Proposal for Developing an International WBT Course for SAP's Information Developers
By Lisa Marie Blaschke (President, Kreative Kommunications (KreKos))
Essay Assignment #1
OMDE623, Section 9040 Web-based Learning and Teaching and the Virtual University
February 24, 2002
Word count: 760 (without quotes, reference sources, and References list)

INTRODUCTION

    SAP, world leader in business application software, contacted us recently requesting a training proposal for its growing global workforce of information developers (technical writers, translators, and trainers). This proposal sets forth SAP's learning requirements and environment (Know Why), a needs assessment for information developer training (Know What), and Kreative Kommunications' solution for addressing those needs (Know What/Know Who) (OECD, 2000).

SAP REQUIREMENTS

    Through discussions with management, we have identified these core corporate beliefs about education. SAP:

    SAP's education goals are to:
NEEDS ASSESSMENT

    SAP employs over 600 information developers worldwide, who are responsible for designing and developing information objects; 40% are based in SAP subsidiaries. A 40-50% increase in information development staff is planned by 2004, mostly in the subsidiaries. The current 4-week training program requires attendance in Walldorf, Germany. (Due to the current global economic downturn, onsite training is no longer feasible.)

Course content needs

Learning environment needs     Policies and procedures for integrating WBT into SAP's current training and technology infrastructures are also needed, including policies for instructor compensation (American Council of Education, 2000). It is also essential that the course is consistent with SAP's education beliefs.

OUR PROPOSAL

    KreKos' designing principles are based on the belief that "technology can be used to create communities of learners and practicitioners and can facilitate the interactions and activities necessary for solving real-world problems" (Burge and Roberts, 1993, as cited in Jonassen etal., 1995, p. 8). We use a Web-based training environment to develop courses where learners "examine their thinking and learning processes; collect, record, and analyze data; formulate and test hypotheses; reflect on previous understandings; and construct their own meaning" (Crotty, 1994, as cited in Jonassen etal., 1995, p. 11). KreKos' constructivist principles guarantee a course that focuses on "context, construction, collaboration, and conversation," using a variety of online techniques that promote student communication and genuine problem-solving, such as computer conferencing, collaborative writing and design, and online chat (Jonassen etal., 1995, pp. 13-15; Leflore, 2000; Ryan etal., 2000).

    Based on SAP's needs assessment and requirements, we believe that our constructivist approach, combined with delivery in a WBT environment, is the best solution to SAP's training needs. This WBT course would:

    As part of our services, we can provide personalized learner plans for students with disabilities, for example, case-by-case planning for accommodation and access, accessible instruction, course materials, and testing, and identification of and training in the most effective assistive technology tools (Paist, 1995; Q&A, 2002). Our instructors also provide training in gender-based learning style (how to apply the most appropriate instructional techniques, media selection, and assessment strategies) (Burge, 1998; Beckman, 2002).

    For practical reasons, SAP may consider partnering with one of the following universities/vendors for the technical writing module of the course (R1.edu, 2002):

    Our team has a broad range of international experience and training expertise and brings with it an extensive understanding of the attitudes and training expectations of different cultures. We can provide SAP with the necessary services for building a WBT course, as well as assist you in planning and implementing policy and technology infrastructures.

CONCLUSION

     KreKos looks forward to working with SAP in designing and developing this international WBT course. We strongly believe that this collaborative effort will not only help establish a market standard for e-learning, but will also better position SAP information developers as significant contributors to the knowledge economy.

References:

    American Council of Education. (2000). Developing a distance education policy for 21st Century Learning [On-line]. March 2000. Retrieved January 22, 2002 from http://www.acenet.edu/washington/distance_ed/2000/03march/distance_ed.html

    Beckman, K. (2002). Weekend briefing to UMUC President [On-line]. Conference Weekend Briefings, OMDE623. Retrieved February 10, 2002 from: http://tychousa5.umuc.edu/OMDE623/0202/9040/class.nsf/Menu?OpenFrameSet&Login

    Burge, E. (1998). Gender in distance education. In: Campbell, C. (Ed.). Distance learners in higher education. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing, pp. 25-45.

    Haddad, W.D. (2000). Is the divide digital? [On-line] TechKnowLogia, March/April 2000. Retrieved February 14, 2002 from http://www.techknowlogia.org/TKL_active_pages2/CurrentArticles/main.asp?FileType=PDF&ArticleID=85

    Jonassen, D.; Davison, M.; Collins, M.; Campbell, J.; & Haag, B.B. (1995). Constructivism and computer-mediated communication in distance education. In: The American Journal of Distance Education, 9(2):7-26.

    Leflore, D. (2000). Theory supporting design guidelines for Web-based instruction. In: Abbey, B. (Ed.) Instructional and cognitive impacts of web-based education. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing, pp.102-117.

    Low, L. (2000). Overview of information technology and the media. In: Economics of information technology and the media, pp. 3-28.

    OECD (2000). Understanding the role of education in the learning economy: the contribution of economics. In: Knowledge management in the learning society. Paris: OECD, pp. 11-35.

    Paist, E. (1995). Serving students with disabilities in distance education programs. In: The American Journal of Distance Education 9(1): 61-70.

   Q&A: The internet and people with disabilities, parts I & II  [On-line]. Digital divide network. Mary Lester, Russ Holland and Sue Brown, Alliance for Technology Access. Retrieved January 22, 2002 from http://www.digitaldividenetwork.org/content/stories/index.cfm?key=202

    R1.edu. (2002). Search results of course and program search [On-line]. Retrieved February 13, 2002 from http://www.R1edu.org

    Ryan, S.; Scott, B.; Freeman, H. & Patel, D. (2000). A changing context - education and the internet. In: The virtual university. The internet and resource based learning. London: Kogan Page, pp. 7-28.

    Ryan, Y. (2000). The business of borderless education and lifelong learning [On-line]. In: TechKnowLogia, September/October 2000. Retrieved February 13, 2002 from http://www.techknowlogia.org/TKL_active_pages2/CurrentArticles/main.asp?FileType=PDF&ArticleID=176

    Sanchez, I. & Gunawardena C. (1998). Understanding and supporting the culturally diverse distance learner. In: Campbell, C. (Ed.). Distance learners in higher education. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing, pp. 47-64.