Distance Learning 2009
The mission of the Virginia Department of Health Distance Learning Committee is to
promote accessible distance learning agency-wide through the coordination of resources.
The program consists of many different aspects. With deep budget cuts and increased
requirement for training, distance learning has become more important than ever. 2008
was a year identifying needs. 2009 was a year addressing those needs. Efforts to address
those needs are outlined below.
Initiatives and Successes:
TRAIN Superusers – Superusers provide the first tier of user support for the TRAIN
Virginia Learning Management System, as well as provide training tracking services to
their work units. The goal was to have Superusers in every district and office by mid-
2009. This was accomplished by the end of June, 2009. Also, Superusers were given
additional roles in regards to tracking training.
VDH OHR Training Policy 5.05 and Statewide Employee Orientation Program (SEOP) –
VDH OHR worked with EP&R Training and Education as well as the VDH Distance
Learning Committee to establish a new training policy for employees. This policy also
includes the Statewide Employee Orientation Program (SEOP) and requires the use of
TRAIN Virginia to register for and track training. This and the Statewide Employee
Orientation Program makes VDH the only agency in the CoV that requires the use of
distance learning in employee development. Implementation of the TRAIN SEOP
training plan has shown only a 6.8% initial failure rate among users. This is well below
the industry expectation of 10%. This failure rate is calculated from the number of help
desk calls versus the number of successful completions and is mainly due to computer
problems and user technology challenges.
TRAIN Data Cleanup – In 2008 an initiative to set TRAIN data conventions and clean up
user account and training data was begun. As of December 31, 2009, data conventions
have been established and user account data compliance increased from less than 25% to
MRC VA-TRAIN Usage – To help facilitate better MRC TRAIN user support, MRC
TRAIN has agreed to working with TRAIN Virginia in having all Virginia MRC TRAIN
users register through TRAIN Virginia.
CoV Knowledge Center/TRAIN – A link between the CoV Knowledge Center and
TRAIN Virginia was established allowing for pass through login abilities when
registering for a Knowledge Center course listed in TRAIN. Successful completion of
said course would then auto-complete the course listing in TRAIN.
Content Server Changes – VDH currently hosts online course content on its own server.
It was determined that savings of ~$10K would be realized if VDH could move online
content to a DHRM content server while decommissioning their own. This initiative was
80% complete by December 31, 2009.
Web 2.0 – The VDH Distance Learning Committee (DLC) is continuing to examine
multiple Web 2.0 applications for training including point-to-point applications, social
networking sites, online blog and webinar sites and wikkis. OIM has asked for and is
receiving data from the DLC regarding possible business use of Web 2.0 applications.
The DLC is recommending many Web 2.0 applications to VDH staff and has also drafted
a proposed Web 2.0 use policy which has been submitted to OIM.
Training Via Mobile Platforms – An initiative was begun to research the feasibility of
using mobile communication platforms for just in time training. Motorola has a robust
application process for this format, so they were contacted and have expressed an interest
in helping VDH.
Distance Learning Strategic Plan – The Distance Learning Committee revisited the
committee strategic plan, updating the mission and setting new goals. Workgroups were
also updated to meet specific plan goals. The Marketing workgroup drafted a distance
learning marketing plan and has established a “Brown Bag Lunch Seminar Series” to
market the use of distance learning within the agency. The Online Toolkit workgroup
has begun a listing of Web 2.0 online applications and plans to change their webpage
from Content Development to Web 2.0 applications in 2010.
Polycom Usage: 25/wk 21/wk
Genesys Total Usage: 4 6
DimDim Total Usage: 36 -
*These numbers may include some duplicate
Total Users: 25369 17891
EMS Users: 8880 5373
VDH Users: 4794 4097
Total Volunteer Users: 4313 2419
MRC Users: 1275 588
Providers: 226 137
TRAIN Data Cleanup – All user data is entered into TRAIN Virginia by the user. This
challenge is ongoing. However, through engineering controls and online training
requirements, this is becoming less of a challenge every day. We expect data to be 90+%
compliant with established data conventions by mid-2010. This will allow for the
running of required DHRM training metrics reports directly from TRAIN, eliminating the
need for polling employees for this data.
Bandwidth – As more required training is being assigned to VDH employees via distance
learning, we are finding that bandwidth at some locations is not adequate. This is
currently being addressed through OIM and the VDH Distance Learning Committee will
keep tabs on the situation.
2009 VDH Distance Learning Committee:
Brad Bradley, Distance Learning Coordinator