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Correctional Officer Training Materials Escape Print

| December 7, 2016 | Tom C. Smith


Let’s start with a question: Have you been in a conversation lately about the digital transformation of training materials? Probably not. But, hey, maybe. Either way, the idea of digitized content most certainly is a topic we all care about so let me use one of our recent projects to stoke some conversation and make a few points along the way.

Our client, American Prison Data Systems (APDS), came to us with a goal that was clear and to the point: Digitize their correctional officer training materials. The project’s objective might have been fairly common but the fact that it was within the corrections industry was unprecedented. Training materials have generally been available only in print form, which only slowed or blocked altogether any progress or innovation in this area.

APDS Founder and CEO, Chris Grewe, summed it up best: “Traditionally, the corrections industry has been almost uniformly print-based when it comes to training. The NYC DOC Academy trainees used to carry around large, heavy binders, which were cumbersome, difficult to update, and rather insecure.”

The digital transformation of their training materials ultimately went a long way to pushing their training program into the modern era. It cut the time-consuming and costly process of printing, handing out, and tracking training materials. It allowed administrators to monitor recruit engagement and learning via APDS’ proprietary Learning Management System (LMS), through which the digital content is delivered. The LMS provides data in near real-time and seamlessly integrates multimedia content, such as video, into the training material. Here are some results:

  1. More than 2,000 pages of training materials now are digitized.
  2. Training content now is delivered to trainees through a secure portal.
  3. More than 600 officer training tablets have been deployed; the officers can use them to study anywhere when they have a few free moments.
  4. APDS is able to analyze the usage and results of its training materials, and provide valuable reporting to its clients.

The benefits of digitizing this client’s training materials are fairly obvious. But this project speaks to the broader topic of how moving from print to digital can help any organization manage and optimize their content. Moving to digital is a smart, tactical business decision and is integral to content automation. Once in a digital format, ideally in a structured format such as XML, the content can be easily and effectively managed, accessed, and updated through a dedicated content automation platform.

Tom C. Smith is Director of Marketing for Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc. (DCL). DCL uses its advanced technology, XML expertise, and U.S.-based project management teams to help solve the most complex conversion and data mining challenges securely, accurately, and on time.

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