An organization usually consists of multiple verticals and groups, who work in close collaboration with each other. To work proactively, it is important for them to not only have a clear understanding of their own area of work, but of the work that other teams do as well. This keeps expectations and deliverables in order – ensuring smooth communication and flow of work. Intra-organization learning provides the opportunity of different teams within the organization learn about each other to work together more effectively. While a lot of this happens on the work floor, there needs to be a continuous flow of pertinent information that has to flow between two groups for them to learn about each other.
With e-Learning, the challenge of intra-organization training can be well met – as illustrated by a case study that we hereby share.
A client of ours is a company which provides IT solutions for enterprises. They create value-driven products and tools that solve a broad range of IT management challenges – whether those challenges are related to networks, servers, applications, storage or virtualization. Within the organizations, the Sales team and the Sales Engineering Team work closely to understand client needs and create IT-enabled solutions for them. To meet the client expectations, the two teams needed to have a close understanding of the expectations out of them, the way they work and their own specific challenges.
However, the details of the work of the Sales and Sales Engineering Team are straightforward, but often mundane to the uninitiated. It is important to bring to the fore the details in a way that would capture the interest of the new-age learners. The details are also long and detailed, which can be boring to the other team – as they do not really have to work with the information. The client shared existing written material that formed the base content for the e-course. But we realized that just textual content is not enough to capture the attention of the learners and retain it for long. We followed various strategies to create an e-learning module which shared information in a manner that was interesting as well as effective.
• To make sure that the learner is hooked to the content from the very beginning, we created a scenario – that of a Fitness Centre – a very familiar setting for the learners. The scenario was an informal one, which put the learners at ease and did not bring in the usual ‘tense’ atmosphere that is associated with Learning in the Workplace. The Fitness centre also is a setting that is high on energy and a sense of healthy competition. This setting was fit for both groups – who were often working closely and in a similar competitive atmosphere.
• Two animated characters are introduced – each from the sales and sales engineering teams. These characters have the familiarity that the two groups have in actual life and have a continuous banter with each other. This informal banter is maintained all through the course and is utilized to impart information in a friendly manner.
• Videos are used extensively to explain multiple concepts within the course – in a short and crisp manner. The two characters continue with their comments on the video – mirroring what actual learners may think.
• Graphical representation is also added, instead of plain textual content to make sure that the information is better processed and better retained by the learner. The graphical representations are made a part of the animated world – instead of adding them separately as a learning resource.
• With transition effects like fade-away, click to reveal and roll-overs, the content is kept fluid and follows a logical flow. Various interactivities make the course interesting and simpler to understand.
• Animated acronyms are used to generate interest as well as help learners retain more. Interactions are built within the screen, making sure that the learner is involved enough to take action and learn.
• Finally, knowledge checks are introduced from time to time – again in an informal manner. Simple quizzes spark the learners’ interest and check their understanding. Multiple attempts are allowed to make sure that the learners do not get discouraged.
With familiar scenarios and figures, the course was successful striking an instant connection with the learners. Navigation and controls are kept simple and linear for ease of use. This increased the learning uptake among the users. The e-course follows a ‘forced learning’ strategy, where the learners have to view all content of a slide, including videos and other inter-activities, to proceed to the next. This provides the push that some learners may need. The learner is also free to take the course as many times that the need arises. For new recruits, it is an eye opener in how the two teams works within the organization. For older employees, it is a lesson in understanding the pressures of the other team and helps them find a mutually agreed foundation of working. With colloquial language and an informal friendly tone the fear of ‘learning’ is banished. This accounts for the growing success of the learning solution within the organization. The 30-minute learning experience is not like any other page-turner – but comes alive with attractive multimedia aspects and visual excellence.