BYU's PACTS:Training and Certification Authoring for Windows and the Internet
PACTS for Windows 
Abstract: PACTS automates a training and certification system in Windows and the Internet. Create training manuals, pretests, and certification tests in PACTS; all can include text, media clips, and OLE. Manuals and tests are assigned to trainees and accessed via a LAN or a Web Server. PACTS consists of three Windows programs: the Editor which is used to create training materials, the Viewer which is used to view training materials and take tests, and World Wide PACTS used with a Windows-based Web Server like WebSite to allow users to read PACTS training manuals and take tests via the Internet. 

PACTS is a product waiting for a software company to continue to develop and market it. If your company has a plan for making PACTS available to a wide audience, contact the BYU Technology Transfer Office at (801) 378-6266 for licensing information. If you have specific questions about PACTS that aren't answered by this page or by the down-loadable documentation, feel free to e-mail the developers. 


What is PACTS?
PACTS automates a training and proficiency testing process. Trainees can use PACTS to study training materials at their own pace, take tests to assess their knowledge, and then return to any material that has been learned but was subsequently changed or forgotten. A trainer can use PACTS to create training materials, assign those materials to trainees, and track the progress of trainees and the effectiveness of training materials.

Features of PACTS

Pretest Screen Shot

Once the trainee feels comfortable with the rules in a page, the trainee can take an initial test on the material. This initial test is referred to as a pretest. If the trainee is already experienced in the material, the Learn step can be skipped and the trainee can go directly to the pretest.

There should be at least one pretest question for each rule in a page. Pretest questions can be fill in the blank, multiple choice, true or false, single choice, and yes or no questions. Pretest questions can be text based, or they can include video, sound, graphics, or OLE objects.
A trainer will set a certain minimum score that must be achieved on a pretest before the trainee can go on and take the proficiency test.
Review Screen Shot

After taking a pretest, PACTS will highlight the rules that should be reviewed by the trainee (based on the questions that were missed in the pretest). Reviewing helps the trainee focus on areas of weakness.
Establish Proficiency
Proficiency Test Screen Shot

The format of the proficiency test is similar to the pretest. Proficiency questions can be fill in the blank, multiple choice, true or false, single choice, or yes or no questions. Proficiency questions can be text based, or they can include video, sound, graphics, or OLE objects.

A trainer will set a minimum score that the trainee must achieve on a proficiency test to establish proficiency in that page. If the score set by the trainer is not achieved, the rules linked to the proficiency questions that were missed can be reviewed. This will prepare the trainee to re-take the proficiency test.
Re-establishment of Proficiency or Updates
PACTS Notebook

Once a trainee has established proficiency in a page, the trainee may feel the page is finished. But what happens if the material in the page changes at a later date? The answer is re-establishment of proficiency. Should any page change, PACTS will generate a new page to be learned and tested on by all the trainees that learned and tested on the older material. The new page will consist of only the material that has been updated or added to the page since the trainee last established proficiency on the page. In this way, PACTS automatically keeps everyone using the training book up to date on any corrections or changes made to the book.
For example, let's say that during the first part of the year Susan Phillips learned, pretested, and established proficiency on a page called "Pell Grant Eligibility" in a training book on Pell Grants. When Susan learned and established proficiency on the page, she learned that non-US citizens are not eligible for a Pell Grant. However, later in the year Congress passed a new law that made certain non-US citizens eligible for Pell Grants.
In the weeks after the law was passed, the author of the training book on Pell Grants went into the "Pell Grant Eligibility" page and changed the rule that said that "Pell Grants are not available to non-US citizens" to say "Pell Grants are available to non-US citizens." The author also added some new rules to the "Pell Grant Eligibility" page explaining which non-US citizens are eligible for Pell Grants.

When these changes were made, PACTS looked up all the proficiency test records for trainees who had worked in the training book and found that changes were made to material that Susan had already completed (and any other trainees that had worked on the material). PACTS automatically generates a special "Pell Grant Eligibility" page, called an update, for Susan to train in that includes only the rules that were changed or added in the "Pell Grant Eligibility" page since Susan last tested on that page.

To reestablish proficiency, Susan would be expected to complete the PACTS learning model for the update on "Pell Grant Eligibility"?that is she would have to learn, pretest, review, and pass a proficiency test on the update. This sounds like a lot of work, but remember that only the rules that have changed or been added will be listed in the reestablish proficiency update. A page that had fifteen rules the first time Susan took a proficiency on it might only have one or two rules when she reestablishes proficiency, depending on how many rules were changed.

If the changes made to a book are trivial, such as a spelling correction, PACTS allows trainers to select which rules generate updates. If a trainer is just making a minor correction, the trainer can tell PACTS not to create updates on the changed items.
Re-establishment of proficiency keeps trainees up to date when policies change. What about when trainees just seem to forget policies or need special help on a policy? The answer is a PACTS feature called Lessons.
Let's say that your office is having a hard time remembering the company's vacation policy. Fortunately, in a PACTS training book you created and assigned to the office there is a well written page on the policy. It seems that everyone has forgotten what they learned there.

To help everyone in the office review the policy, the training supervisor can reassign the page to any trainees the supervisor chooses. The next time the trainees open the PACTS Viewer, they will be instructed to complete the page that has been reassigned by the supervisor.

The training supervisor can also create new lessons to train employees. This feature is useful for seasonal training. Suppose you work for an insurance agency that gets a lot of claims for ice-related injuries during the winter. The training supervisor might choose to create a special page that deals with how to complete ice injury claims, even though there wasn't a page in the company training book that dealt specifically with ice-related injury claims. The training supervisor can send this page to the trainees that deal most closely with these types of claims.
Trainees who receive a lesson must complete the PACTS learning model for the lesson (i.e. learn, pretest, review, and establish proficiency on the lesson).
At any time while using PACTS, trainees can make comments on training material or test questions that are confusing or incorrect. These comments are sent to the trainer. PACTS allows the trainer to jump right to the paragraph or question a comment is made on.
Supervisor and Experts
The PACTS Supervisor is responsible for making changes or corrections suggested by comments. The supervisor can delegate certain sections of a training book to other users-experts-that have expertise in those sections. PACTS will then route the comments made on those sections to the expert who is assigned to the section.
Electronic Mail
Mail Screen Shot

Using PACTS, you can send electronic mail messages between PACTS users. This makes it easy for trainers to communicate with trainees.
News Screen Shot

You can create newsgroups?electronic bulletin boards where trainees can post questions, comments, or concerns about the material being learned.
Progress Graph Screen Shot

A number of features are available to help trainees and trainers monitor progress towards training goals. PACTS displays graphs of a trainee's progress for a trainee to use in setting training goals. PACTS helps a trainer track the progress of all trainees and presents charts and graphs to show their progress.
Licensees of the PACTS technology can create PACTS training books and share them with other organizations. The PACTS Developer Tools allow a developer to create a PACTS training book that can be distributed on diskette and installed by remote users. Remote users can return comments and user histories on diskette for the developer to evaluate as well as receive periodic updates to the book on diskette from the developer.

PACTS Programs

There are four major parts to the PACTS training system:

The PACTS Editor
The PACTS Editor is the computer program used by trainers to write training books, track users of training books, and maintain a complete training system.
The PACTS Viewer
The PACTS Viewer is used by trainees assigned to PACTS training books to learn, pretest, review, establish proficiency, and reestablish proficiency.
World Wide PACTS Server
World Wide PACTS (in conjunction with a Windows-based Web Server) allows access to PACTS training books over the internet. Anyone on the Internet with a Web browser like Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator can log in to your PACTS training book (providing they have a user name and password). Internet trainees can learn, pretest, review, establish proficiency, and receive lessons and updates over the Internet.
Developer Tools
The PACTS Developer Tools allow the developer to create a PACTS training book that updates remote users by diskette. Remote users can then return comments and user histories on diskette for the developer to evaluate as well as receive periodic updates to the book on diskette from the developer. 

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