E-Learning in the Automobile Industry: Challenges & Solutions

Posted on : March 25th, 2013
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Every organization strives to create innovative avenues to provide training that educates, inspires and builds its people. E-learning has been providing innovative and impactful learning for the corporate sector for more than a decade now. With the steady backbone of technology, e-learning has been able to create training for a variety of audiences and different learning needs. For e-learning to be truly impactful, the rule of thumb is that ‘one size DOES NOT fit all.’

e-learning-for-automobile-industry-1We at G-Cube have been fortunate to have worked with a number of different industries, and developing e-learning for each has helped clarify our perspective of what e-learning entails for these industries. From the G-Cube cauldron, we bring forth our learning – and our experiences of e-learning – in the Automobiles Industry.

Understanding the Automobiles Industry

  • The biggest challenge that the industry faces – in terms of creating and imparting training – is the vast number of trainees – most of them spread across wide geographies. Reaching out to this large spread of learners is often time consuming and expensive.
  • The audience profile is also divergent in this industry – from workers in the manufacturing plants to the managers in the offices. Diverse aptitude and education gives rise to divergent learning objectives that are difficult to encompass in ONE learning goal.
  • The training content is also divergent – a lot of it requires practical experience which is best acquired on the factory floors. While this might be a good way to learn, it is also a time- and resource-consuming process.

 

What can e-Learning do?

  • Technology-enabled learning makes it possible to reach out to learners spread far and wide. Content can be disseminated using CDs or can be delivered online. Alternatively, courses can also be downloaded and read offline, if internet connectivity is an issue. A Learning Management System (LMS) can be put in place to assign and impart training without any additional human effort. With multiple channels of content delivery and the LMS as the backbone, e-learning can reach the learners wherever they are.
  • Keeping the diverse audience profile mind, e-learning can adopt a modular structure that suits the needs of the learner group. For instance, in induction training, organizational goals and business objectives can be explained in detail for the white-collar group, while audio-visuals can be developed to deliver the message to the blue-collar workers. These audio-visual clips could also be localized into regional languages to create the required impact and reach out to the learners.
  • For managers sitting in the corporate office, touring the factories might pose a logistical problem. With a virtual tour of the manufacturing plants, the managers can get a detailed tour sitting at their desk, at home, or while travelling to work. This provides a safe and secure way of learning the nitty-gritty of their industry, while utilizing the time in hand. A simulated tour works very well for the manufacturing industry as plants are often far-flung but understanding the workings of a plant is, nevertheless, essential for managers to perform as per expectations. Also, a virtual tour can be taken anytime – even after an actual visit. This provides an avenue to refresh – anytime that the need occurs.
  • For the Automobiles industry, there are mainly two types of training that are developed – Product and Process Training and Soft Skills Training. A suitable content development strategy is necessary create a roadmap for steady and speedy delivery of content across the vast length and breadth of an automobiles manufacturing organization. For instance, while creating training for a leading automobile company, G-Cube adopted a two-prong strategy of content creation. We created custom-content to develop Product and Process Training courses for them, investing in close interactions with SMEs to understand the nitty-gritty. This imparted the necessary depth needed for the Product and Process Training courses. In addition, we also provided the company with our tried-and-tested off-the-shelf courses on soft-skills to empower their learners. While this helped in creating well-rounded training, we were also able to deliver the entire training within specified timelines.
  • Onsite photographs and videos can provide the learners with a feel of the real work environment and in-depth knowledge on how to handle machinery. Diagrams and illustrations can show how to carry out the processes in accordance with the operating and safety norms. However, the actual workings of a machine and the details of what goes on inside can never be truly demonstrated with graphics or video or, sometimes, even in real-life. To give the learner a life-like experience, 3D animations can be used to demonstrate and illustrate the complex workings of a machine. This provides in-depth knowledge on the workings of the machine, and this knowledge can be utilized to increase time efficiency and productivity and, most importantly, to promote safe usage.
  • For learners in far-flung geographies, virtual classrooms can be created, where the learners can experience, practice and perfect themselves. Learners who often feel cutoff from the main body of the organization thus find an instant connect. Interactions with peers and instructors can be encouraged to enhance the learning experience. The learners can post queries and receive answers from their experienced peer group. In addition to the texts and manuals, peers and instructors can come together to share their experiences and learn from each other.
  • In addition virtual kiosks can also be developed, where interactive courses can run 24×7. A varied array of courses can be made available, giving the learner the choice to select what he requires. Small and concise courses on new product launches and industry trends, as well as organizational developments, can be created from time to time and made available through the kiosks. Frequent updates in courses can ensure that the novelty of the kiosks is maintained and learners feel the urge to come and learn. Irrespective of rank, location or time-zone – anytime a learner finds the time or opportunity – he can visit the kiosks and learn.

The automobiles industry is one of the leading industries of the world. Training is an imperative need of this industry and e-learning has been successful in catering to its divergent needs. To know more about our experiences in this industry, write to [email protected]

ankushj@gc-solutions.net'

Ankush Jagga

Ankush has spent more than 8 years in eLearning industry, and be it medium or large corporate or institute, he knows how to get them started with eLearning. His out-of-box & innovative strategies overcome challenges in increasing uptake, thus making the initiative worthwhile for the organization. Currently, he is heading G-Cube’s business development for India, Middle East and North Africa regions. He is open to any new ideas/suggestions, so please feel free to reach him @ [email protected]

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