(ASTD/Intrepid/i4cp) Click here to learn more about ASTD Research.
To achieve a more detailed picture of how sales training hours are being allocated as well as the methods used to deliver it, the research study examined the relative importance organizations place in addressing sales training in terms of the “mix” of five different categories of sales training: selling skills, product training, industry training, company-specific training and sales management. These five sales training categories all contribute to success, but organizations place more emphasis on some of them than they do with others. Find out about sales training here:
Wallace Hannum, a contributing editor to Educational Technology and a faculty member in the educational psychology program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, calls Ruth Colvin Clark’s latest book Evidence-Based Training Methods a “superb book” that “belongs in the hands of every training professional, not just on their bookshelves.” His review appears in the November-December 2010 issue of Educational Technology magazine, and it praises the book for moving from reliance on commonly held training myths to presenting training practices that are consistent with the empirical evidence about human learning. Hannum says that the “real message in this book is not the content it covers but rather how Clark presents this content by drawing directly on sound research into human learning. This is not just another book about training methods or how to develop training. Rather, Clark offers a fresh approach at the intersection of research and practice that is both based in empirical research evidence and completely practical.” In chapter 1 of her book, Clark debunks four training myths and provides four guidelines that will improve your training. (Some of them are probably going to shock you.) Here are some excerpts from the book: Myth 1: Learning Styles “The learning style myth leads to some very unproductive training approaches that are counter to modern evidence of what works. The time and energy spent perpetuating the various learning style myths can be more wisely invested in supporting individual differences that are proven to make a difference.” Guideline: Do not waste your training resources on any form of learning style-based efforts including instructor training, measurement of learning styles, or training methods that attempt to accommodate learning styles. Myth 2: Media Panaceas “When we plan instruction around the latest technology gismo, we ignore the psychology of human learning, which has severe limits. When we assume a technology-centric view, our focus is on all the wrong things. Instead of designing training to support human learning processes, we get caught up in the latest technology trends without regard for how they can be most effectively used.” Guideline: Ignore panaceas in the guise of technology solutions in favor of applying proven practices on best use of instructional modes and methods to all media you use to deliver training. Myth 3: The More They Like It, the More They Learn “[T]here is in fact a positive correlation between ratings and learning. But the correlation was very small! In fact, it was too small to have any practical value.” Guideline: Don’t rely on course evaluations as indicators of learning. Use valid tests to assess the pedagogical effectiveness of any learning environment. Myth 4: Stories (Games or You-Name-It) Promote Learning “The lack of universal effectiveness of most instructional techniques is the basis for what I call the ‘No Yellow Brick Road Effect.’ By that I mean that there are few best practices that will work for all learners and for all learning goals.” Guideline: Be skeptical about claims for the universal effectiveness of any instructional technique. Always ask, How is the technique defined? For whom is it useful? For what kinds of learning outcomes will it work? The rest of the book provides substantive information and practices that are grounded in research about a wide variety of topics, including If you want to learn more about the book and get a sample chapter, click here.
Meta-analyses (statistical methods for contrasting and combining results from multiple research studies) tell us how to design, deliver, and implement training for best results.
ATD Research and ATD International recently embarked on their first truly global assessment of talent development outlooks, resources, and practices. ATD research analyst Maria Ho and ATD International director Wei Wang will be presenting some important findings from this research, which is compiled in full in the report Global Trends in Talent Development. By looking at key metrics (including learning hours, budgets, and delivery methods) and top trends and challenges for talent development by…
History shows us that innovation in products, services, work processes, and management drives competitive advantage and success. Recognizing this, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) recently surveyed 393 talent development leaders across a broad range of industries and locations, seeking to understand the talent development function’s role in teaching and encouraging employees to innovate at successful companies. The research found that high-performing companies who consistently lead the competition in revenue growth, market share, profitability, and customer satisfaction are more than twice as likely to support innovation with formal strategies and processes compared with lower performers. In fact, talent development functions at top companies provide innovation training to employees organization-wide at a rate seven times that of lower-performing organizations. Join i4cp to learn about the practices, methods, and programs top companies and their talent development teams use to drive innovation among employees and leaders at all levels.
The article gives an insight into qualitative and quantitative research by describing the focus of each method, business situations in which the respective methods are apt to use and techniques for executing both types of research.
Data Collection in Marketing Research is a detailed process in which a planned search for all relevant data is made by researcher. Lets discuss the various types of data and data collection methods.
Quantitative Methods from University of Amsterdam. Discover the principles of solid scientific methods in the behavioral and social sciences. Join us and learn to separate sloppy science from solid research! This course will cover the …
Qualitative Research from University of California, Davis. In this course, the second in the Market Research Specialization, you will go in-depth with qualitative market research methods, from design to implementation to analysis. Week 1: Define …
Dynamical Modeling Methods for Systems Biology from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. An introduction to dynamical modeling techniques used in contemporary Systems Biology research. We take a case-based approach to teach contemporary …
Data Management for Clinical Research from Vanderbilt University. This course presents critical concepts and practical methods to support planning, collection, storage, and dissemination of data in clinical research. Understanding and …
Bayesian Methods for Machine Learning from National Research University Higher School of Economics. Bayesian methods are used in lots of fields: from game development to drug discovery. They give superpowers to many machine learning algorithms: …
Starbucks 40th Anniversary rebranding initiative included market research methods to analyze customer perceptions about rebranding and the logo change.
On Wednesday, January 27, President Obama gave his State of the Union Address. Upon completion, the pollsters and pundants were in usual form. If you happened to watch the post-address discussion on CNN, you probably saw John King provide the latest Twitter results. That’s right. Polling using Twitter. John King provided us another example of how technology is aiding us in collecting survey data. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn along with SurveyMonkey, SurveyPro, Metrics-that-Matter and many other technologies provide an array of opportunity to collect data from colleagues, customers, and the like. While the program evaluation community has embraced technology to make data collection more convenient, less expensive, and more interactive, we often have such a reliance on it, that we fail to realize the potential error in the results that can surface from depending solely on technology. Types of error most immediately at risk are coverage error and non-response error. Coverage Error Coverage error occurs when we collect data and report results only from a group of respondents who have access to the delivery mode we employ. While admittedly, John King’s results were not representative of the country at large, consider some of the people he missed: Non-Response Error Non-response error occurs when people do not respond to a survey. With a low response rate it becomes difficult to draw conclusions with the survey results. People fail to respond to surveys for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to): In order to take advantage of what technology has to offer in terms of data collection and mitigate coverage and non-response error, consider the following steps taken from the work of Don Dillman (2009) and other experts of survey research. 1. Identify your primary mode of data collection for a given survey project. You may choose technology as your primary mode. If so, then steps 2-5 below will use technology. If you choose paper-based or telephone surveys as your primary mode of data collection, you will use whichever one of those to complete the following steps. 2. Provide pre-notice prior to administering the survey. This communication will come in the form of email, if you plan to email your survey; a letter or memorandum if you plan to use paper-based survey; or a brief telephone call if you plan to use telephone as your primary method of data collection. The purpose of the pre-notice is to advise potential respondents of the importance of the survey. In addition, the pre-notice will explain to them when they will receive the survey, what they can expect in terms of time commitment, completion timeline, planned use of the data, and any incentives you are willing to offer for survey completion. 3. Administer the survey. Three days after the pre-notice has been distributed, send the survey. As part of the survey instructions, explain again the importance of survey, time commitment, completion timeline, planned use of the data, and incentives. 4. Administer the survey a second time. After a week or two, administer the survey a second time using, again, your primary mode of delivery. This second distribution serves as a reminder and makes it convenient for the audience by providing the entire survey with instructions. 5. Send a follow-up reminder. By now, you should have received a large number of surveys. But there are still a few people who need another reminder. So, using your primary mode of delivery, send a reminder to those who have not yet responded. 6. Administer the survey a third time — using a different delivery method. This last contact with potential respondents is your opportunity to influence people to respond by attacking the issue from another position. This time, change your delivery method. If your previous contacts have been electronic, send potential respondents a paper-based survey or place a call to them. By changing the delivery method, you give people who have not had access to (or who chose not to access) your survey opportunity to respond. * * * * Reference Dillman, D. A., Smyth, J. D., and Christian, L. M. (2009). Internet, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, 3rd edition. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Additional Resources Alreck, P. L. and Settle, R. B. (1995). The Survey Research Handbook, 2nd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Fink, A. (2002) Series Editor. The Survey Kit 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Trochim, W. M. The Research Methods Knowledge Base, 2nd Edition. Internet WWW page, at URL: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/ (version current as of October 20, 2006).
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The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss The New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Body shows readers how to live more and work less, now with more than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, or earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint. Getting Things Done by David Allen “A completely...
How to Become a Biostatistician. Biostatisticians apply statistical methods to analyze issues and trends within the healthcare, pharmaceutical and biomedical fields. Biostatisticians perform clinical research, concentrating on the design…
We spend a lot of time researching, trying, and reading about methods, processes, tools, and techniques to make us more productive and efficient. The probl
Surveys research is much more agile and responsive to mobile users' attitudes and behaviors. New survey methods are a little intrusive, but very fast.
Using discrete choice, conjoint methods or simulation models, market researchers can zone in on the scenarios that have the most appeal for consumers.
Scientific methods are used to build random samples. Stratified random samples are useful for understanding subgroup behavior during research.
Have you heard of Web 2.0? What about “Sales 2.0”? There is new sales 2.0 conference that is owned by Selling Power Magazine — it remains to be seen what specific direction they will take it. Is Web 2.0 the same thing as sales 2.0? What is the current buzz surrounding sales 2.0.? There are two camps currently: Camp 1: Sales 2.0 is the use of web 2.0 technologies (and technology only) for sales or sales-related purposes. Camp 2: Sales 2.0 is the “Next Evolution” of Selling — where Selling is taken to the next level What do you think? Add Your comments? Recently, I asked the question to my LinkedIn Network… here is what some people said: View these answers on LinkedIn too ———— Aaron of Office Tools, LLC Says: Sounds to me like you have answered your own question, but it’s more than just using technology and resources like web portals and Blackberries. It’s also combining these technologies into your relationship with the prospect in a manner that is attuned to their comfort level as well, i.e. don’t make your customer a technology guinea pig every time a new tool is introduced. ——————— Martin B Success Coach, speaker, trainer and author. Known for his focused, rapid-results coaching. Says: Again to me it is about integrity, ethics and how they work with the customer for all the technology in the world can not replace that. I think sales 2.0 will include the sales person building an on-line quality reputation that will go with them over time. Of course I think being a CRSP ( Certified and Registered Sales Professional ) is very important as well. Quality relationships take time and SHOULD take time, technology can help but it still demands the basics. http://inquireonline.info/sales/sales-as-a-profession ———————– Nathan, a Director of Client Services Says: Interesting question and I hope this helps. I had been meeting with clients about a potential proposal for two months and doing a lot of work with them in between. They put on events as a part of their business model so I showed up to a happy hour one night to network and build rapport. They called the next day and wanted a proposal immediately. It was for a pretty big project so I got to work immediately. I sent the proposal to the principal and his VP of Advertising (two person show). I got the email from her (VP) Monday morning saying they were going with a different company. I did the customary follow up with an email asking why and didn’t hear back for several days. The VP of Ads is pretty into her myspace account and added me as a friend four days later (we got along well socially). I ended up following up with her on myspace, found out that it was a price point and we are currently renegotiating the terms of the proposal. ————- Brian a Life Sciences Training, Marketing and Branding specialist Says: Great question and one in which I view there being multiple answers to. These answers could be based on existing sales methodologies along with the technology stack, both current and planned, that will used within the sales organization. Sales 2.0 for us is evolving. Sure, we use standard SD processes and have a great CRM in place. Beyond this, what is sales 2.0? – Web advertising – Web networking – Blogs – White papers – SME webinars – Referral marketing – Tying it all together – Any so many others If I were to define sales 2.0 for the industry, I would state the following today. — Sales 2.0 is the sales approach where proven development methodologies are combined and blended with new communication & collection mediums where the client is empowered through the use of information to make well informed decisions — Yes, I said empowering the customer. As the web is now a central point in all communications, providing the information that your client’s seek is paramount to being viewed as a strong player in the service or product field that you serve while this also will help them in making better decisions. When structured property, Sales 2.0 approaches should increase contact to conversion ratios without all the (hub-bub) normally associated with sales development. I view a perfect sales world to be the day that a blinking super ball with your logo on it IS NOT required to impress a potential client, but a well formed and intuitive intake process does so without all the old school glitz. —————— Flyn P, The Inside Sales Guru Says: Sales 2.0 is the integration of all sales best practices as Web2.0 tools are now integrated for websites. I find many people stuck on one sales method over another when all of the methodologies have best practices that are probably applicable to most selling environments. The other half of this solution is that sellers have to learn to embed and incorporate best practices into their sales processes instead of placing the sales process on top of what they are doing. It is my belief that the most effective way to teach a sales best practice is from within the sales process for which you intend to use it. This means you must find the appropriate places and applications for the best practice and then customize it to fit your specific selling process. It is one thing to lean about “impact” questions it is another thing to apply them to your selling. Thus, you take the impact question and put it in the sales process for ABC Co. and make the question ABC’s. Impact Question: “What is the impact of the bottleneck in manufacturing on revenues?” ABC may not have such an issue in their selling — the key problem may be productivity of a widget in an adverse environment. The impact question that directly addresses that issue must be developed and made part of the selling process. The result is salespeople don’t need to figure out how or when to ask the question. That combined with the use of all sales methods and best practices would be Sales2.0. I hope that helps. Clarification added 5 days ago: I have noted that other addressed marketing issues and I would agree with these ideas — I kept my answer strictly to “Selling.” ———- Christian, an International CRM & e-Marketing Expert – Techno-Marketing Specialist Says: Dear Brian, More than a collection of technologies that help sales professionals personalize information for customers and interact with them rapidly, Sales 2.0 should be considered as the synthesis of new technologies, models, processes and mindsets. It is about leveraging people, process, technology, and knowledge to make significant gains. It means integrating the power of Web 2.0 and on-demand technologies with proven sales techniques to increase sales velocity and volume. It also relates to increased communication and collaboration between sellers and buyers and within the selling team, together with a proactive and visible integration of knowledge and measurement of the buying cycle into the sales cycle. It seems that Sales 2.0 truly merges sales and marketing into a seamless effort to target buyers more effectively using innovative and integrated tactics with an objective to bring in a lot more business at a lower cost. It is also about making anything and everything in the sales and marketing lifecycle measurable, so that you can take that information and resulting analysis to further optimise your sales process. More streamlined processes, together with the technologies to carry out smarter approaches, can immediately help organisations that are committed to moving their sales and marketing efforts to the next level of performance and dramatically accelerate their sales cycle. For further insight on this and related topics, please see http://www.saastream.com/my_weblog/2007/11/sales-20-taking.html#more —————– Joe G, a VP and Research Director, Sirius Decisions Says: Sales 2.0 is being trumpeted in the market place as the next wave of sales automation technology that will improve sales productivity, reduce cost of sales, increase customer loyalty and drive sales performance through the roof. Sound familiar?… think of SFA 1.0 promises. Sales 2.0 is – or should be – a focus on adapting customer engagement strategies to the rapidly changing environment that is dominated by the unrelenting evolution of the Internet. While leveraging technology should be a part of any approach, it is just an enabler to a broader sales readiness strategy. Obviously there are a variety of perspectives on what Sales 2.0 is, should or could be. I would suggest a visit to the blog at The Sales 2.0 Network website: http://sales20network.com/blog/ Duncan, A Business Development and Salesperson Says: To me Sales 2.0 is more about leading your customer to the best conclusion rather than ‘closing’ them through manipulation and hard sales tactics. i.e. you should strive to make sure that the product is a good fit for your customers and that your customers are a good fit for your company. The better the fit, the more repeat sales and referrals you will get. posted 5 days ago Nigel: CEO, Sales 2.0. Next Generation Sales Information, Telesales & Consulting Says: Hi Brian, Thanks for asking the question. I think it’s pretty clear from the answers that there is not yet one clear definition of sales 2.0 The way I came up with “sales 2.0” two years ago was through my personal frustration with a lot of the ways we have been selling. Added to that my realization that a lot of these techniques date back over 100 years to John Patterson at NCR. So I saw “sales 2.0” as a statement that we can “take sales to the NEXT level”. What happened after that is that some smart folks in Silicon Valley noted that the Internet is already creating change that we sales people can harness NOW to move our selling to the “next level”. Hence the emphasis on technology solutions in many current definitions of “sales 2.0” So for now we don’t have ONE solidified definition but the most popular one short-term is using Internet tools to boost sales performance. Long-term I hope the buzzword can stick around to really mean “taking the whole sales profession to the next level”. That’s my dream.
Are the proper people in your company offering the right sales training? Are they using a delivery method that creates the most impact with your sales force? Ever wonder how your organization’s sales training efforts stack up or compare with those of your peers? Some of the info below may give you reason to rethink your sales training strategy in order to build a world-class sales team that drives increased revenue. In part two of this three part weekly series discussing the findings of ASTD’s State of Sales Training report, we will look at the “who, what, and how” of sales training. “Who” defines those accountable for sales training in an organization, while “what” addresses the 5 categories of sales training, and “how” covers the methods of sales training delivery. As you recall from last week, if you can closely align your sales training with corporate training and goals, your revenue will increase. Who Let’s begin by taking a look who delivers the sales training. As you can see from the figure above, in many organizations it appears that learning executives are in more of a supporting role in regards to sales training, while sales executives tend to own the delivery. What When conducting the research, the team identified and validated a mix of 5 sales training categories: selling skills, product training, industry training, company specific training, and sales management. The pie chart below shows the percentage of training hours dedicated to each category. As you can see, it is clear that the highest priorities in sales training are teaching employees how to sell and about what they’re selling. How Finally, how did our research participant’s organizations deliver sales training? Take a look below: [Note: “on-the-job” at 17.6%/18.3%/17.0% and “coaching/mentoring” at 12.9%/10.7%/17.2% made up a majority of the remaining delivery methods] As you can see, despite the prevalence of technology and the continued discussions of Web 2.0 technologies, technology based training takes a back seat to instructor led training. Based on the data, we can assume that the human touch is essential to the delivery of sales training. Conclusion What other conclusions can we draw from this? As mentioned previously, if you can closely align your sales training with corporate training and goals, your revenue will increase. So it seems counterintuitive to have a sales executive deliver the training. Why does this occur? Could it be that sales executives can provide that human touch needed by sales people? Or that sales executives know how to train selling skills since they have “carried the bag”? What are your thoughts? Where does your organization fit? What conclusions do you draw from this data? Let us know in the comments section!
We wanted to let you know of some recent research we’re conducting on a very important topic – Sales Management Training. Respond by the deadline and you could win an 16 GB Ipod Touch! We know your time is valuable – and we have purchased two 16 GB Ipod Touch’s to give away at the close of the survey – just for participating in this 20 minute survey. Not only will you enter into the drawing, but your response will help us research and share best practices on Sales Management training. So, we’ll also give you a summary report when it’s finished. We have teamed up with sales and marketing research team at Northern Illinois University and Georgia Southern University to study the latest trends in sales management training. Please click the link below to take this 20 minute survey to help advance the profession of sales management, enter into the drawing for the Ipod Touch and receive a copy of the results! Please click here to take the survey by April 1st, 2009: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB2293XHQNX5E Times are tough in many industries and occupations. Sales managers are finding themselves caught between a “rock and a hard place” when it comes improving the entire sales team as well as improving their own sales management and performance skills. Recent research by the American Society for Training and Development found that less than 15% of sales managers receive sales training on a routine basis. Also, by taking the survey you’ll be able to receive a copy of the final report, allowing you to benchmark the best practices, actionable content, and current delivery methods that others are using to improve sales management success within their industry. Your participation will also enter you into a drawing for an Ipod touch!
Dubai, UAE ( PRWEB) July 12, 2009 — The economic downturn has slowed recruitment activity in the GCC region significantly, with Dubai in particular seeing a fall in the number of vacancies advertised, though still retaining a sizeable share. More discreet and confidential recruitment methods and a shift to lower cost recruitment channels are also among the main trends highlighted in research carried out by Middle East online recruitment firm, GulfTalent.com. The research shows that the percentage of Dubai-based vacancies advertised on the firm’s website constituted only 30% of all GCC-based positions advertised in the first half of the year, compared with 43% over the same period in the previous year. Kuwait and Bahrain have also been badly hit. In contrast, Abu Dhabi has seen its percentage share of job vacancies increase from 14% to 23%, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia have also seen similar increases in their share of vacancies. The UAE overall has seen an increase in the outflow of expatriates, with 26% of all job applications submitted by UAE residents targeting vacancies in other Gulf countries, compared to just 16% the previous year. Despite the increase, the outward mobility of UAE-based expats remains the lowest in the region, with the majority preferring to remain in the country. Read more.
In the 2008 State of the Industry Report, ASTD Research reported on outsourcing and technology, and found a relationship between the two. In BEST Award winning organizations, outsourcing fell to 22.3% of the learning budget. Outsourcing in Benchmarking Forum organizations decreased to 23.8 percent, and overall the percentage of budget spent on external services fell from 28.1% to 25.2%. Technology-based solutions have allowed learning professionals to execute initiatives and coordinate programs in-house that may have required outside assisstance in the past. Internal learning management systems and content delivery systems have also diminished the need to outsource many tasks of the learning function. [more]Meanwhile, technology-based learning delivery continued an upward trend in 2007. The consolidated average for e-learning’s proportion of learning hours available was 32.6 percent, up from 30.3 percent the previous year. Technology-based learning delivery methods were equally popular in BMF organizations (35.2 percent) and in BEST organizations (35.8 percent). These findings indicate that organizations remain committed to implementing and sustaining e-learning solutions. Source: ASTD 2008 State of the Industry Report Click here to learn more about ASTD Research.
(From Business Wire) — A new benchmark study from project management firm PM Solutions, on “The State of Project Management Training,” found that the average firm invests US $2,211 per year per employee for project management training. Multiplied across a department, division, or enterprise and this figure can swell into a major line item. Is it effective? Is it worth the expense? The results of PM Solutions’ study confirm that project management training – particularly courses that are instructor-led – is worth the investment. Firms reported an average 26% improvement across eight measures of project and business performance as a result of training initiatives. PM Solutions surveyed 262 high-level project management employees from 247 large, midsized, and small organizations in various industries including manufacturing, health care, technology, professional services, finance, and government. The primary purpose of the study was to identify factors that may lead firms to make better decisions regarding their project management training initiatives. The results point to the specific training methods used and their effectiveness, the revenue invested and the goals accomplished, and the improved business results demonstrated. “You can’t overestimate the importance that well-trained employees have to an organization – training and experience have as much or more impact as even the best technology or processes,” said Matt Light, Research Vice President at Gartner Inc., the pre-eminent advisory firm to the global information systems industry. “As enterprises grow increasingly ‘projectized,’ studies by Gartner and other industry thought leaders show that training in project management is essential to improving performance.” Read more.
According to Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark, a renowned specialist in instructional design and workplace learning, workplace learning and development professionals are wasting their time and money focusing on fads and myths like learning styles and relying on course satisfaction surveys as evidence of training effectiveness. Colvin Clark has written a new book, Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals, that helps learning practitioners professionalize their work by using research and evidence to validate their methods. Bridging the gap between instructional research and workplace practice, Colvin Clark tackles popular training myths and makes a strong business case for dropping fads that don’t work and investing resources in proven methods. Instructors, training managers, and instructional designers will find this book insightful and practical as it guides practitioners to incorporate evidence and learning psychology into program design, development, and delivery decisions. Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals is published by ASTD Press. Ruth Colvin Clark will be speaking on Sunday, May 16th at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition in Chicago, IL, where she will also have a book signing.
Workplace learning and development professionals are wasting their time and money focusing on fads and myths like learning styles and relying on course satisfaction surveys as evidence of training effectiveness, according to a new book from ASTD Press, Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals. Written by Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark, a renowned specialist in instructional design and workplace learning, Evidence-Based Training Methods helps learning practitioners professionalize their work by using research and evidence to validate their methods. Bridging the gap between instructional research and workplace practice, Colvin Clark tackles popular training myths and makes a strong business case for dropping fads that don’t work and investing resources in proven methods. Over the last 20 years a growing body of research has proven what works and doesn’t work when it comes to training and how learning occurs in the brain. This book summarizes the most up-to-date evidence available about critical decisions faced by today’s training professionals. Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals is written for instructors, training managers, and instructional designers and guides practitioners to incorporate evidence and learning psychology into program design, development, and delivery decisions. Ruth Colvin Clark will be speaking on Sunday, May 16th at the ASTD 2010 International Conference & Exposition in Chicago, IL, where she will also have a book signing.
The ASTD Handbook of Measuring and Evaluating Training, edited by Patti Phillips, has just released. This book serves as a comprehensive go-to reference and a roadmap to developing effective processes. Each chapter is written by an expert in the field, chosen for their experience and actual results in specific areas. From evaluation planning and data collection, to data analysis and measurement, you’ll gain insights and practical advice from individuals who have applied their tools and methods in organizations worldwide. At the end of the book, a special section called “Voices” hosted by Rebecca Ray features summarized interviews with eight world-renowned gurus. These complete interviews are available as podcasts online! Our next highlighted legend is Roger Kaufman, PhD, professor emeritus of Educational Psychology Learning Systems at Florida State University and a recipient of the Professional Excellence Award. He is also a distinguished research professor at the Institute of Technology in Mexico. A Certified Performance Technologist, he spent years in human resources, training, and engineering positions and served two terms for the U.S. Secretary of the Navy’s Advisory Board on Education and Training. He is past president and member for life of the International Society for Performance Improvement and was the recipient of the society’s Thomas S. Gilbert Professional Achievement Award. Recognized by ASTD for distinguished contribution to workplace learning and development, he is the creator of the Organizational Elements Model and consults worldwide. He has written more than 265 articles and 39 books on strategic planning, management, performance improvement, needs assessment, and evaluation.
The ASTD Handbook of Measuring and Evaluating Training, edited by Patti Phillips, has just released. This book serves as a comprehensive go-to reference and a roadmap to developing effective processes. Each chapter is written by an expert in the field, chosen for their experience and actual results in specific areas. From evaluation planning and data collection, to data analysis and measurement, you’ll gain insights and practical advice from individuals who have applied their tools and methods in organizations worldwide. At the end of the book, a special section called “Voices” hosted by Rebecca Ray features summarized interviews with eight world-renowned gurus. These complete interviews are available as podcasts online! Next up to highlight is Jack Phillips, PhD, chairman and co-founder of the ROI Institute and developer of the ROI Methodology. Phillips’ work spans more than 50 books and 200 articles. Former bank president, Fortune 500 human resource director, and management professor, he provides consulting services in more than 50 countries. His research and publications have won numerous awards, including the Society for Human Resource Management’s Book of the Year and the Yoder-Heneman Personnel Creative Application Award. Phillips is a former member of ASTD’s Board of Directors and the recipient of ASTD’s highest honor, the Distinguished Contribution Award for Workplace Learning and Performance.
Happy New Year! A big thanks to Judy Unrein for blogging last month. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you should go back and catch up on her thoughts on HTML5 and our fortcoming TechKnowledge Conference. I’m really pleased to have Karl Kapp take the blogging reins for the month of January. I first saw Karl Kapp speak at last year’s Innovations in E-Learning event. Karl often speaks at ASTD’s TechKnowledge conference and other similar events, but I’d never had a chance to hear him. I’m glad I was able to catch up with him last year. Karl’s session was on 3D, games, and simulations and why they matter for learning. The session was enthralling. Never before had I seen someone approach the topic with the amount of research and case examples that Karl did. It was a great session. If you’re not familiar with Karl’s background, he is a leading consultant, scholar, and expert on the convergence of learning, technology, and business operations. He is a professor of instructional technology in Bloomsburg University’s Instructional Technology Department, and is the assistant director of the Institute for Interactive Technologies (IIT). Two of his more recent books are Learning in 3D, which he wrote with Tony O’Driscoll, and Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning. His forthcoming book is titled The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-Base Methods and Strategies for Training and Education. Karl already has a very active blog in Kapp Notes, but he was nice enough to take on blogging duties here for the month of January. He’ll be talking about games, simulations, and ARGs–and ranting a bit about how to better engage learners.
(From PRNewswire) — Cognizant, a leading provider of consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing services, announced today the results of a research report, “Next-Generation CIOs: Change Agents for the Global Virtual Workplace.” The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted the research across Europe and North America and wrote the report, in cooperation with the Cognizant Business Consulting practice. The report reveals the CIO’s role in restructuring how work is done throughout the organization. Among the more than 400 survey respondents, mostly CIO, CEO, vice president, and director-level, those who are moving toward more virtual, collaborative teams are benefitting from increased innovation, more effective talent recruitment and retention, and higher productivity. One in six said their companies are already seeing these results, and another one-fifth expect to garner benefits within a year. “Business leaders today are exploring new ways of working in response to disruptive industry changes – globalization, new collaborative methods and technologies, and a rising tech-savvy generation of employees and consumers. The virtualization of people, processes, and technologies is resulting in faster time to market while unleashing innovation,” said Malcolm Frank, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Cognizant. “Working with global knowledge-based companies, we witness first-hand how virtual teams are more likely to take hold when the CIO is engaged in the process. CIOs have the clout and the top-to-bottom perspective to enable business process change, weaving together collaborative business processes and platforms often based on cloud, social and mobile technologies to make work more productive and cost-effective,” said Mark Livingston, Senior Vice President, Cognizant Business Consulting. Read more.
The American Society for Training & Development announces that Charles Fred, founder and CEO of The Breakaway Group, is joining the Society’s Board of Directors for a three-year term, 2012-2014. In his role as CEO of The Breakaway Group, Mr. Fred has led the organization in significant growth from its initial startup to a leading position in healthcare IT adoption services. He has a proven track record of success in both education and enterprise software companies, and served as the CEO of Omega Performance and Avaltus before those companies were acquired. Mr. Fred is the author of the best-selling book Breakaway, which is used today in many leading universities’ curricula to reinforce innovative methods for instructional technology and simulation. The eight-year research effort that resulted in the publication of the book also provides the foundation for The Breakaway Method used in service to healthcare organizations worldwide. Featured at the Smithsonian Institute and the International E Learning Expo in Paris, Mr. Fred is one of the healthcare and corporate education industry’s most renowned keynote speakers. Mr. Fred holds a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering and technology from Montana State University, and completed the Aerospace Industry Manufacturing Program from the University of Washington’s Graduate School of Business.
Clark Aldrich, in his insightful blog several months ago, said “As I work with organizations in developing e-learning, I am increasingly aware of dead elephants in the room, large reference points that we have to avoid because we can’t wrap our minds around them.” He then went on to give several examples, where we talk about one thing (the traditional approaches and methods), and do not bring up the related Dead Elephants of e-learning (the new, innovative tools and techniques). Clark ended his post by asking readers “What are some other dead elephants?” In the 10 comments that followed, Godfrey Parkin touched upon what I think is not only a dead elephant, but the huge rotting carcass of a Wooly Mammoth. He said “One very large elephant that nobody wants to talk about is the increasing marginalization (and ultimate demise) of centralized training, and its implications for training departments as we have known them.” That was the point of the Snake Oil post. Back then, when it was first published, it was a wake up call for those of us who worked in corporate training departments. Back then, a lot of people paid attention and responded. As I understood the post, the purpose was to start a dialogue, to try and build a business case and discover a migration path from what Sam called “Snake Oil” – training that had been proven NOT to work – to new approaches that DO work (e.g. affective and cognitive learning, mentoring, collaboration, database-driven embedded and portable WIFI ‘performance’ systems, etc.). In Sam’s words, it was an opportunity for us to be ” rated on whether you save or make money (or both) for the company.” Two years later, after the alarm was sounded, it seems as if many of us have not only gone back to sleep, we’re disappearing. People left inside corporate training organizations are still selling Snake Oil. To quote a friend of mine, “This is professional suicide.” The new (now old in PC years) learning and knowledge transfer methods that the Snake Oil post listed are still not being discussed or widely adopted. The reason I thought the Snake Oil post was so important – I remember forwarding it to almost everyone on my email contact list – was that it was a chance to bring the Dead Elephants to life and have them enter the room. By doing so, I thought we could move away from the old Snake Oil approach, and begin to employ and incorporate the more readily measurable methods and tools into our work. The net result would have been several years of providing corporate education that would have had a more visible impact upon performance and profitability. Because we did not take the Snake Oil post either to heart or to work, that window of opportunity is lost. And the consequences are apparent. I recently read some research about our industry by Ambient Insights that shows that we – corporate trainers – are gradually going away. We are moving from inside the corporation, where we might have had a tremendously valuable impact, especially in the Knowledge Economy, to the outside. In 2004, there were about 75,000 corporate training professionals in this country. The trends towards off-shoring, outsourcing, downsizing and capsizing indicate that by 2008 there will be about 45,000 of us left. Most of us will be working for companies outside the corporation. As an outside vendor, our influence and impact upon corporate decision making, with regard to education and training, will be minimized. And if the trend continues, and we cannot break away from using Snake Oil, more than 75-80% of us by 2011 will be looking in from the outside, as we develop and deliver corporate training programs . The upshot of all this is that 6 years from now, by 2012, only 20,000 of us (or less) will be working inside companies as part of a training department. As Godfrey Parkin said, we will be even more marginalized, our ideas for innovation and new approaches even more discounted, and our primary role will be as project managers of outsourced contracts. The majority of us will work for outside companies as low paid and/or contract workers. And becasue there will still be money in Snake Oil, that’s probably what they will sell. I had high hopes, when the original post was first published, that we could change direction. I knew that we were NOT on the right path every time I bent over backwards, using some clever new system, to try and prove an ROI for a training program. I was looking forward to a new and exciting dialogue about the different role we could play. I was envisioning a more rapid adoption of the innovative methods of learning that were surfacing as part of the Digital Revolution. I had even hoped we could broaden our scope to learn what was going on outside the workplace, look at what was being done in the government, the military, Grades K to 12, and post-secondary schools. My goal back then was to reverse the trends, move away from just being ‘the training department’, jettison the canned Snake Oil approach, and move onto a better track that could help us become more valuable and valued by our companies. And so, two years later, the infamous Snake Oil blog is posted once again. I still believe, despite the trends, that it’s not too late, that those of us inside the company can still change what we are proposing and doing, get away from what measurably does no good (Snake Oil), to what works better if not best. I look forward to ‘walking the talk’, using the newer and more collaborative technology of the wiki, to discuss the possibilities posited by the Snake Oil blog. As Andrew Williams wrote in his response, perhaps the original post can still be viewed as “an inflection point” in the history of this industry.
How much time and money are wasted on instructional methods and learning environments that don’t work? Are learning styles fact or fiction? Are games more effective than traditional methods for learning? What are 10 basic approaches to engagement regardless of delivery medium? Based on her forthcoming book, the speaker will update you on the latest instructional research you need to apply for an evidence-based approach to your training design and delivery. During the session we will separate…
Did you know there is a solid research base regarding what makes games effective corporate learning methods? Check out this online course if you want to infuse your training programs with effective, research-based serious games that drive business results.
Whether you’re carrying out a training needs assessment, or planning to launch a new product, you need hard data to make your next move. However, do you know if the data you collect fits your needs and is valid? This issue enables you to collect data using electronic tools such as email and the Web. It explains several data collection methods, including Web surveys, electronic interviewing, and traditional secondary research using online resources. The seven-step research model presented also gets you data that is appropriate, useful, and validated. Save time and effort by searching with the right method and in the right place the first time.
This practical, hands-on approach provides you with the tools for translating the findings of sound research into sound practices. This title focuses on competency assessment methods, learning styles, organizational learning, 360-feedback, and training evaluation as well as ROI.
Measuring Return on Investment, Volume 3, presents a variety of approaches to evaluating training and performance improvement programs in HRD. Most of the cases focus on evaluation at the ultimate levelROI. Collectively, the cases offer a wide range of settings, methods, techniques, strategies, and approaches. Although most of the programs focus on training and development, others include organization development and performance management. As a group, these cases represent a rich source of information about the strategies of some of the best practitioners, consultants, and researchers in the field.
Introduction to Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis from Johns Hopkins University. We will introduce methods to perform systematic reviews and meta-analysis of clinical trials. We will cover how to formulate an answerable research question, …
Fundamental Neuroscience for Neuroimaging from Johns Hopkins University. Neuroimaging methods are used with increasing frequency in clinical practice and basic research. Designed for students and professionals, this course will introduce the …
Network Analysis in Systems Biology from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. An introduction to data integration and statistical methods used in contemporary Systems Biology, Bioinformatics and Systems Pharmacology research. The course …
Biological Diversity (Theories, Measures and Data sampling techniques) from National Research Tomsk State University. The course presents an overview of the theory behind biological diversity evolution and dynamics and of methods for diversity …
The Workshop works with forward thinking leaders, corporations, school systems, universities, foundations and research centers worldwide as providers of vision, strategy and innovation to enrich existing formal and non-formal education with the latest technology and innovative learning opportunities. 1. Workshop Mission World Wide Workshop develops applications for learning with technology that combine game mechanics and social networking to empower youth to be inventors and leaders in the global knowledge economy. Their programs transform education by connecting youth to learning, community engagement and economic development through game production. The Workshop is proud to respond to President Obama’s call to action: Educate...