Training and HR Technology--Retrain the Brain.

As aging baby boomers look to keep on working, producers of `brain fitness' software—aimed at improving memory and keeping the mind sharp—see an opportunity to pitch their products to employers. Software tools to keep the brain fit are headed to the workplace. The products have been making a splash in the consumer market in recent years as older Americans wrestle with memory loss and other cognitive declines. And now vendors of "brain fitness" software are beginning to see employers as another fertile market, especially given the desire of baby boomers to stay in the workforce for years to come. A host of challenges face this nascent industry. They include doubts about the effectiveness of the software, concerns that exercises in front of a computer will bore people, and the prospect that employees in their 40s, 50s and 60s will feel stigmatized signing up for what could be considered brain rehab. But advocates are confident the burgeoning field of brain health is far more than a fad, and companies are likely to see significant benefits in areas such as productivity and retention through the use of the new software tools.

For details on the article,please check out the link below:-

Regards Amit Bhagria

Views: 117

Comment by Ray Towle on January 28, 2008 at 2:14pm

Thanks for posting this. I'll offer another perspective; CRI;
Criterion Referenced Instruction (R. Mager)

An overview of CRI:

The Criterion Referenced Instruction (CRI) framework developed by Robert Mager is a comprehensive set of methods for the design and delivery of training programs. Some of the critical aspects include: (1) goal/task analysis -- to identify what needs to be learned, (2) performance objectives -- exact specification of the outcomes to be accomplished and how they are to be evaluated (the criterion), (3) criterion referenced testing -- evaluation of learning in terms of the knowledge/skills specified in the objectives, (4) development of learning modules tied to specific objectives.

Training programs developed in CRI format tend to be self-paced courses involving a variety of different media (e.g., workbooks, videotapes, small group discussions, computer-based instruction). Students learn at their own pace and take tests to determine if they have mastered a module. A course manager administers the program and helps students with problems.

CRI is based upon the ideas of mastery learning and performance-oriented instruction. It also incorporates many of the ideas found in Gagne's theory of learning (e.g., task hierarchies, objectives) and is compatible with most theories of adult learning (e.g., Knowles, Rogers) because of its emphasis on learner initiative and self-management.


Criterion referenced instruction is applicable to any form of learning; however, it has been applied most extensively in technical training including troubleshooting.


CRI has been applied to a workshop that Mager gives about CRI. The workshop consists of a series of modules (mostly print materials) with well-defined objectives, practice exercises, and mastery tests. Participants have some freedom to choose the order in which they complete the modules, provided they satisfy the prerequisites shown on the course map. For example, in one module on Objectives, the student must learn the three primary components of an objective, recognize correctly formed objectives (practice exercises), and be able to draft correct objectives for specified tasks. This module has one pre-requisite and is the pre-requisite to most other modules in the course.


1. Instructional objectives are derived from job performance and reflect the competencies (knowledge/skills) that need to be learned.

2. Students study and practice only those skills not yet mastered to the level required by the objectives.

3. Students are given opportunities to practice each objective and obtain feedback about the quality of their performance.

4. Students should receive repeated practice in skills that are used often or are difficult to learn.

5. Students are free to sequence their own instruction within the constraints imposed by the pre-requisites and progress is controlled by their own competence (mastery of objectives).


Mager, R. (1975). Preparing Instructional Objectives (2nd Edition). Belmont, CA: Lake Publishing Co.

Mager, R. & Pipe, P. (1984). Analyzing Performance Problems, or You Really Oughta Wanna (2nd Edition). Belmont, CA: Lake Publishing Co.

Mager, R. (1988). Making Instruction Work. Belmont, CA: Lake Publishing Co.

Consider CRI as a great way to "re-train the brain." . . . this applies to recruiters too.

All the Best!

Comment by Amit Bhagria on January 29, 2008 at 12:09am
Hi Ray,
Thanks for sharing such valuable information. I would request you to share the same on my blog. Please mail me the complete details on so that I can post it, giving your reference.


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