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Video Teletraining: A Guide to Design, Development, and Use.

Today's law enforcement training managers face a variety of challenges in identifying the most cost-effective methods to deliver training. An increasingly popular option to meet various training needs includes some form of teletraining, e.g., video teleconferencing, satellite-relay broadcasting, or desktop conferencing.

Where should trainers look for guidance when faced with using one of these instructional media? One helpful source, Video Teletraining: A Guide to Design, Development, and Use, developed by the Training Institute of the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) provides a comprehensive discussion of teletraining technology and offers helpful suggestions for designing teletraining courses and preparing teletraining instructors. Although not written specifically for police trainers, the book contains information, culled from a 3-year GAO pilot study, that should prove useful to anyone in law enforcement interested in teletraining (or distance learning, as it is often called).

The seven-chapter book begins with an introduction to distance learning and videoconferencing. Subsequent chapters focus on topics such as using videoconferencing equipment, troubleshooting, scheduling, and coordinating video teletraining sessions. Each of these discussions includes checklists designed to help instructors ensure that teletraining sessions function smoothly.

The last three chapters of the book cover valuable information often overlooked in similar publications. These chapters, titled "Designing and Redesigning Courses for the Video Teletraining Class," "Adapting Visual Materials for Television," and "Delivering the Video Training Class," explain what works and what does not work during teletraining classes.

The book points out crucial differences between using visual aids in traditional platform instruction and using them in teletraining. It then suggests ways to develop visual materials that meet the unique demands of teletraining instruction. The final chapter discusses the special demands teletraining places on instructors, focusing on such topics as coordinating administrative matters, encouraging "classroom" interactivity, and displaying a positive image during teletraining sessions.

Video Teletraining takes much of the mystery out of a quickly emerging technology that offers many exciting possibilities for law enforcement trainers. In the not-too-distant future, teletraining may be a routine component of the instruction provided by law enforcement trainers. This book will help trainers prepare for that future.

Agencies can order a free copy of Video Teletraining (each additional copy is $2) by contacting GAO at 202-512-6000 and requesting document GAO/TI-95-1. The book also can be accessed via the Internet at http://www.gao.gov.

Reviewed by Patricia M. Boord, M.S. Curriculum and Interactive Training Technologies Program Manager National Security Training FBI Academy Quantico, Virginia
COPYRIGHT 1997 Federal Bureau of Investigation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Boord, Patricia M.
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1997
Words:406
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