by Randah McKinnie
Now that I have a rich and flexible training solution at my disposal, what exactly can I do with it? What are others doing with it?
I’ve spent the better part of the last two months attending and presenting at elearning industry conferences, and was surprised to hear this question on more than one occassion. Instructors and Training Managers were ready to embrace new ways of engaging their audiences in VCs (as described in my whitepaper on connectusers.com), but beyond holding straight lectures to meet a single immediate need, were curious what kinds of training occurs in other organizations with different needs.
In response to this, here is a short list of some of the needs Connect Pro Training departments are meeting today:
— Provide short, targeted, product knowledge udpates to a global sales force. For example, a pharmaceutical company needs to make sure new drug information is communicated to, and understood by the field. Another example: a bank with branches all over the country is rolling out a new promotion. The staff at every branch needs to understand how to implement the promotion while meeting regulations. These types of updates happen once or twice a month, and are quickly pulled together using Presenter content, which is then delivered in a Connect Pro Meeting or Virtual Classroom. Sessions are frequently recorded so those who could not attend are able to review the material when time permits.
— Train new employees. A curriculum is deployed that includes video – perhaps of the CEO, welcoming the employee to the company and speaking to corporate values – and a mix of on-demand and live modules to orient the new employee to the company. Compliance regulations are met through online offerings of sexual harrassment and policy training, and all activity is auditable through Connect Pro Reports.
— Encourage brainstorming or other highly interactive group collaboration in teams that need to innovate. Bring together a small group of experts from around the globe, and get them talking about new ideas and concepts. Include video of inspirational talks from somewhere like TED.com, or another relevant site, to host your own mini-conference with virtual keynote speakers – for so much less!
— Facilitate hands-on application training labs. In some environments, learners are not permitted to touch the software that will soon be critical for them to master in order to complete their work. Students in class sizes of 10 or fewer are often brought together after some preliminary on-demand training, to participate in a live lecture and facilitated lab, which provides them with hands-on work on a remote instance of the software. Instructors send the learners into breakout rooms on their own or in pairs (depending upon class size and objectives), and provide them with access to a virtual / remote machine running the application they need to master. Exercises are provided, and students work through them while one or more instructors visit each breakout room to assist with questions and monitor progress.
— Using the integration with Microsoft Live Communication Server Client (instant messaging), hold SMEs ‘on call’ during your class to pull in if a tough question comes up, or to give students a moment with a renowned expert within the company.
The list above is a small subset of the ways in which we see Connect Pro customers use our tools. Looking forward to the next three years, I expect we’ll see more examples that include extensive use of video, learning through mobile devices, and the incorporation of social networking, wikis, tagging, and more to enrich learner communities and allow groups to form around topics of interest.
Please comment and share how your company is using Connect Pro Training – both live and on-demand – to solve your organization’s learning needs.