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  Frequently Asked Questions

 

Answers to questions posed by the ADVISOR Users are now available online and will be updated regularly.  Whether searching for a technical answer to a current problem, tips on how to perform a specific function or tricks to minimize effort needed to carry out a task, check out BNH's responses below. If you cannot find what you are looking for, then email your question to question@bnhexpertsoft.com

 

 

Install / Setup / System Requirements / Security  
Can I manage the ADVISOR Oracle Database installed on the Server remotely?  
Can the ADVISOR database be installed or upgraded from a remote server?  
When I upgrade ADVISOR from the Install CD, what information will I need?  
What do end users need to access ADVISOR?  
Where is the ADVISOR Configuration stored?  
What are the Database Server minimum requirements?  
Are customizations carried out by BNH for specific client maintained in future releases?  
What databases does ADVISOR support?  
Are there 3rd party embedded software in ADVISOR that we would need to license?  
The following error appears when running Crystal Report "org.apache.jasper.JasperException: Unable to compile class for JSP An error occurred at line: -1 in the jsp file: null...?  
The following error appears during installation when unzipping bnh.zip file: "...\Advisor\js\default\images\icons\Thumbs.db (access denied)"?  
How secure is the transmission and saving of data in ADVISOR?  
Instructional Goals / Modules  
How do I delete modules within a course?  
How do I increase the length of a module?  
Feasibility Analysis / Delivery Options / Media
Does ADVISOR support coaching or mentoring as a delivery option?  
Does the Instructor with Computers delivery option imply one or multiple computers in the room?   
How is the Feasibility Analysis rating under ADVISOR computed?  
What does Most Cost Effective approach means?  
Where can I find the definitions of various media/delivery options?  
Why I cannot specify a blended delivery option for my course?  
How are the Currently Used delivery options under the Course Summary set?  
What does the ** asterisks after delivery option title "did not meet critical requirements under feasibility analysis" mean?  
Development Hours / Development Time Analysis
Why does the Development Hours [per hour] under the Development node under Cost Analysis keep changing?  
Why does the Development Hours [per hour] vary for each module?  
If we know our Development Hour [per hour] ratios, is there a need for Development Time Analysis?   
If we know our Development Hour [per hour] ratios, is there a need for the Technical Capability Template?  
How do you interpret the "Delivery Hardware Capabilities" under Technical Capabilities?  
Cost Analysis
Should the number of trainees per class for asynchronous delivery options be defined?  
How do you estimate the number of instructor per class for asynchronous delivery options?  
How do you estimate the % of Instructors that Travel?  
Why does ADVISOR default to 30% reduction in training time for CBT/WBT?  
How is compression in Trainees training time accounted for?  
Why the Development Costs are not shown under the Up-Front tab under the Summary node?  
How do I compare our own development costs with industry averages or a competitor's development costs?  
Why are the instructor costs treated differently then the administrators, managers and support staff?  
Why does the Module Allocation [%] under Hardware and Facilities under Cost Analysis keeps changing?  
The Module Allocation [%] under Hardware and Facilities is over 100%. What does it mean?   
How would you account for hardware or facility that is used by more then one course?  
How can I minimize time needed to input cost data?  
Why the Adjusted Module Length [hours] is not the same for different delivery options?  
How are the Total Trainees Cost [over life] computed?  
Why is the Trainees Per Diem and Travel Costs $0?  
When should computer costs be considered?  
When should maintenance costs be considered?  
What does Attrition Rate mean and how does it impact costs?  
How are the Break Even Points computed?  
How are up-front and recurring costs computed?  
How is the Days Required by Instructor [per class] computed?  
After selecting the Target Audience for my course, the Trainee Annual Salary and Fringe Benefits Factor [%] under the Cost Factors node appear to be low. Why?   
When I change the criterion for Combining Data field from Lowest Common Denominator to Average Value, the Trainee Annual Salary and Fringe Benefits Factor [%] under the Cost Factors did not change. Why?  
If Trainee Annual Salary is set $0 and the Fringe Benefits Factor [%] to 30%, would this have any impact on the costs?  
Risk Analysis
Where is Trainees Attitude data used?  
DIF Model / Performance Analysis
If "No Training" is indicated as a result of the DIF model analysis, would training and job aids be automatically ruled out under the Plausible Solutions node under the Performance Analysis folder?   
Import / Export Data
If I re-import Instructional Goals, will ADVISOR overwrite current goals?  
Can ADVISOR import data from other systems, such as an Excel spreadsheet, Learning Management System (LMS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?   
I tried to import a CVS file into Training Divisions, but I am getting an error "Number exceeds allowed limits. Column: Base Currency Values [1, 17, 2 ...]"?  
Can ADVISOR export data in a format that can be used by other systems such as Excel?  
User Access / System Performance / Error Messages
A user can no longer sign into ADVISOR. He is getting "Account Locked" error message. How do I unlock user's account?  
A user can no longer sign into ADVISOR. He is getting "Account Expired" error message. How do I reactivate user's account?  
Why is my Browser too slow?  
The database is unstable. Database connection is lost frequently or some screen (such as Feasibility Rating and Cost Analysis) generates error?  
I am getting an Exception Report error when running Crystal Reports?  
The following error appears when trying to run Crystal Report "Failed to spill summaries"?  
I get Query failed error when I click on User Recommendations under Course Summary?  
The following error appears when trying to display a chart in Crystal Report "Null Page: Unable to create page from report source"?  
Configuration / Interface / Reports
A user is assigned to 14 Training Divisions, but can only see 10. Why?   
Why do I see a Template but my colleague under same Training Division does not?  
Why I cannot import (see) Templates that I have created?  
I created 12 instructional goals, but can only see 10?  
How do delete Instructional Goals that have been imported?  
When I remove options such as Administrative and Management Costs under the Analysis Required tab under a Training Division and click on Templates, they are still there. How do I refresh the screen without existing the system?  
Why does the Trainee Financial Data screen have 5 fields while the corresponding screen under Module Analysis has 10 fields?  
Can I add notes to my data?  
I modified the title of a training division, course, instructional goal, etc., but the title in the tree did not change?  
How can I change the dollar ($) sign in crystal reports to pounds (£)?  
I can no longer find the Lessons in ADVISOR. What happened to it?  
I cannot view the Online Help.  When the Help button is clicked, nothing happens?  
Templates 
How can I copy Templates between Training Divisions?  
Is it better to create data in Templates or course?  
How do I zero Development Costs after a Template has been imported?  
When I try to delete a Training Division or a User, a list of Templates, Courses, Solution, etc., appear.  How do I delete these items?  
 


________________________________________________________



Question: Can I manage the ADVISOR Oracle Database installed on the Server remotely?
Response: Yes, by installing the Oracle Client on your computer (workstation).

 

Question: Can the ADVISOR database be installed or upgraded from a remote server?
Response: No. You should run the installation program/CD from the server on which the database is or should be installed.

  

Question: When I upgrade ADVISOR from the Install CD, what information am I going to need?
Response: There are two steps for upgrade ADVISOR.
1. Upgrade Database
    The following information is needed for this step:
    * Database Link
    * Database Name
    * Password for the user "client"

2. Upgrade Java Code
    The following information is needed for this step:
    * Database Link. The parameter used to link to database. In general,

       it has the following format - dbhost:dbport:dbname, where:
       dbhost - Database host/computer name
       dbport - Database port (for example 1521)
       dbname - Database name (for example adv)

    * Password for the user "client"
    * Destination Directory - i.e. where ADVISOR is currently installed
    * What web server ADVISOR is running on and web server directory

 

Question: What do end users need to access ADVISOR?
Response: * Pentium IV with 512 MB RAM
* 200 MB of free Hard Disk Space
* Windows 98, ME, XP, VISTA, 7, NT, 2000, 2004 or Sun Solaris 8.0 or higher 
* Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 or higher, or Netscape version 7.0 or higher
* Plug-ins are not required

 

Question: Where is the ADVISOR Configuration stored?
Response: In the advisor.properties file located under .../BNH/Advisor/adv/WEB-INF/classes directory.

 

Question: What are the Database Server minimum requirements?
Response: * 2 CPU Processor with 2 GB RAM
* 1GB of free Hard Disk Space
* Windows 2000, 2003, NT or Sun Solaris 9.0 or higher 

* Web Server that supports Java Virtual Machine and can run Java

   Servlet, including:
   * Tomcat 4.0 or higher

   * IBM WebSphere 4.0 or higher
   * Resin
   * Oracle Application Server
   * JServ
   * Others 

* Oracle version 9i or higher. If Oracle is not used/supported by your organization, you may purchase Oracle Standard Edition One License from BNH - limited to computers with two processors. 

 

Question: Are customizations carried out by BNH for specific client maintained in future releases?
Response: Yes, the modifications are maintained in all future releases. When we customize a feature, we tag relevant nodes, tabs and labels that hold this functions to the module number assigned to the client. This will in-turn ensure that (a) this function is only available to the client and (b) be part of the ADVISOR system including any future releases. 

 

Question: What databases does ADVISOR support?
Response: ADVISOR supports Oracle versions 9i, 10g or 11g. If your organization does not have Oracle, then you may purchase Oracle Standard Edition One License from BNH.  Limited to computers with two processors. 

 

Question: Are there 3rd party embedded software in ADVISOR that we would need to license?
Response: Only Oracle database version 9i and higher is required. If your organization does not have Oracle, then you may purchase Oracle Standard Edition One from BNH. 

The only other 3rd party software that may be shipped with ADVISOR is Crystal Report Engine for viewing reports. This engine can be distributed freely to any organization that owns a copy of the "Crystal Reports Developer Edition". Otherwise, you may be required to purchase a copy.

 

Question: The following error appears when running Crystal Report "org.apache.jasper.JasperException: Unable to compile class for JSP An error occurred at line: -1 in the jsp file: null...? 
Response: This error was reported on Tomcat 4.1.24 when there are spaces in the path. Two options may be used to resolve the issue:

a. Uninstall Tomcat and reinstall in a location with no spaces in the path;
b. Install another version of Tomcat, 4.1.27 for example.

 

Question: The following error appears during installation when unzipping bnh.zip file: "...\Advisor\js\default\images\icons\Thumbs.db (access denied)"?
Response: This error was reported on Windows XP platform because it sets Thumbs.db as a system file. Two options may be used to resolve the issue:

    a. Unzip BNH\bnh.zip manually to ADVISOT_HOME, and setup ADVISOR

        manually, or
    b. Set all Thumbs.db files under the current ADVISOR directory to

       non-system file before upgrading. 

 

Question: How secure is the transmission and saving of data in ADVISOR?
Response: * BNH is certified under the "Controlled Goods Registration Program" (#020638) that entitles BNH to examine, possess or transfer controlled goods in accordance with Defense Production Act and the Controlled Goods Regulation (http://ssi-iss.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/dmc-cgd/index-eng.html).

* All data sent/received is encrypted using SSL from Network Solutions, protecting against disclosure to 3rd parties. 

* Comprehensive procedures are in place to detect and prevent unauthorized access, including: 
   a. Blocking (denying all requests from) IP where requests are being

      generated, and notifies system administrator, after 10 unsuccessful

      attempts.
   b. Hosting ADVISOR on a separate Server protected by a firewall. 

* Server is physically stored in a secure location, protected with an alarm system connected to a 24 hour monitoring service. 

* Only two individuals have access to database where client data is stored. Procedures are in place to monitor the details of each access.

 

Question: How do I delete modules within a course?
Response: By deleting instructional goals within the module. The Instructional Goals within a module can be viewed by clicking on the Instructional Goals within Module folder under each module. To delete, click on the Instructional Goals folder, place checkmarks next to Instructional Goals you wish to delete and click Submit. 

 

Question: How do I increase the length of a module?
Response: By increasing the length of the instructional goals within the module. The Instructional Goals within a module can be viewed by clicking on the Instructional Goals within Module folder under each module. To modify the length of a module, click on the instructional goal under the Instructional Goals folder, modify the Length field and click Submit. 

 

Question: Does ADVISOR support coaching or mentoring as a delivery option?
Response: Yes. Coaching and mentoring is equivalent to Instructor-led (On-location) with a student to instructor ratio of 1 to 1. 

 

Question: Does the Instructor with Computers delivery option imply one or multiple computers in the room? 
Response: The Instructor with Computers delivery option implies a computer lab. It does not necessarily mean that instructor and students computers can interact with each other. 

 

Question: How is the Feasibility Analysis rating under ADVISOR computed?
Response: The Instructional Design Factors as well as Requirements under the Feasibility Analysis folder are primarily used to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of using alternate options for the delivery of training. Some of the data is critical, for example "Access to Computers". If trainees have no access to computers, then all delivery options that require computers (including synchronous and asynchronous delivery options) are eliminated - i.e., assigned a 0% rating. In some cases a combination of factors may lead to the elimination of delivery options. For example, "Web Based Training" and "Internet Virtual Classroom" are eliminated if the "Internet Connection Speed is 56,000" and "Full Motion Video is Required". 

In other cases, the data is not critical. In this case, ADVISOR assigns values based on the ability of the delivery media in meeting this requirement - for example, 2 = fully meet, 1 = partially meet and 0 = does not meet. The rating of each delivery option is computed by determining the % of requirements met by each delivery option. For example, if 10 requirements are specified and a media fully or partially meets 9 with a score of 16, then the rating is 80% (=16/20). 

Moreover, the reasons for the rating are provided- by clicking on the delivery option title under the Rating node under the Feasibility Analysis folder. These indicate the requirements that the media did not fully meet. 

Once the effectiveness of various delivery options is determined the life cycle costs of plausible delivery options are computed - including design, development, delivery, administrative, management, maintenance and support. 

The final recommendation is based on the Cost Effectiveness Rating of various delivery options - computed by dividing the effectiveness rating by the cost. In other words, options that provide the highest effectiveness (meet most requirements) at lowest cost.

 

Question: What does Most Cost Effective approach means?
Response: If Y axis is your Feasibility and X axis is your cost, ideally, you are looking for a solution that is highly effective (approaches 100%) and cost the least (approaches $0). Since it is unlikely that we will get this solution, we prorate the media with the highest effectiveness to cost rating to 100% and the other media accordingly. 

This ratio is the slope of the line (Feasibility / Cost) which indicates Productivity or Efficiency (Output / Cost). So in these terms, the ratios indicate the relative Efficiency of the media. 

 

Question: Where can I find the definitions of various media/delivery options?
Response: The definitions are presented by clicking the Help button while on the [Delivery Options Supported] tab under Training Division, [Rating] node under Feasibility Analysis and [Recommendations] node under Module Summary. They are also available in Appendix A of the Module #3 User Guide "Select the Right Blend of Delivery Options".

 

Question: Why I cannot specify a blended delivery option for my course? 
Response: You need to have at least two instructional goals within the course assigned to two different modules. Only one primary delivery option is recommended for each module. 

 

Question: How are the Currently Used delivery options under the Course Summary set?
Response: The current delivery method (Instructor-led (Classroom), for example) is specified under the Delivery Options node under each module.  

 

Question: What does the ** asterisks after the delivery option title "did not meet critical requirements under the rating" means?
Response: It implies that the delivery method has a zero rating under Feasibility Analysis. 

 

Question: Why does the Development Hours [per hour] under the Development node under Cost Analysis keep changing?
Response: If the Development Hours [per hour] field is unlocked, then the data is automatically undated from the Rating node under Feasibility Analysis folder. In other words, as the Requirements under Feasibility Analysis change, the Development Time is updated accordingly based on industry averages, and the Development Hours [per hour] field under the Development node under the Cost Analysis folder is updated accordingly. If you prefer to keep the Development Hours [per hour] fixed, then the field should be locked. 

 

Question: Why does the Development Hours [per hour] vary for each module?
Response: Since the effort needed to develop training varies in accordance with the complexity of the subject and level of competency needed, and the modules within a course may have different levels of complexity, the Development Hours [per hour] can be different for each module.

 

Question: If we know our Development Hour [per hour] ratios, is there a need for Development Time Analysis? 
Response: There is no need for Development Time Analysis in this case. It is either or. Development Time Analysis is only required if you do not how much effort is needed to develop the course - or want to compare to industry averages. 

 

Question: If we know our Development Hour [per hour] ratios, is there a need for the Technical Capability Template?
Response: Since Technical Capability only impacts the effort needed to develop the course, there is no need for it in this case. It is either or. Technical Capability is only required if you do not how much effort is needed to develop the course. If you are not planning to use the Technical Capability - it is best to hide it under the Analysis Required tab under the Training Division node. 

 

Question: How do you interpret the "Delivery Hardware Capabilities" under Technical Capabilities? 
Response: It refers to the effort needed to develop the CBT or WBT courseware to run on different types of equipment that the target audience might have. For example, if you are in charge of a media lab, we could specify the equipment in that lab and design the software for it, resulting in a rating of HIGH - no additional "programming" effort is required.

 

Question: Should the number of trainees per class for asynchronous delivery options be defined?
Response: Although at first glance the number of trainees for asynchronous delivery options may appear to be irrelevant, keep in mind that this number is used to compute the "frequency" of the course. Since the effort and in-turn the costs needed to administer, manage and support training is based on the number of days per class (i.e., frequency), the number of trainees per class is therefore important in computing the frequency and in-turn administrative, management and support costs. 

 

Question: How do you estimate the number of instructor per class for asynchronous delivery options? 
Response: Two examples are provided below to illustrate how the number of Instructors per class for asynchronous delivery options can be computed: 

Example #1: If a class of 20 students will be taking WBT off-site and a single instructor is expected to answer e-mail questions and grade assignments submitted via the internet, then the number of instructors per class is 1.

Example #2: If a class of 45 students will be taking WBT off-site that is completely self contained with feedback and remediation and the test scores will be sent directly to the Training Management System, meaning that there is no direct instructor involvement, then the number of instructors per class is 0.

 

Question: How do you estimate the % of Instructors that Travel?
Response: Three examples are provided below to illustrate how the % of Instructors that Travel can be computed: 

Example #1: An instructor teaches 10 classes of a course in a year. One of these classes is off-site. Therefore, 10% of the instructor's classes involve travel.

Example #2: A 36-week course has 2 classes each year with a different instructor for each class. One of the instructors is a contractor and must travel from home to the training center, a reimbursable expense. Therefore, 50% of the instructors travel.

Example #3: A class has 10 sessions. Two of these sessions are off-site. Therefore, 20% of the instructors travel.

 

Question: Why does ADVISOR default to 30% reduction in training time for CBT/WBT?
Response: Self-paced instruction encourages the trainee to take the most efficient path to content mastery, skipping areas of strength while focusing on areas of weakness. Interaction and immediate feedback provide constant, highly effective reinforcement of concepts and content. Personalized instructions accommodate different learning styles to maximize trainees learning efficiency. The reduction in training time is supported by the following references.

Bahlis, J. and Corneau, Daniel (1994), Case Study: Development and Implementation of Interactive Self-Study Training Program at National Defence 

Headquarters, Directorate of Civilian Training and Development, paper presented at the Washington Interactive Multimedia 94 Conference, Washington, D.C.

Bunderson, C.V., and Olsen, J.B. (1984), Instructional Effectiveness of an Intelligent Videodisc in Biology, Machine Mediated Learning.

Ketner, W. (1982), "Videodisc Interactive Two-Dimensional Training", paper presented at the 4th Annual Conference on Videodisk Training System, Warrengton, Virginia.

Kimberlin, D.A. (1982), The U.S. Army Air Defense School Distributed Instructional System Project Evaluation, paper presented at the 4th Annual Conference on Videodisk Learning System, Warrington, Virginia.

Miller, Rockley L. (1990), Learning Benefits of Interactive Technologies, the Videodisk Monitor, pages 15-17.

Reeves Thomas (1988), Effective Dimensions of Interactive Videodisk for Training", Computer Assisted Approaches for Training, Elsevier Science Publishers, pages 119-132.

Reeves, Thomas and Marlino, Mary (1989), An Evaluation of the Emergency Medical Condition Interactive Videodisk", American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting.

Weinstein, Stuart (1987), Training and Cost Effectiveness of Interactive Videodisks for Technical and Maintenance Training", Research Report, SWL Inc., Multimedia Products Group, Vienna, Virginia.

Wright, Elizabeth (1983), Aid to Families with Dependent Children", University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida.

 

Question: How is compression in Trainees training time accounted for?
Response: Gained productivity that may result from compressing training time is accounted for under the Trainees Cost - Salary and Trainees Cost - Lost Opportunity fields under the Trainees node under the Cost Analysis folder.

Based on Trainees Annual Salary, ADVISOR computes the cost of time spent in training. If CBT requires 50% less time then instructor-led, for example, then Trainees Cost - Salary for CBT will be 50% less then instructor-led. 

 

Question: Why the Development Costs are not shown under the Up-Front tab under the Summary node? 
Response: Each cost field within ADVISOR has an indicator [D] or [I] that specifies whether the cost is direct or indirect. If the cost is set to Indirect, then the time [person-days] needed to develop the content is presented under the Resources tab under the Summary node. To display the actual dollar amount under the Up-Front tab, change the indicator for the Avg. Daily Cost for Developer field under the Development node to [D] (by clicking on it). 

 

Question: How do I compare our own development costs with industry averages or a competitor's development costs?
Response: 1. Create 3 Development Costs Templates to reflect the 3 options that you wish to compare, namely "Own Development Costs", "Industry Standard" and "Competitors Development Costs".

2. Create a Course under Course Analysis and set-up required parameters including Trainees per Year and Instructional Goals. 

Depending on how you want to view the data, you may either:

Option #1
* Create two additional copies of the course
* Rename copied courses to reflect the different development models
* Import relevant Development Costs from Templates using Import Module

   Template
* View results of each course under Summary under Cost Analysis folder
* Generate a side by side comparison of the three options using Compare

   Training Budgets/Resources report under the Generate Reports folder

Option #2
* Import relevant Development Costs from 1st Template (own development

   costs, for example) using Import Module Template
* View results of each course under Summary under Cost Analysis folder
* Generate Report using Course or Executive Report function
* Import relevant Development Costs from 2nd Template (Industry Standard,

   for example) using Import Module Template and repeat procedure.

 

Question: Why are the instructor costs treated differently then the administrators, managers and support staff?
Response: Instructor Costs are directly related to the "length" of the course and instructor preparation time - in other words, the more time needed by the instructor - the higher the costs. 

Administrative, Management and Support Costs are not necessarily related to the "length" of the course - but the "frequency" of the course - since it may take the same amount of time (effort) to book room, register trainees, arrange equipment, etc., for a 20 hour course or a 10 hour course. For this reason, Administrative, Management and Support Cost Templates capture the cost per class versus hour. 

 

Question: Why does the Module Allocation [%] under Hardware and Facilities under Cost Analysis keeps changing?
Response: If the Module Allocation [%] field is unlocked, then it is automatically computed based on the module length, frequency and the availability of hardware or facilities. If you prefer to keep the Module Allocation [%] fixed, then the field should be locked. 

 

Question: The Module Allocation [%] under Hardware and Facilities is over 100%. What does it mean?
Response: Based on the length and frequency of the course and availability of equipment or facility, the Module Allocation [%] is computed. If one piece of equipment or facility is not sufficient to carry out the training, then the Module Allocation [%] would be greater then 100%. In other words, you need to increase capacity - provide more equipment or facility.

 

Question: How would you account for hardware or facility that is used by more then one course?
Response: The percentage of the cost allocated to each course is indicated under the Module Allocation [%] field. If a piece of equipment is shared equally by two courses, for example, then the Equipment Module Allocation for each course should be 50%. 

 

Question: How can I minimize time needed to input cost data?
Response: Time and costs needed to administer, manager, deliver, maintain and support various types of courses can be setup under the Templates folder under each Training Division. Once created, templates can be shared with others and imported within each course and module that belongs to the training division. 

 

Question: Why the Adjusted Module Length [hours] is not the same for different delivery options?
Response: The Adjusted Module Length refers to the time needed to complete the same training material using different media. Since training can be completed faster with some media such as CBT/WBT then instructor-led, the Adjusted Module Length for CBT/WBT in this case should be less then the Instructor-led approach. The compression rate [Time Required by Trainee [% of classroom] for each media is specified under the Course Variable node under the Cost Analysis folder. If 100% is specified for all delivery options, then the Adjusted Module Length for all media would be equal.

 

Question: How are the Total Trainees Cost [over life] computed?
Response:

Trainees Cost - Salary is computed as follows:

Trainee Daily Cost x Days Required by Trainee [per class] x Number of Trainees [over life]

Total Trainees Cost [over life] is computed as follows:
   Trainee Cost - Salary 
+ Trainee Cost - Lost Opportunity 
+ Trainee Cost - Per Diem 
+ Trainee Cost - Travel 
+ Miscellaneous Costs x Expected Life of Course [years]

Please note that this info is available in the context sensitive online help, by clicking the Help button as well as Chapter 6 of the Module #3 User Guide "Select the Right Blend of Delivery Options". 

 

Question: Why is the Trainees Per Diem and Travel Costs $0?
Response: If the Trainee Per Diem Costs or % of Trainees that Travel is 0, then the Trainees Cost - Per Diem will also be zero since it is computed as follows:
Trainee per Diem Costs x Number of Trainees [over life] x % of Trainees that Travel x Module Length

Similarly, if the Trainee Travel Costs or % of Trainees that Travel is 0, then the Trainees Cost - Travel will also be zero since it is computed as follows:
Trainee Travel Costs x Number of Trainees [over life] x % of Trainees that Travel

 

Question: When should computer costs be considered?
Response: If new computers, equipment or software licenses are needed for the delivery of training - then Hardware Costs can be significant and should be considered. If the other hand, trainees are using their desktop computers - then its allocation to training is minimal.

 

Question: When should maintenance costs be considered?
Response: Since maintenance (i.e., review and update) costs of asynchronous CBT/WBT courses can be significantly higher then the corresponding synchronous delivery options, they should be considered. Maintenance costs can be accounted for by simply estimating the % of Content that Changes under the module node under the Module Analysis folder. In other words, although a course may have a life span of three years, 15% of the, for example, may require updating each year. The change should be indicated as a percentage of the initial development effort [15% each year, for example].

 

Question: What does Attrition Rate mean and how does it impact costs?
Response: Attrition Rate is the % of trainees that are not expected to complete the course on the 1st trial. Attrition rate can greatly impact costs, since it implies that more individuals would have to be trained or retrained in order to successfully train (graduate) the required number of individuals.

Let us assume that our objective is to successfully train 225 individuals. If the attrition rate is 0%, it implies that all trainees will successfully complete the course on the first trial. In this case, 225 individuals will require training to meet our objective. If, on the other hand, the attrition rate is 10%, it implies that 10% of the trainees are expected to dropout or fail the course on the first trial. In this case, 250 (= 225 / 0.9) individuals would have to be enrolled in the course in order to meet our goal - (i.e., successfully train 225 individuals.

 

Question: How are the Break Even Points computed?
Response: Break Even Point is the point in time (or dollar amount) in which the initial investment has been recovered and savings commence. The Break Even Point between two delivery options is computed as follows: 

Net Up-front Cost: 
Upfront Cost of Delivery Option #1 - Upfront Cost of Delivery Option #2

Net Recurring Cost: 
Recurring Cost of Delivery Option #1 - Recurring Cost of Delivery Option #2

# of months needed to break even: 
[Net Up-front Costs / Net Recurring Costs] x 12

Dollars needed to break even: 
Upfront Cost of Delivery Option #1 + Recurring Cost of Delivery Option #1 x (Break Even Point Months/12)

 

Question: How are up-front and recurring costs computed?
Response: Up-Front costs also referred to as Start-up costs = 
   Hardware Costs + Development Costs

Recurring Costs per year = 
   Administrative Costs + Management Costs + Trainees Costs 

+ Instructors Costs + Facilities Costs + Transmission Costs 

+ Maintenance Costs + Support Costs 

 

Question: How is the Days Required by Instructor [per class] computed?
Response: The easiest way to find out how each number is computed is by clicking on the Help button. 

Days Required by Instructor [per class] is computed as follows: 
Length of Module [days] x Time Required by Instructor [% of classroom] 
+ Instructor Preparation Time [days] 
+ [% of Instructors that Travel x Instructor Travel Days] / 100 %

The Length of Module is indicated under the Module node and the other variables are specified under the Course Variables node under Course Analysis folder. 

 

Question: After selecting the Target Audience for my course, the Trainee Annual Salary and Fringe Benefits Factor [%] under the Cost Factors node appear to be low. Why?
Response: When dealing with multiple Target Audiences for a course, you can specify how the data is combined in the Criterion for Combining Data field under the Course Title node. If the Criterion is set to the Lowest Common Denominator, then the lowest salary and fringe benefits factor is used. You may select Average Value to verify if the salary and fringe benefits are reasonable. If not, the data in the Target Audience Templates could be wrong. 

 

Question: When I change the criterion for Combining Data field from Lowest Common Denominator to Average Value, the Trainee Annual Salary and Fringe Benefits Factor [%] under the Cost Factors did not change. Why? 
Response: To reload the Target Audience Data, you will need to deselect or select at least one target audience and click Submit. 

 

Question: If Trainee Annual Salary is set $0 and the Fringe Benefits Factor [%] to 30%, would this have any impact on the costs?
Response: Since Fringe Benefits Factor is a % of the salary, it will have no impact on the costs.

 

Question: Where is Trainees Attitude data used?
Response: It is used to assess the Risk of introducing a new delivery media. Target audience can be specified under the Risk Analysis folder under the Training Division. The Risk can in-turn be applied to any course 

 

Question: If "No Training" is indicated as a result of the DIF model analysis, would training and job aids be automatically ruled out under the Plausible Solutions node under the Performance Analysis folder?
Response: The performance analysis model does not take into account the DIF model recommendations. The DIF model proposes a plan should all conditions be met. The Performance Analysis confirms or refutes the plan. So in theory, the DIF model may indicate that training is not needed while the performance analysis model may indicate that it is. 

 

Question: If I re-import Instructional Goals, will ADVISOR overwrite current goals? 
Response: No, ADVISOR will simply add the instructional goals to the current goals in the course. This is true for all import functions within ADVISOR. 

 

Question: Can ADVISOR import data from other systems, such as an Excel spreadsheet, Learning Management System (LMS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?
Response: ADVISOR can import data in a delimited file format. In other words, ADVISOR can import data from any system (Excel, for example) that can save or export data in a delimited file format. When exporting the data, please ensure that it is setup a format that can be easily imported in ADVISOR. For example, data for each item within ADVISOR (course or instructional goal, for example) are saved in a single record (row). 

If required, links (web services) can also be setup to directly exchange data between ADVISOR and other systems. The ADVISOR web services are customized for each application on a case-by-case basis.

 

Question: I tried to import a CVS file into Training Divisions, but I am getting an error "Number exceeds allowed limits. Column: Base Currency Values [1, 17, 2 ...]"?
Response: When importing a dropdown field such as currency, you should specify the location of the field in the dropdown list, such as 1, rather then actual text, such as $. 

When importing numbers such as salaries or fringe benefits factor, you should only specify the number (such as 50000 or 30). In other words, the number should not be formatted (such a $50,000 or 30%). ADVISOR interprets formatted numbers are as strings. 

 

Question: Can ADVISOR export data in a format that can be used by other systems such as Excel?
Response: ADVISOR generates reports in two formats:

a. HTML (Course Report, for example). These reports can be imported in most MS Office application including Excel and Access. 

b. Crystal Reports (Course Executive Report, for example). These reports can be exported into Rich Text Format (RTF) and Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file formats. Organizations that own the Crystal Report 11.0 Developer Edition, can convert the Crystal Report (RPT) file into a multitude of other formats including XML.

 

Question: A user can no longer sign into ADVISOR. He is getting "Account Locked" error message. How do I unlock user's account? 
Response: For security purposes, after 10 failed attempts to log on to ADVISOR Enterprise within a 5-minute period, the user is prevented from accessing the system. To unlock the account, three options are provided:

a. Copy and paste the URL saved in the "access.log" file (under Advisor/log directory) in the browser and hit Return. A message indicating that account has been unlocked will be displayed. FYI, sample URL is presented below. 
http://intranet/Advisor/program.admin?action=unlock&unlockid=192.168.0.103&type=address&password=11520  

b. You can also setup an automatic notification to system administrator each time an individual signs on the account, an account is locked or an error message has been generated. To activate this feature, edit the ""advisor.properties" file, under /Advisor/adv/WEB-INF/classes directory as follows:

  *Specify outgoing email Server (SMTP) Name after "log.smtp=smtp.xxxxx.xxxx"
  *Specify administrator email after "log.email.administrator=john.smith@bnhexpertsoft.com" 

c. Stop and Restart the Web Server (Tomcat, for example).

 

Question: A user can no longer sign into ADVISOR. He is getting "Account Expired" error message. How do I reactivate user's account?
Response: Click on the Limits tab under the User Account node under the User Accounts Folder and modify the expiry date. If no date is specified, the user account will expire with the organization, if ADVISOR is licensed on annually. 

 

Question: Why is my Browser too slow?
Response: To minimize memory needed by your computer, by default ADVISOR only loads up the first 2 data levels - for example, Training Divisions, but not the Templates. You may change the default setting by placing a checkmark next to the Extended Interface field under the Options tab under the Preferences node under the Personal folder. In this case ADVISOR will load all data. This in-turn requires more memory and may considerably slow your system down. To return to default setting, remove the checkmark next to the Extended Interface field under the Options tab under the Preferences node under the Personal folder and click Submit. 

 

Question: The database is unstable. Database connection is lost frequently or some screen (such as Feasibility Rating and Cost Analysis) generates error?
Response: Increase the following parameters in Oracle init.ora file. For Oracle 8i, for example, the file is located under the following path: Oracle/admin/(database_name)/pfile/. We use the following values - it may be different from system to system depending on CPU, memory, database size, etc.
  large_pool_size = 55614400
  shared_pool_size = 51457280
  java_pool_size = 20971520

 

Question: I am getting an Exception Report error when running the Crystal Reports?
Response: This error occurs if the JVM Heap size is not setup correctly. You can correct as follows:

Windows: Add the following line to Catalina.bat 
set JAVA_OPTS=-Xms128m -Xmx256m 

Unix: Add the following line to Catalina.sh 
JAVA_OPTS="-Xms128m -Xmx256m"; export JAVA_OPTS 
CATALINA_OPTS=-Djava.awt.headless=true; export CATALINA_OPTS

 

Question: The following error appears when trying to run Crystal Report "Failed to spill summaries"?
Response: This error occurs if the JVM Heap size is not setup correctly. You can correct as follows:

Windows: Add the following line to Catalina.bat 
set JAVA_OPTS=-Xms128m -Xmx256m 

Unix: Add the following line to Catalina.sh 
JAVA_OPTS="-Xms128m -Xmx256m"; export JAVA_OPTS 
CATALINA_OPTS=-Djava.awt.headless=true; export CATALINA_OPTS

 

Question: I get Query failed error when I click on User Recommendations under Course Summary?
Response: This error only occurs if user session was lost after login. The server side setting could cause this. You should check the following: 
* Is Firewall, around the Oracle box, terminating long connections?
* Was Oracle under heavy use when the error occurred?

The following options may be implemented to resolve the problem:
a. Reconfigure Firewall to allow longer connections.
b. Add more memory to the Oracle box to speed the query.
c. Increase java_pool_size, large_pool_size, or shared_pool_size in Oracle configuration file.

 

Question: The following error appears when trying to display a chart in Crystal Report "Null Page: Unable to create page from report source"?
Response: The error is generated by the Crystal Report Engine. Crystal Report issued a patch. To install, please follow the steps below: 

1. Download the Crystal Report patch by clicking on following link (it is a large file 23.1 MB): https://www.bnhadvisor.com/estore/html/downloads/lib.zip 
2. Unzip the lib file 
3. Stop the Web Server (i.e., Tomcat, for example) 
4. Copy the contents of the lib.zip file under .../BNH/Advisor/adv/WEB-INF/lib directory 
5. Restart Web Server (Tomcat, for example)

 

Question: A user is assigned to 14 Training Divisions, but can only see 10. Why? 
Response: By default, only 10 items are displayed on each page (screen) at a time. To view the next 10 items, click on the page #2. Page numbers are presented on the top right hand side of the screen along node title. 

To display more then 10 items per page (screen), click on the Options tab, under the Preferences node under Personal folder, change the Items per Page field and click the Submit button to save. 

 

Question: Why do I see a Template but my colleague under same Training Division does not?
Response: Two reasons may cause this to happen:

a. Template is not shared with the other user. To validate and share that Template is shared with user, click on the template that you wish to share, click on the Sharing tab, place a checkmark next to the user's name and click Submit. 

b. The User may not have adequate privileges. To validate and modify User Privileges, click on the Privileges tab under the User account, place checkmarks next to appropriate fields (Browse Training Division and Manage All Course Templates, for example) and click Submit. 

 

Question: Why I cannot import (see) Templates that I have created?
Response: Three reasons may cause this to happen:

a. Some Templates including Instructional Design factors, Technical Capability and Transmission Costs appear under the Import Course Templates node, which the remaining Templates appear under Import Module Templates node under the Module Analysis folder. 

b. Make sure that the Template is Public. To validate or modify the Status, click on the template that you wish to view, change the Status field from Private to Public, if applicable, and click Submit. 

c. Make sure that the Course belongs to same Training Division under which the Template has been created. To validate or modify the Training Division, click on the course title, validate that the course is assigned to the correct Training Division under Training Division field, and click Submit. 

 

Question: I created 12 instructional goals, but can only see 10?
Response: By default, only 10 items are displayed on each page (screen) at a time. To view the next 10 items, click on the page #2. Page numbers are presented on the top right hand side of the screen along node title. 

To display more then 10 items per page (screen), click on the Options tab, under the Preferences node under Personal folder, change the Items per Page field and click the Submit button to save. 

 

Question: How do delete Instructional Goals that have been imported?
Response: There is no simple (undo) procedure. Click on the Instructional Goals folder, place checkmarks next to instructional goals you wish to delete and click the Delete button. Another alternative is to delete the entire course. This may be appropriate if not much data has been populated within the course. 

 

Question: When I remove options such as Administrative and Management Costs under the Analysis Required tab under a Training Division and click on Templates, they are still there. How do I refresh the screen without existing the system?
Response: Once you make changes to the Administrative or Management Costs under the Analysis Required tab and Submit, click on the Training Divisions folder to refresh (i.e., reload new data from database). This is true for every node within ADVISOR. You click on parent folder to refresh.

 

Question: Why does the Trainee Financial Data screen have 5 fields while the corresponding screen under Module Analysis has 10 fields?
Response: The Trainee Financial Data is imported under the Cost Factors node, which has the same 5 fields. The additional fields under the Trainees node under Module Analysis are related to travel expenses. These are saved separately under the Travel Costs Template under each training division. 

 

Question: Can I add notes to my data?
Response: You may add a note for any screen under the Course or Template by clicking on the Notes button, typing in the note and clicking Submit to save. A yellow indicator appears in the top right corner of the tab and screen title to indicate that that a note is attached to this tab - when 1st added, you will need to refresh the node, by clicking on it one more time for the yellow tab to appear. Anyone who has access to the course can view and add notes. 

 

Question: I modified the title of a training division, course, instructional goal, etc., but the title in the tree did not change?
Response: Since all data is stored in a centralized database, to maximize performance, data in the tree is only refreshed when the parent node is clicked. In other words, to refresh Course title, you would need to click on the Course Analysis folder. 

 

Question: How can I change the dollar ($) sign in crystal reports to pounds (£)?
Response: The $ signs can be easily converted to £ by exporting the Crystal Report to an RTF file (Export Function is in top left corner of Crystal Report) and using MS Word find and replace function. 

 

Question: I can no longer find the Lessons in ADVISOR. What happened to it?
Response: ADVISOR can be easily configured to hide any data or analysis not required by the Training Division. To modify the settings, click on the Analysis Required tab for the Training Division under the Training Divisions folder, place checkmark next to the Lessons field and click Submit. 

This is also true for other data functions within ADVISOR including Feasibility Analysis, Development Costs, Hardware Costs, Administrative Costs, Management Costs, Trainees Costs, Instructor Costs, Facilities Costs, Transmission Costs, Support Costs, etc.

 

Question: I cannot view the Online Help.  When the Help button is clicked, nothing happens?
Response: This is most likely due to Browser settings - i.e., the Browser is Blocking Pop-up Windows.  Since the Online Help is presented in a separate window, if the Browser is blocking pop-up windows, the Online Help will not be displayed.  To resolve this issue, when you click on the Help button, the Browser will prompt you to extend the permission of displaying pop-up windows from this site. Simply grant this permission.

 

Question: How can I copy Templates between Training Divisions?
Response: * Click on the Template that you wish to copy
* Select Training Division you want to copy the Template to under Copy to Division field
* Click Submit

 

Question: Is it better to create data in Templates or course?
Response: Whenever possible, data should be created in Templates first since it can be imported in multiple courses/modules. Data in a course, on the other hand, is difficult to share. It is limited to a specific course/module. 

 

Question: How do I zero Development Costs after a Template has been imported?
Response: The simplest way is to create a Development Cost Templates with zero values and import, whenever you have a need to zero the Development Costs. The concept can also be applied to other Templates as well. 

 

Question: When I try to delete a Training Division or a User, a list of Templates, Courses, Solution, etc., appear. How do I delete these items?
Response: To minimize the risk of deleting useful data by accident, ADVISOR does not permit cascade deletion. In other words, all data (i.e., courses, solutions, templates, users, etc.) related to the item should be first deleted or reassigned to another division or user, before the item can be deleted. For example, you can click on the Course Analysis folder and delete all courses that belong to the training division or user and then try deleting the training division or user one more time.

 

 

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