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Feb 21

Exactly what is wrong with education and government; Input vs. Output

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Taking sexual harassment training is good stuff. I get it. I support it. However, the implementation is so poor that I had to comment on it.

The law states that you need to take 2 hours of training. See anything wrong with that?

As I took the online class, after the first section (where I got every question right) I faced the following screen:


I was “ahead of schedule” so they made me sit and wait for minutes so I would “catch up.”

Doesn’t it make more sense to have the expectation that: “You will understand US sexual harassment law” with an exam that proves it, instead of just “you sat around for 2 hours…. and we all know that why you waited in between you could have just been playing Wii Mario Cart.”

Can we please start to measure on output and not input? If someone answers 100% of questions in 3 minutes, good on them. They know the law.

5 Responses to “Exactly what is wrong with education and government; Input vs. Output”

  1. Pamela Fox Says:

    If that’s anything like the training we did @ Google, then it’s just bullshit anyway. The questions/situations are always framed so that you know exactly what the “correct” response is (just like the quizzes in teen magazines, really). It certainly didn’t decrease the amount that I sexually harass people, atleast.

    Better would be an interactive discussion where people actually talked about real-life situations where they felt harassed, and people could see the pain on people’s faces as they described it. Or something to that effect.

  2. Ray Cromwell Says:

    I had to go to online traffic school to beat a ticket once, and they had an exam just like this. The purpose of the timer wasn’t to make sure you “catch up”, but to punish you for the requisite time, otherwise, people could cheat by skipping rapidly through the example and using a cheat sheet that someone else provided.

    Traffic school is pretty much a punishment, and not really designed to teach you to stop speeding.

  3. philip Says:

    I work with people who had to take a similar course (same topic, same timing mechanism). As far as I know, the timer isn’t a legal requirement, it’s an attempt to ensure that people don’t rush through the content.

    The timing mechanism backfired when applied to the folks I work with, as many of them admitted they simply hit the ‘next’ button, then went to do something else while the timer ticked away. Most of them wound up surfing the web in a separate window instead of learning the content covered in the course.

    As an instructional designer, I *hate* these kinds of courses. They give our industry a bad name. Timers are usually pointless, unless it’s during an exam; the course would have been more effective if it contained interactions that engaged the learner and caused him/her to truly reflect on the content.

    When you really get down to it, an organization that forces employees to take courses like this aren’t really interested in having you learn anything, they’re interested in covering their butts from a compliance/legal point-of-view (and doing it on the cheap).

  4. dion Says:


    If I had ever seen you harass then I surely would have told your superior, and they would immediately get all of the data and take it seriously.

    My favourite part of the online test was: ‘Is this harassment? “Honey, you really fill out that blouse”‘


  5. Igor Says:

    To Pamela

    “like the training we did @ Google”?

    I’m surprised to hear Google conducts such “trainings”. Must be pretty humiliating for everyone involved. Apparently not…

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