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?



Supporting SAP and Social Media

So – My company is immplementating SAP. I feel like I should be a cheerleader – like this dude above here. Anyways – I have been tasked to research, build a strategy and implement  and put into play how social media tools can be used to support this beast. I know I have big ideas that  I have been thinking about and dreaming of  could be really put to the test. I have been talking to a bunch of groups of people inside and outside of work about using the micro blogging sites to build communities and everything — and I know it could work here. I just need to figure out a plan…. these are the three times that I need to focus on:

1. Support for our User Accepting Testing – this is needed for the actual support teams – as there will be 3 groups (NA, EMEA, and ASIA) supporting this tasks – how can they stay connected.

2. Support for End User Training – how to get the buzz going to build confidence in the system to bring about the changes that will occur.

3. Support for Go-Live – and after — how do develop our associates the ability to help themselves… instead of depening on that one person in the company that knows everything about the one process.

My boss was saying how great IM’ing was and its so powerful when you just need a quick question answer. I said, “I completely agree, but that only works when you know who the right person is to answer the question. What happens when you have a question that you DON’T know who would know the answer?”  He started to look at what I was saying in a different light.

I know there is power in the social media tools – now I need to figure it out and convince them of it to use for this implementation… I am excited. OH yeah, number 1. starts in May. YIKES!  Better get moving…

I have also been tasked to build a strategy around a more formal internship program for our company. This is such a great opportunity for me – not an immediate need, but one goal I have for the year. Maybe in the fall I will be able to have something concrete. I guess its been on my boss’s wish list for 3 years now and I think it would be really cool if I could help him cross it off.