The goal of this exercise is to identify the distance learning technologies that might provide the best solution to the challenge. Unfortunately, the hypothetical scenario provides no information about the system that learners will eventually use for their collaborative projects, nor was any information given regarding the number of people involed in the training. These factors would affect the decision on what kind of technology is best suited to the project.
Since the training is for managers, I assume there will be a small number people around a conference room table at each location. Since the goal of the training is to empower learners to collaborate, I believe the solution must include using the new technology in a collaborative manner.
I believe I would begin by using a two-way videoconferencing technology (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2009, pp. 101-103) to acquaint users with the technology they will be using. I would schedule six individual meetings, one at each regional office. Before the meetings, pre-learning surveys would be emailed to each participant to be returned prior to training to help guide which topics may need emphasis and possible pre-training.
I would use remote control software such as the open-source “UltraVNC” (“Remote control for all,” 2008) to operate a remote computer screen running the actual collaboration software as users become aquainted with it. The computer running the collaboration software would be in the conference room with the learners. The instructor would have remote control of the machine and would see the same display. I would use a telephone or voice over IP (VOIP) connection (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, p. 153) for two-way discussions between the instructor and the small group of distant learners.
After providing users with an overview of the product, I would assign groups of learners with collaborative projects to explore advanced aspects of using the software. Learners would use the colloborative software to work together to create their own supplements to the software documentation.
A follow-up set of teleconference meetings would provide for face-to-face discussion of learner experiences with the new collaboration software.
Finally, learners would be asked to post a reflection of their experience in the seminar to the collaborative learning system, and post-learning surveys would be sent to each learner to gain insight into the perceived effectiveness of the training and to solicit suggestions for ways to improve continued training.
EDUC-6135-2 Distance learning. (n.d.). Distance learning technologies: Application. Walden University. Retrieved from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=4603379&Survey=1&47=6447422&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=1&bhcp=1&BrswrOK=1&PrevRef=http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn%3FCourseID%3D4603379%26Survey%3D1%2647%3D6447422%26ClientNodeID%3D984650%26coursenav%3D1&submit1=Continue
Remote control for all. (2008). UltraVNC. Retrieved from http://www.uvnc.com/
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2009). Technologies for distance education. In Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Beall, J. (2007). Videoconference Meeting. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/deed.en. Retreived from http://www.flickr.com/photos/denverjeffrey/710112391/