April 2000

A Matter of Time


“Get All Your Work Done in Half the Time, Be the Office Hero, and Go Home Early,” Leslie Ayers, PC Computing, March 2000.

Sound impossible? According to the article, it can all be done with the help of Web-based training. Not only can employees attend training without leaving the office, they can do so in small intervals and at times convenient for them. Managers can monitor progress and see what courses have been completed-all without significantly affecting the bottom line.

Web-based training is a quick and easy way to learn new technologies and upgrade software application skills. In a test conducted by PC Computing, employees who took a Web-based Excel training class out-performed those who hadn’t by 37 percent, saving 200 hours per year and a total of $5,000.

Many training sites exist on the Internet, and some are better than others, so the magazine decided to test some. The testers rated DigitalThink best for technology-based training. The courses were highly interactive and didn’t require plug-ins or downloads. They included quizzes, streaming audio, chats, and discussion threads.

Other sites that tested well were and was highly praised for the breadth of its technology courses but tended to be harder to navigate.

For more in-depth technology training, a good source is Digital Education Systems. In conjunction with O’Reilly and Associates, Digital Education Systems offers in-depth courses in technologies such as Java and Linux. Users of this training can contact instructors via email or discussion boards for help.

There are also clearinghouses offering courses from many different training sites. The main advantage to these clearinghouses is that some, like,;, and, allow you to track an employee’s progress and completed course results. Using, you can assign courses to certain individuals and mark courses you would like them to take in the future. These features are free in and

Some people will learn more using Web-based training than others but, when it works, Web-based training can increase productivity, which more than makes up for the cost. At a time when we are all working harder, maybe it’s time to start working smarter and get home a little earlier tonight. CIDMIconNewsletter