Global Pilot Groups for eLearning

I wanted to post something this week about a project I worked on last year. I have been meaning to write about it for awhile, because it was something that was truly new to me in all ways.

I created an eLearning course from an instructor led course. Doesn’t sound too terrible…. Backing up – this also was a HUGE change in the way that our company does purchases (aka “Shopping Cart”). The instructor who was leading this course was awful. There were HUGE training gaps, mis information, poorly written guides (11 pages of BS)… and more. After seeing some of her reviews – I vowed if any one ever wrote something like that about me – I would hang up my ambitions for training.

I did some things that I normally don’t do for eLearning projects, but now I will do going forward. It took more time, but it was well worth it.

  • Storyboarded – I know how important this has become when creating elearning. Alot of times the way that a in-class instruction is set up, isnt necesarly the right way to set up an elearning. I began to white board, chunk and story board the topics and slides and activities. I also wrote a script (only after my second time recording the voice over for the whole thing…). By doing this type of preparation it made it easier to communicate to the SMEs of how the final course would look like.
  • Created an Elearning Plan – I created a timeline with the different events that needed to happen before this could be rolled out successfully. I thought about who would be invloved, what timing would be considered, how we would communication to different stake holders and so forth. My allowing myself time to think about these things – I took time to gather information without skipping certain groups.
  • Internally Tested – with our LMS! – As learned the hard way from previous projects — we tested  the course once it was in its beta stage within our LMS. This was important to test it that it was passing scores correctly, gaining access and everything was working properly. This sounds easy, but it wasn’t. We learned that for whatever reason our LMS cant support SCORM any more (something I used and put in there for about a year) and now it only works with AICC. No idea what changed.
  • Pilot Group – I asked my SMEs and instructors for people who would be good candidates to test this eLearning. I work for a global country, so the cultures had to be taken into consideration when rolling this out. Usually our pilot groups consist of users right around the corner from myself. But since this was going out to eveyerone, I needed to make sure it was culturally sensitive to our European associates as well as our Malaysian associates.  They were provided instructions and given 2 weeks time to complete the eLearning. They also had a survey to complete asking about navigation, culture, language, content etc. This provided myself with alot of insight into the users.
  • Regional Feedback Sessions – For each region, I held a feedback session. I created spefific questions I wanted the different users to answer (such as how many PRs do they normally submit a year, did they attend insturctor led training, what was their job at my company, etc) and then I had them answer what was Tempting, what they Liked and what would they Change. Each of them had opportunities to answer these questions and provide feedback. One of the biggest things I learned, is that the associates were glad that someone cared about their feedback and they were making a difference. Which, honestly – I did care! No one in northwest ohio could have provided me the feedback the global teams did.
  • Changes Made – After looking through the meeting notes and surveys – I created a presentation of the reactions, feedback and changes to be made. This was communicated not only with our pilot group but also with some senior leaders. This was important for myself and the participants to know that their feedback was taken into consideration and something was done about it. I made the changes that had been noted as the most important ones for the final roll out.
  • Tested Again – After the changes were made the SMEs, Insructors and my internal team ran through it again to make sure everything was good to go within our LMS.
  • Communication! – We communicated in local newsletters, our intranet announcement section, our internal blog, front and center of the log in page. (Basically we plastered it!) Also we informed the people that would get asked about it the most and created a template response for them to respond with when an associate asked about the training.


Since this go-live of October we have had over 150 associates log in, take the eLearning and receive access from it. My next step is to survey these associates to see if the eLearning  is meeting their needs. And if not what can we do to help them.  I know this was a lot, however we knew the impact was going to be large and far reaching and it needed to be done correctly.

Do you do all of this for your eLearning roll outs? What other things do you do? What do you skip on? What should you be adding to your roll outs?



Next Generation of Training

So – I just returned home from the annual American Society of Training Development Conference – in Chicago. And I am beginning to take what I have learned and combine them into something greater – and easier for myself to reflect on later.  My team also had a great strategy session before leaving for the conference – talking about what does our company look like in 6 months and in 5 years – and what are we doing now to prepare for it. Just by taking that day out – and focusing on our internal team, will bring a clearer view even soon.

My top learning points about Next Generation Training:

  • Next Generation training – we don’t want to be just a free in-house resource
    • make the business want and need you
    • build scalable, global world-class solutions –
    • how can we help them help their customers
    • We as trainers, wear so many hats (consultant, coach, facilitator, elearning developer, instructional designer, technical writer, the list goes on) — we should probably get a hat rack!

  • Be the Business readiness leaders – help the corporation prepare for what is ahead. NOT JUST IN THE CLASSROOM!
    • Includes Change management
    • Training – formal and informal learning 
  •  Build a better report with helpdesk – to find REAL training needs
    • find where users are having errors, and help them become more productive
    • can use real metrics with this type of reporting      
  •  Online, user to user, collaboration – learning real-time, from experts
    • Don’t make me wait!
    • JIT instead of JIC
    • Enterprise 2.0 stragey – with or without social media
    • Informal learning & Mobile learning

Great video – Need to share!

Did anyone else learn really great things that could apply back at the job? I think that’s the point of conferences…

We had a great time brainstorming on our train ride home – mostly about SoMe and how we could use small pieces of Social Media to integrate into what we already do… to think outside of the box with communication and getting end users to get it.

I am working on a publication now for my CIASTD friends – I am pretty excited about it. Funny thing is, what I start drafting, and how it actually turns out could be completely different.