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Accelerated Learning Takes Off
The basic challenge for many corporate training departments is to produce well-trained, productive employees and reduce the amount of time it takes to train them. The trainers at Bell Atlantic's C&P Telephone Company, which serves Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC, found an answer to that challenge in the principles and techniques of accelerated learning. In the bargain, they created a learning atmosphere that was fun, efficient, and beneficial to everyone involved.
After testing the water with a pilot program, the company allowed the training department to convert two of its customer-service-representative Training courses--courses that produce the company's bread and butter--to the accelerated-learning format. As a result, the costs of one course were reduced by 42 percent and the other by 57 percent. In addition, the satisfaction of students and trainers greatly improved, as did their job performance. Those facts were reflected in the supervisors' overwhelmingly positive evaluations of the new graduates (Figures 1 and 2).
This article provides a brief report of what Bell Atlantic did and what results it achieved.
Basic principles and
The purpose of accelerated learning is to provide effective training in a short time. The methods are interactive and treat learning as a collaborative effort of equals, rather than a hierarchical relationship between teacher and pupil. The principles for the learning environment are that it
* be positive and accepting;
* provide a natural, comfortable, and …