Worldspan will soon offer travel agencies true interactive distance learning from the Go! platform, along with an expanded variety of online training tutorials.
LAS VEGAS—Worldspan is actively testing distance learning solutions that will soon enable Worldspan travel agents to receive live interactive training right from the desktop via the Worldspan Go!® platform. Using the latest in Web-based education technology integrated within the Go! Training server, travel agents will be able to access and participate in instructor-led Worldspan training sessions on the Web, supplementing traditional off-site classroom training and reducing costs associated with sending agents to one-day seminar training.
Web-based training is emerging as one of the most potent uses of the Internet. By connecting learners and instructors in different locations, distance learning via the Internet introduces greater flexibility and convenience into the training process, and Worldspan is taking the lead in refining this technology for travel agent instruction.
Worldspan has partnered with Lotus Development Corp., a global leader in distance learning solutions, to offer true Web-based education programs for travel agencies. Utilizing Lotus LearningSpace, a suite of software products for delivering distance learning, Worldspan is creating real-time virtual classrooms where travel agents can interact with the instructor and among themselves much as they would during face-to-face training.
Worldspan is also developing self-paced or “asynchronous” courses that allow agents to study independently online from any location at any time. These independent study modules help prepare agents for online classroom sessions, guaranteeing they get the greatest value from live interactive instruction.
“Online training allows travel agency managers and their agents to select and schedule training when it’s most convenient for them, helping ensure that agents receive the instruction they need to do their jobs most efficiently,” commented Mike Parks, senior vice president and general manager - Worldwide Travel Distribution for Worldspan.
“Worldspan is committed to developing flexible, task-specific, cost-effective training solutions that bring greater value to our customers. Through our distance learning initiatives, Worldspan is making training more convenient and accessible to travel agencies, empowering them to manage their own education programs.”
Distance learning from Worldspan is dynamic and engaging, using color graphics and animation to make content stimulating as well as instructive. Instructors may draw from such advanced capabilities as application sharing, which permits the instructor to launch an application and make it appear on students’ computers simultaneously. Both the instructor and students can input information and control the application using the keyboard and mouse.
In addition to these distance learning initiatives, Worldspan has launched new training tutorials on the Worldspan Go! Training server. Recent additions include QuickStart, Worldspan Hotel Select®, Worldspan Car Select®, Worldspan World FilesSM, Flight Availability, Worldspan AccessPlusSM, Basic PNR, Queues, Fares and Pricing, International pricing, Encode/Decode Airlines, Flight Service Information, Minimum Connect Times, Seat Assignments, and General Facts (SSR/OSI).
Online tutorials provide an efficient and convenient way to learn about the Worldspan system and its diverse features and functions. Tutorials on the Go! platform are broken down into easy-to-master, five-to-ten-minute subtopics that travel agents can start and finish at their convenience. Travel agents can also test their new knowledge with brief quizzes following each topic.
All tutorials, along with new distance learning courses, are part of Worldspan’s growing Training Portal available through Worldspan Go!. Worldspan’s Training Portal also includes links to Worldspan e-training partners that offer online education discounts to Worldspan customers. For example, under a special agreement, CompUSA provides online software applications training at a discount for Worldspan travel agents, and Viasinc offers a complete suite of online travel agency tutorials, including PNR creation, fares, pricing and ticketing.
“Our goal is to provide our customers with one convenient place to go for quality online training—training that can help increase the technical skills and ‘soft skills’ of their agents,” said Parks. “That’s what our Training Portal is designed to offer.”
Pilot distance learning courses have already been tested at Worldspan facilities in Atlanta, and initial live online courses will be introduced as early as fourth quarter 2000. Initially online training will be available through Worldspan Go!. Later this year, Worldspan will also make training offerings accessible via the Internet, enabling Worldspan agents worldwide to take courses anytime, anywhere one has Internet access.
Worldspan provides global electronic distribution of travel information, Internet products and connectivity, and electronic commerce capabilities for travel agencies, travel service providers and corporations worldwide. The company’s three lines of business are travel supplier services, e-commerce, and global distribution systems for the worldwide travel industry. The Worldspan reservations system provides nearly 21,000 travel agencies and other users worldwide with travel data and booking capabilities for hundreds of the world’s leading travel supplier services. Worldspan is the market leader in e-commerce for the travel industry, processing more than 50 percent of all online travel bookings. The company maintains world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Worldspan is owned by affiliates of Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and Trans World Airlines. Additional information is available at www.worldspan.com.