"The time for online learning has come for the graphic arts and imaging industry," says David Tontarski, senior program manager for CET. Recently, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and IO Technologies teamed to pioneer a new chapter in printing, publishing and imaging training by offering innovative courses—online. For CET, a unit of RIT's Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies (CIMS), the project is about progress. CIMS business units include many of the most well-respected facilities in the country, such as the National Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery, the Printing Applications Laboratory, and the Center for Excellence in Lean Enterprise.
Says Tontarski, "The curriculum was developed by top industry experts and uses an adaptive learning technology to customize the experience for each individual. This way, it targets exactly what the participant needs to know and delivers the instruction efficiently without a lot of guesswork. This is very important to participants who don't have time to waste going over information they already know. Plus, you can learn at your own rate, on your own time."
The partners believe that through extensive studies, online learning has demonstrated that it can provide increased information retention. The format is especially popular among business travelers, who need the 24-hour-a-day, seven day a week access.
"There is a lot of e-learning available today, and more to come, as the industry grows," explains Richard Burke, vice president of business development for IO Technologies. "These courses are unique in that they represent precision training created by experts, focused on processes rather than products, and adapted to meet the skills and needs of the user."
Cost ranges from $200 to $600 per course. When students register, they receive an allotment of online hours to finish a course. CET will exclusively distribute the training courses. Registrations are now being taken for Introduction to Document Imaging Workflows, Getting It On the Web and Variable Data Imaging, as well as Becoming a Print Professional, Practical Color Management and Profitable Digital Solutions.
Additionally, RIT also launched an online experts database searchable by name and expertise at www.rit.edu/news. Tontarski says that the fusion of breaking technology expertise and world-class education is precisely what makes the online learning program appealing to printers and publishing partners.
A free demonstration course is available at www.training.rit.edu/online.html.
-Natalie Hope McDonald