Business leaders are in agreement that training is an important element in workforce enablement. Yet, formal training initiatives lack far beyond these noble intentions. And for good reason. Training is costly, especially when the opportunity time of those being trained are taken into account. The relevance of training material to the contextual experience of the trainee is another challenge – the majority of training could be classified as “just-in-case” training instead of “just-in-time.” The result? Less than ten percent of the knowledge presented gets applied.
Enters the era of “Blended Learning”, or in plain language, training as a mix between formal face-to-face and online training at the convenience and pace of the student, from any internet connection around the globe. A crucial element of this concept is the platform via which the student and the instructor interact. Corporate students are busy and expensive resources. They don’t want to be burdened by a complex interface that requires a user training course in addition to the training they need to complete. Corporate trainers are often the top experts in their field, and they want to focus on content, not the mastering of a tool. They want a simple but effective way to gauge student progress – not a complicated grading system. In brief, what is required is a single platform that addresses the specific needs of corporate training.
Identifying such a platform can be a daunting and time consuming exercise. In essence, you are looking for the following major functionality:
For the Student:
A clean and simple student interface providing the student with a birds-eye view of their learning objectives, assignments, assessments and tutor feedback;
Great course material experience to the student with seamless integration of text, video and presentation slides that works on all major browsers;
A safe, closed off communication space within the boundaries of the platform in order to keep training communication separate from the student’s work email;
A social interaction function for student-wide general communication; and
Discussion Forums on course material as well as Wikis for additional material.
For the Instructor:
A simple way to upload coarse material;
The ability to handle all forms of content: HTML, Word Documents, PDF, PowerPoint and Video;
The ability to invite specific students and groups to specific courses only;
An easy way to request, receive, retrieve, mark and give feedback on assignments; and
The ability to track student participation at various levels, like course visits, and assessments.
For the Administrator:
Easy student enrollment;
A variety of user privileges to define various roles (e.g. Mentor, Student, Instructor, Manager); and
Statistical Report flexibility to address the reporting needs of executive.
A Mobile Platform:
The whole idea of blended training is to provide the student with a learning opportunity on a 24x7x365 basis, from anywhere where there is Internet connectivity. Without a smart phone or tablet application that provides the essential functionality of the desktop alternative, this idea is dead.
BrainWorks (Pty) Ltd specializes in leadership develop in the corporate environment. We are a satisfied user of Eduslide Pro and are applying it with great success, since it has met all the above requirements, and offers many minor refinements in addition to these, making it a very effective corporate training platform.