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ASTD Announces Plans to Certify Web-based Training Courses

(Alexandria, Va.) October 24 - The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) announced plans to develop standards for certifying web-based training courses for adult learning. The courses would be evaluated on their usability and instructional design; two areas that users and training suppliers agree are not equal for all web-based courses. 
The rollout of the certification program is slated for summer 2001."As the online training market has grown exponentially over the past few
years, so have the number of products and services," said Anne Blouin, Director of Education for ASTD. "The wide variation in the quality of online courseware has prompted our members and customers to ask ASTD for standards to objectively assess the effectiveness of web-based courses," she noted."Similarly, training suppliers are interested in letting customers know how their product performs in relation to the competition."  The goal of this initiative is to create a set of standards that:

  • Meet legal and certification requirements
  • Embody current knowledge of the key characteristics that promote learning
  • Are applicable across various learning models and subjects
  • Users and training suppliers will find useful for identifying, selecting, and producing quality web-based training courses

Current market research activities include a Web survey for users and structured telephone interviews with course developers. In addition, a five-person Certification Commission (including industry experts in adult learning and web-based courseware development) is forming to work on the development of the standards.

Founded in 1944, ASTD is the world's premiere professional association in the field of workplace learning and performance. ASTD's membership includes more than 70,000 professionals in organizations from every level of the field of workplace learning and performance in more than 100 countries. Its leadership and members work in more than 15,000 multinational corporations, small and medium sized businesses, government agencies, colleges, and universities.