Tom Bryant, of Colt technologies kicked this session off. Colt have approximately 5000 staff across 23 countries, with a widely dispersed L&D team.
What they had in place were tools such as Microsoft Lync and webex to enable communication to happen. They chose to focus on taking e-learning development in-house using Adobe Captivate. He shares a good point that one key benefit is the agility to adapt/amend content as needed. They created virtual training labs to provide training to engineers across countries. This allowed for on-demand training for engineers when they needed it. There is a need to consider where the use of external partners can help support the L&D training delivery – for example taking off the shelf training in topics such as project management.
Tom makes a good point that people need to be primed in using technology in order that this is to a barrier to learning. The technologies they used were: e-learning, webinars, videoconferencing, training labs, LMS, videos and podcasting.
Interestingly, Tom spoke about getting an external provider to support ROI through the Kirkpatrick levels.
Next up was Niall Gavin. Immediately I appreciate the way he provides his history without the use of words on the slide, instead he provides his contact details.
Niall advocates that in light of challenges First Group are facing, they’re focusing on the customer experience. He also advocates that HR needs to see the people they work with as customers, and we need to improve their experience which has an impact on how we work with customers. I agree with this.
Interestingly, he says that the classroom was the original social learning platform.
Niall makes the point that through their e-learning platform, they decided not to develop their own MS Office training as they could buy this in. They instead chose to focus on business critical software which could be transferred to e-learning. He shares a great story abou how they developed learning for a particular software, only to be told by the IT team it was being upgraded thereby making that development redundant. It’s all about engaging with stakeholders to understand the needs of the organisation.
He shared a good story about how he first came across Twitter some years ago at a learning technologies conference. He saw the potential of it and tasked his team with signing up and seeing what the potential comes from it. They started to hear about how technologies such as webinars were being used, for free. They decided to look for a webinar based technology, and decided to use a system compatible with their internal systems. This ended up not working because it wasn’t robust enough. Lots of great learning being shared here about where things didn’t work, and what happened next.
Good piece from both presenters about practical use of technology to enable learning to happen in different ways.