Online Training Hailed

SAN MATEO (06/14/2000) - Joining e-learning ASPs (application service providers) such as click2learn Inc. and KnowledgePlanet.com Inc., Pathlore has launched an ASP offering that will allow companies to provide online training to employees without spending the time and money to host their own applications.

Companies will be able to rent training software from Pathlore with the option of having Pathlore deliver the applications in-house if they desire, according to David Evangelisti, vice president of marketing for Pathlore, based in Columbus, Ohio.

The service is available on a pay-as-you-go basis, with increasing fees as training programs expand. Companies who sign up for the service can use their own software or provide training content to Pathlore and have designers develop a specialized instructional program.

Currently, e-learning can be used during employee orientation when workers are taught "soft skills," such as e-mail and Internet use. HR departments also use e-learning to make employees aware of company policies regarding sexual harassment, workplace violence, and privacy.

HR managers can administer tests through the ASP and track employee performance. Besides implementing traditional classes, the service can be used to host online collaborative training events. E-learning also is used for teaching IT "hard skills" like programming languages.

Online training is different from simple document-sharing in that documents become more interactive, according to Sunnyvale, California-based industry analyst Brandon Hall. Managers are able to track and alter information for different employees, Hall said. For example, using online training, a manager can alter a test for different employees and check if a user has even opened the test.

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