By Tim Hill, President, Professional Education (ProEd), Blackboard
Corporations constantly struggle with engaging learners, achieving business metrics, keeping content up to date, and efficiently sharing information. To keep employees operating at peak performance levels, corporations must recognize the benefits of on-the-job instruction that occurs before, during, and after the learning event. To deliver training with a real impact on the company’s bottom line, knowledge of strategy and tactics is no longer enough—continuous learning is essential.
For organizations that require self-directed education, the right technology can facilitate a continuous learning environment that benefits both the organization and the individual learner. For example, Blackboard Learn, which allows personnel to share information and ideas instantly, transforms the traditional course into a strategic engagement built around peer-to-peer interaction. Blackboard Learn both supports and enables learning communities by embedding the concepts of informal learningdirectly into the platform: An instructor can create a blog, wiki, discussion activity, and content-sharing space within any course. Trainers can build two-way engagement by asking learners to contribute an assignment or other content as part of a structured learning program.
Learning is no longer a point-in-time event; it is ubiquitous. Today’s companies need to provide employees with access to content and the ability to build subject matter expertise on the job and in the field on multiple platforms. Learning solutions that give both the structure and flexibility required to accommodate how personnel are learning today, such as Blackboard Mobile Learn and Blackboard Collaborate, are evolving traditional courses into strategic engagements. Built around peer-to-peer interaction, these solutions can increase knowledge retention and positively impact business. With Blackboard Mobile Learn, the course experience of Blackboard Learn is recreated with an application for handheld users that brings two-way learning to mobile devices, effectively enriching real-time education. Blackboard Collaborate meets the diverse needs of trainers by providing the ability to synchronize conferencing (video and voice) with authoring capabilities and instant messaging.
Several organizations use these systems as “reachback solutions,” meaning these systems enable employees to rapidly access information relevant to real-time situations. For example, if product information is updated in the middle of training, sales managers in the field can quickly access and leverage the new data. At the same time, trainees also can benefit from information that is shared online by their peers.
When corporate training delivers engaging and collaborative learning programs, it elevates employees’ engagement and knowledge retention. Making critical content ubiquitous creates a positive impact on business that is evident all the way up to the C-suite.
Tim Hill is president, Professional Education (ProEd) at Blackboard, which works with clients to develop and implement technology to improve education. For more information, visit http://www.blackboard.com.