NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Mountain View, CA, United States, 2007/03/05 - SumTotal Systems, Inc., the largest provider of talent and learning solutions, announced that researchers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System have purchased ResultsOnDemand™. NASDAQ: SUMT
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System have purchased ResultsOnDemand™ to underpin a study designed to evaluate the best way to deliver learning to hundreds of substance abuse counsellors. ResultsOnDemand is SumTotal’s subscription model for analyzing employee performance and delivering learning over the Internet.
SumTotal’s software will give the Palo Alto, Calif.-based researchers the framework and technology to control how counsellors in the study learn about new treatment approaches. Their study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), evaluates how best to use technology-based training to help practicing substance abuse counselors learn about cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is an evidence-based treatment that is known to be effective, but is not currently in widespread use in the community.
“We’re not trying to prove -- with our study -- that online training has merits over classroom training,” said Steven W. Villafranca, research health science specialist at the Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine “We already know that online training can be as effective as face-to-face workshops. Instead, we want to know what is the best possible way to deliver online training to counsellors; so that, they achieve the most beneficial outcomes for their clients. For example, do counsellors learn and retain more when they have the ability to select the training content that they feel is most relevant to their clinical practice, or do they learn best by following a traditional step-by-step process of instruction?”
The Palo Alto research team will use the SumTotal platform to launch two different versions of an online CBT course. The researchers will monitor two groups as they progress through the experiment. One set of participants will have the freedom to choose the online instruction they want, in the order they want. The other group will follow a rigidly prescribed order of online learning. Technology from WebEx, which integrates with SumTotal’s platform, will allow the research team to provide all participants with supervision in small groups. At the end of the study, the researchers will rely on SumTotal’s software to analyze not only what counsellors learned but also how they learned.
“The SumTotal system will show us important ways to combine learning technologies to achieve the best outcomes for counsellors and their clients,” said Kenneth R. Weingardt, associate director of the Palo Alto Health Care System’s Program Evaluation and Resource Center, and the study’s Principal Investigator. “This may be the first time a learning management system has been used to empirically compare different pedagogical approaches.”
“We liked the price of ResultsOnDemand,” added Villafranca. “We wanted a top-rated solution in place quickly for several hundred users, and it was important to have integration with WebEx. So we chose SumTotal.”