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