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What eRA Requirements Would Training SMEs Like to See? Training Perspectives on the New System

Contributed by Matt Simpson

Teaching on a chalkboard

In February, the eRA requirements team held two more focus groups, wrapping up the data collection phase of the requirements gathering process. On February 6, six training experts met to discuss what system requirements are most important to them. Contributions from this group are imperative because they will play a huge role in ensuring a smooth transition from the current to new eRA system.

This focus group also helped inform the training plan for system roll-out at NC State. Once the Training Team is officially formed, its mission will be to coordinate and facilitate training sessions, and to provide educational resources. Therefore, this group focused on what it would take to get everyone comfortable and proficient with the new system. For that reason, their main concerns when contributing requirements for the new system dealt with providing system tools and aspects that would create an environment in which the training team can do its job as swiftly and effectively as possible.

Because this team’s effectiveness will lead to others abilities to succeed as well, the importance of training and training resources has been echoed in previous focus groups.

Top New-System Requirements

What were the most commonly suggested requirements among this group?

  • 24/7 Training Access.
  • Mix of Training Mediums. Provide ability to facilitate training through a variety of mediums (i.e. face-to-face, video chat, etc.).
  • Question Tracking. Provide two-way (user and administrator) ability to track questions that have been asked. This will allow for more question resolutions, and the ability to gauge what questions are the most common.
  • Compare/Contrast Chart. Provide a tool that allows users to see a side-by-side comparison (with screenshots) of the current and new system interfaces.

Commonly Desired Existing Suggestions

What were some previously mentioned requirements that were echoed in this group?

  • Importance of training. Vendor should offer current, robust help information within the system; NC State must commit to ongoing training for current and new faculty and staff.
  • Customizable Tools. Among other types of customizable tools that have been suggested, the training team would like to see training tools that adjust to each individual’s learning style.

From problem to solution

Once again, keep in mind that these desired requirements are suggestions, and that the vendor solutions may not be able to include everything that we’d like to see. However, our needs and wants certainly can’t be accommodated if we don’t make them known, so thank you to everyone who participated in the requirements-gathering process. As we move forward, the next step is to begin drafting the RFP. So, be sure to stay tuned and check our blog regularly for important updates and developments.

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