The Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Motel Association (EI) is pleased to join Cendant Corporation in ushering in a new era of hospitality training. Now hotel companies around the globe can develop and deliver customized, property-specific hospitality training to personnel via the Internet. The vehicle? The Educational Institute Hospitality Network (EIHN).
The EI Hospitality Network (www.eihn.org) is an Internet-based training and development system available to hotel companies and properties on a subscription basis, beginning this Fall. A menu of services will be offered on EIHN, including access to hundreds of EI hospitality training videos, textbooks and interactive, multi-media CD-ROM elements to create courses within an academic setting, for application within a chain, or at a specific property.
“While training is the major component of EIHN, ” explains William C. Cahill, Vice President of the EI Center for Electronic Learning, “hospitality service is the key to its success. Subscribers will use this network as a connection to the industry, whether they’re seeking news, opinions, information, employees, jobs, parts for equipment, technical help in using software applications, supplies, training materials, or online seminars.” A virtual shopping mall will facilitate e-commerce and provide the forum for access to Educational Institute training materials.
“With access to all the training products in the EI catalog,” continues Cahill, “a corporate trainer can search EI selections for materials that fit a specific profile, such as ‘guest service-front office-economy lodging.’ The trainer can then preview the resources that fit those specifications and assemble the components for a class.” Access to the engine for course development gives subscribers the ability to construct courses and allows them to monitor student activity, track results, and store information in a database. Reports on trainees’ progress, available on request, can be structured by department, property, or corporation.
One of the most fascinating and futuristic components of EIHN is the access to the EI-Online system, a virtual global classroom that allows instructor and students to work together in real time, regardless of location.
“Synchronized whiteboard and web browser give EI-Online this amazing
capability,” said Cahill. “All participating students can hear the trainer
as they can see a synchronized electronic equivalent of a chalk board.
The trainer can communicate with all students at once or with each individually.
Those are the primary features,” Cahill explains, “and from there it gets
“For example, the trainer can turn the floor over to a student, who can communicate with the rest of those in this virtual classroom—even write on the chalkboard for everyone to see. Trainer and students can share diagrams, documents, training materials from the EI library--whatever you can put on a computer or pull from the Internet anywhere in the world.” The EI-Online system also allows instructors to gather feedback, schedule a break, and quiz students. Subscribers can access EI facilitated seminars or conduct their own—even use the unique capabilities to conduct meetings with regional managers or board members.
Cendant Corporation is the first to recognize the value of EIHN, and
announced, on April 23, 1998, that the network will be available to all
of its nearly 6,000 properties. Cendant is the world’s largest franchiser
of hotels with more than 530,000 rooms under the Days Inn, Howard Johnson,
Knights Inn, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, Villager Lodge, and Wingate Inn
Cahill added that the network would enable the Educational Institute to simulcast industry events, such as keynote addresses at conventions or conferences.
Future plans for EIHN include threaded discussion forums and chat rooms to allow industry professionals to exchange ideas and information that can increase efficiency in operations.
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