Background and Business Need

“Based on our instructor-led training, how will you develop digital courses that address our business need?” This is the first question our client, a renowned training company in North America, asked us in our first meeting.

Our client has expertise and experience in providing instructor-led training (ILT) to mid-level management professionals in information technology (IT) companies, but they were dealing with critical issues. Their customers, that is, IT companies, were finding it increasingly difficult to sustain the costs of multiple days of instructor-led training. The costs also included travel and logistics as well as the loss of productive employee time. Our client was therefore seeking a sustainable solution that would maintain interest in their IT management certification training programs. They wanted a shorter duration for every training to enroll more employees across geographies at the same time and a consistent training experience.

They also wanted every training to address diverse learning styles and leverage new technologies. Most importantly, their goal was learners should be able to understand the benefits of IT management to enable improved quality, higher speed, and a reduction in costs at their companies, by meeting a progressive set of expected outcomes.

After understanding our client’s requirements, we worked closely with them as learning and development experts and offered a scalable, replicable, consistent, and holistic solution to address their business need.

Using our proprietary LEAD+ approach, we helped them transform their business offering by conceptualizing and developing responsive, accessible, modern, shorter digital courses to meet the expectations of their existing clients and reach out to more clients in diverse geographies. Lastly, to achieve the goal shared above, we employed an effective content-development approach to develop digital courses, and you will read more about this approach below.

Challenges

The source content was PowerPoint presentation used in instructor-led training. The content is factual, conceptual, and procedural. The content shared with us would have provided learners a strong theoretical foundation. Based on our analysis, we determined that there was a need for application of the learning to real-world contexts and this was required to achieve the goal shared above.

Learners belong to a certain age cohort, and they expected the training to be delivered in the traditional, instructor-led format, but the client wanted digital courses to address their business need, so the design of the digital courses had to be simple and user friendly in a traditional way.

Solution

Overall Approach

We worked closely with the client to deliver business value by providing strategic consulting, custom learning, technology, and support services. The consulting process started with asking the right questions and finding answers that help our client achieve their business goals. To address the business need, we conceptualized a custom solution and designed and developed the user interface, technical framework, visual elements, and the content. As we have mentioned earlier, this solution is scalable, replicable, consistent, responsive, accessible, and a modern offering. It is also simple and user friendly.

Content-Development Approach

To ensure that the self-paced course keeps the learners engaged and helps them understand the benefits of IT management comprehensively, our learning strategy employed some of the key principles of adult learning.

As a part of our adult learning approach, the courses first help learners gain knowledge about the significance of a specific IT management practice. Then they ask learners to take an IT management maturity assessment and help them see the level of maturity in their organization. The result of this assessment helps them comprehend the kind of changes and the level of involvement required to implement IT management concepts and best practices in their organization and to sustain them.

Finally, our approach makes learners understand the ways through which IT management helps organizations improve quality, increase speed, and reduce costs. To make this possible, the content focuses not only on concepts and theories but also on their application via scenarios and problem solving in real-life situations.

While doing all of the above, to ensure that learners are equipped with the required knowledge and skills for the examination leading to IT management certification granted by a third-party service provider, we have added knowledge checks intermittently for self-assessment.

Solution Highlights

After analyzing the nature of the content, learning needs, audience, technical requirements, and training delivery, we developed a technical framework for developing a series of courses that could be delivered to learners spread across diverse geographies at the same time.

We also ensured that learning is encompassing, that is, it caters to the learning styles of diverse learners, via the use of content, media, interactive screens, and activities. We leveraged new technology to address the business need. Since the self-paced course is for adult learners, our objectives were to limit the one-way flow of information from the system and to prevent cognitive overload with too much on-screen information, so we developed screens that conveyed information progressively and allowed learners to interact with the system.

Further, we developed problem-solving activities to help learners apply the gained knowledge to real-life situations and think critically. To stimulate recall memory, engage the learners in the learning environment, and promote reflective thinking, knowledge checks were added intermittently. Most importantly, these questions ensure that learners are equipped with the required knowledge and skills for the examination leading to the certificate granted by the third-party service provider.

The course can be accessed on multiple devices by learners, including those with special needs. So we leveraged new technology for giving learners control to take the training at their preferred time, on the device of their choice, and at a pace they are most comfortable with.

Outcomes

The most significant benefit that our client experienced is cost saving, and per client feedback, the long-term cost of learning delivery has reduced significantly. This allows them to price their offering competitively and allows their customers to save on training costs.

The feedback received from the learners has been overwhelmingly positive. Learners across geographies have been able to enroll in training courses at the same time, and they have had a consistent training experience.

The feedback also shows the client has achieved higher training efficiency since the learners completed the training in shorter time in comparison with the ILT and with lesser disruption to their productive time; the digital learning courses are 33% shorter than the ILTs. The post-training results show that the total number of learners who have obtained the certificate has remained consistent.

Above all, learners have enjoyed the learning experience we created for them. The content has helped them understand the benefits of IT management to enable improved quality, higher speed, and a reduction in costs. They could apply this knowledge to solve real-life problems created in the courses. The maturity assessment has helped them determine what they need to achieve in their organization.

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