A large telecommunications company moves from e-learning to “we-learning” as it adds Skillsoft’s inGenius social learning layer to its mix of learning tools.
Online social learning has emerged as a primary component of the modern corporate training model. It provides a structured context in which employees can learn in a collaborative manner and share their own knowledge with one another. An effective online social learning platform encourages the cultivation and sharing of an organization's in-house expertise and can be a valuable tool that takes its learning initiatives to the next level.
At a large telecommunications company, for example, a staff of hundreds of employees is dedicated to developing and disseminating a range of business and IT trainings to provide employees with the tools they need to keep pace with today’s on-demand business needs. The goal is simple: Create and deliver knowledge resources that improve business performance. Yet achieving this goal presents significant challenges when you consider the fact that it requires delivering a wide range of training materials, courses, and services to thousands of workers spread around the world. To overcome the traditional barriers of corporate training, this telecommunications company began relying less on face-to-face class instruction in favor of expanding its online program with more e-learning courseware and sessions, as well as integrating Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, and communities of practice.
A primary resource the company provides in its arsenal of online learning tools is access to SkillSoft’s Books24x7 platform, one of the largest on-demand e-reference libraries. Through the Books24x7 portal, employees can quickly search, browse, read, organize, recommend, and share information found in more than 25,000 professional digital book titles that support performance improvement. Last month, the company added inGenius, SkillSoft’s social learning layer to its mix of learning tools to help workers better utilize Books24x7, which has become an integral part of the organization’s culture.
The company wanted to offer employees another way to connect, exchange ideas, and share knowledge. When the company saw how easily inGenius could integrate into its program, it wanted to deploy the technology immediately. Over the last several years, the company had been pushing an environment of fewer instructor-led courses and more collaborative learning. The inGenius learning technology presented a win-win situation as it was seamless for the company to implement and allowed users to increase their knowledge and skills.
The company is redefining the learning experience for its end-users with SkillSoft’s products and services. For example, employees can access books quickly through Books24x7 and then connect through inGenius with other group members, either signed-in virtually or participating in an instructor-led classroom, to keep the dialog going both during and after training—regardless of location.inGenius offers the company the flexibility to not only enhance the classroom experience but allows employees to connect to others when there is no classroom, fitting into any modality of training the organization provides.
The response to inGenius has been positive since it first came online, with many users saying how easy it is to use and see what people are reading and doing to improve performance in an unobtrusive way. Although the telecommunications company has made inGenius available only to select groups in its initial phase, a full-scale rollout is planned for later this year.
Its learning environment has moved toward being more social and collaborative, and the company continues to foster an environment of “we-learning,” not just e-learning. inGenius is expected to play a key role in continuing to foster this culture and a high level of learning engagement, as it helps employees feel connected outside the confines of the classroom walls. inGenius allows employees to talk about a book or topic with co-workers they’ve never met. This ability to collaborate with peers is especially helpful for employees in call centers and retail environments where employees now are able to quickly access resources and find answers to performance issues.
The inGenius layer of the Books24x7 platform is changing the telecom’s company’s perspective on employee training and development. Through SkillSoft, the company is encouraging social learning by enabling learners to supplement third-party expert content with in-house "community content," including notes, comments, and ratings. It also facilitates sharing among learners and builds a rich store of organization-specific knowledge around the third-party expert content, while providing a searchable user profile feature that helps learners quickly discover knowledgeable experts within the organization.
SkillSoft PLC is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education, and small to medium-sized businesses. For more information, visit www.skillsoft.com.