The second annual learning! 100 Award recognizes 100 high performing organizations that drive results through innovative, collaborative learning and development operating within a supportive learning culture. This year’s corporate honorees averaged 300 percent higher net income growth than the Standard and Poor's 500 index. How did these organizations outperform their peers?
LEARNING! 100 WINNERS PROFILE
This year, 60 percent of the winners were in the private sector and 40 percent were public sector (government, not-for-profit military, or educational institutions.) Company sizes ranged from five people firms to global organizations with 1.6 million employees.
Of these, 67 percent were global organizations, 70 percent supported remote employees, and 50 percent also had mobile learners. Almost 90 percent train external stakeholders including customers and suppliers. And 93 percent of the Learning! 100 honorees link their learning strategy to their overall business goals.
During the 2012 Enterprise Learning! Summit, 20 organizations shared their strategies for performance. From AT&T to the Department of Veterans Affairs, all embraced similar themes. The economic environment has made organizations smarter about technology investments, the growing importance of leadership development especially in global markets, and the increasing importance of external stakeholders and learning to enterprise profitability.
Hear directly from these organizations by accessing on-demand sessions.
ABOUT THE LEARNING! 100 APPLICATION PROCESS
Each year, the Learning! 100 winners are selected from applications submitted between September 1st and December 1st at www.2elearning.com/l100. Learning! 100 nominees are evaluated on three sets of criteria: The Aberdeen Group’s Best-in-Class Learning and Development Survey, EMG’s Learning Culture Index, and organizational performance.
The four categories for which organizations are honored are:
>> Learning Culture
In partnership with Aberdeen, EMG honors the top 100 organizations at the Enterprise Learning! Summit. Winners and practitioners alike benefit from the benchmark data collected and shared at the Summit. The winners are featured throughout the year in magazine articles, web seminars, and sessions at the Enterprise Learning! Conference & Expo each fall.
Congratulations to the 2012 Learning! 100 winners!
PRIVATE SECTOR ENTERPRISE TOP 60
Area of Excellence
CreateJobs for USA.org
Cisco Learning Network
IBM Virtual Event Center
Performance Improvement Certification
Decentralized Learning Organization
Nurse Mentoring Program
United Parcel Service
Leading with Distinction
Call Center Training
Navy Federal Credit Union
Virtual Management Toolbox
Sales Training Readiness
Dunkin' Brands Inc.
Air Products & Chemicals
The Cheesecake Factory
Peer Video Training
Global Learning Platform
Associate Development Program
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Global Talent Program
Cash America International Inc.
Integrated Staff Development Programme
Bank of Montreal Financial Group
Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company
District FastStart Program
Jiffy Lube International, a Shell Oil Company
JiffyLube University Franchisee Training
Farmers Insurance Group
Ascension Health Information Services
Centralized Learning Portals
Personalized Learning Portals
Learning Ecosystem for Developing Retailers
ViaSat Leadership Institute
Kinect Training Program
Creative Channel Services
Learner Based Video Training
Bupa International UK
Global Bupa Learn
North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System
Center for Leadership & Innovation
AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah
Standing Ovation Training
Epic EMR Compliance
Morrison Management Specialists
Quest Board Game
Idea Management System
Cable & Wireless Intl.
I-Matter Management Training
Global Leadership Program: IBM India
Project Field Collaboration
Tech Training & Leadership
Best Buy Canada
Leadership Prep Program
Computer Sciences Corp
Executive Leadership Program
AP Student Learning Porta
Innovative Customer Training
Dale Carniege Training
Beyond Freedom Evolution
Shaw Industries Inc.
Shaw Learning Academy
PUBLIC SECTOR ENTERPRISE TOP 40
Area of Excellence
American Heart Association
American Heart University
Defense Acquisition University
Global Learning Technology Center
Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Learning University
Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division
Department of Veterans Affairs
Co-op Healthcare Education
University of California at San Diego
HOPE Curriculum Video Certification Training
Distance Learning for Soldiers
University of Central Florida Institute for Simulation & Training
Simulation & Training Educatio
National Defense University
Lawrence Livermore National Labs
Opportunity Finance Network
University of Southern California, Institute for Creative Technologies
Clinical Medical Sims
Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative
Mobile Learning Education
U.S. Air Force
Florida Virtual Schools
Online High Schoo
Joint Training Integration & Evaluation Center
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Emerging HR Solutions
U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation, Acquisition Center
Rush University Nursing Program
Simulation Training for Psychiatric Nursing
Riverside School District
Virtual High School
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Mobile Medicine Program
U.S. Mint of San Francisco
U.S. Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulations
Internal Revenue Service
American Society of Association Executives
American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches
Tax Accountant Associate Sales Training
Texas A&M University
Texas Engineering Extension Service
e-Learning for Kids
E-learning Education for International Children
National Training and Simulation Association
U.S. Dept. of Commerce's National Technical Information Service
E-learning Services to Federal Government
Healthcare Businesswomen's Assocation
Virtual Learning Program
Marine Corps Systems Command
Mobile Training Center Pop Ups
City of Richmond, Va.
Aligning Learning for Performance
Cayman Islands Civil Service Academy
University of Wisconsin at Madison
Serious Game Adaptive Force Training: Bushudo
TOP 5 PRIVATE SECTOR ENTERPRISE PROFILES
#1 - Starbucks
Starbucks Gives the Whole Economy a Jolt
Although Starbucks is staunchly committed to partner’ (employee) development through advanced learning opportunities, their leadership extended beyond their internal learning culture. In 2011, with a stagnant economy and the highest unemployment rate since the Depression, the Starbucks Foundation donated $5,000,000 to Create Jobs for USA, a program operated by the Opportunity Finance Network in conjunction with Starbucks.
Starbucks hoped to bring people and communities together by sparking new
financing for community businesses. Their goal was to help jumpstart the economy by creating and preserving jobs in many of America’s underserved communities.
Sending Employees to Starbucks U.
Starbucks believes that their employees combination of skills and experiences make them great partners, citizens and leaders. Their internal development strategy uses a modeling mix of learning and development that takes place on the job, coaching and feedback, and formal training. This development approach is a shared responsibility between partner and manager. All partners
have access to the learning tools that support their development.
Many partners also attend college. In direct response to partner feedback, Starbucks developed programs that provide enhanced educational benefits to assist with personal development and career goals. In January, Starbucks rolled out Starbucks U, a comprehensive partner education program that offers U.S. partners a five-part program of benefits. The framework includes the following elements:
>> Tuition Reimbursement – providing financial support as partners advance
their professional development.
>> Starbucks Student Discounts – providing partners with discounts on education-related needs such as computers, electronics, and books.
>> Academic and Career Advisement – providing partners the personalized,
professional support to build educational plans that align with their career
>> College Credit for Starbucks Training – enabling partners to receive credit for completing Starbucks retail training.
>> Savings and Scholarships at Select Schools – includes a 20 percent tuition
discount for partners and eligible family members at City University of Seattle and Strayer University.
Kalen Holmes, executive vice president, Partner Resources commented, “At Starbucks, we have always understood that our success is due in part to the inspired moments of connection our partners create for our customers every day. We are equally committed to creating and investing in the programs partners have told us inspire them.”
Immersing in the Starbucks Store Experience
The Starbucks culture continues to renew itself. Starting in May, a new Starbucks Store Experience immersion program will become available to new partners in the U.S. It provides all new, non-retail partners an opportunity to experience working in a Starbucks store.
The Starbucks Store Experience program is part of their global onboarding program, which provides new partners with training and tools that they need to succeed in Starbucks fast-paced, collaborative, and cross-functional work environment. This program is in direct response to partner feedback. The program offers an opportunity for new Starbucks partners who work at the support center (corporate), regional offices, and their Roasting Plants, to spend a full day working in a Starbucks store connecting with other partners, customers, and the business.
As part of their store experience, new partners get a first-hand opportunity to see how store partners create “inspired moments of connection” every day – the core element of the Starbucks Experience for their customers. High-performing store managers are selected to host the store experience as a unique development opportunity. Through their interactions with new, non-retail partners at all levels of the company, store managers and other partners
in the host store are able to influence future business decisions and gain a broader understanding of Starbucks’ business.
Starbucks is committed to providing a work environment where partners can be their personal best, as well as have their best career experience. The immersion program aims to further strengthen the Starbucks culture by:
>> Elevating new hire engagement and connection to Starbucks;
>> Providing new hires with a basic understanding of store operations;
>> Demonstrating how the Starbucks Mission comes to life in their stores
every day; and
>> Connecting store partners and support partners, thereby fostering a mutual appreciation for each other’s roles.
Learn More: Experience Starbucks: http://youtu.be/HDFJUUmtD6I
#2 - Salesforce.com
Salesforce.com: Managing Customer Relations with Social Media
Salesforce.com specializes in on-demand software that helps manage customer information for sales, marketing, and customer support. While continually evolving in the marketplace, Salesforce.com reported a 27 percent sales growth in 2011. The company has become synonymous with sales force automation and customer relationship management.
Part of Salesforce.com’s success is its understanding of the role that training
and certification plays in product adoption and building sales pipelines. Last
year the company introduced Chatter, a social-networking feature. The company will soon release a human resources product line.
Premier Success Plans
Customers who were trained by Salesforce.com have 52 percent higher user adoption rates and have increased their sales pipelines by an average of 132
percent, according to MarketTools Inc., a company that studies logon analytics for Salesforce.com.
Salesforce.com has made training available for all of the key roles they support: end users, administrators, implementers, and developers. With its role-based training, Salesforce.com pledges that companies can greatly increase their adoption rates, as well as their ROI with Salesforce CRM. Those
goals are accomplished by what Salesforce.com calls its Premier Success Plans.
These unique venues integrate support, training, and administration services to give clients unlimited access to their entire online course catalogs, supported by expert assistance needed to achieve success with the product. By broadly redefining learning, Salesforce.com arms everyone at a client site with the knowledge they need to be successful with its product suites.
Managing the Interface Between Business and Customers
Marc Benioff, the chairman and chief executive of Salesforce.com Inc., said
his company has moved beyond sales force automation to manage the broader
interface between businesses and their customers.
Benioff asserts that businesses need communications that go further than the
sale to create customer relationships and repeat business. Benioff told the audience at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference that “Facebook has changed the game because it’s trained a billion people in
what a new user interface look likes.”
Benioff said that Facebook and other social media companies have altered how
people exchange ideas. For businesses that realize it, social media can also potentially change how they buy products. He intends to make Salesforce.com the platform that companies need to build that social interface.
With training enabling Salesforce.com’s incredible success with product adoption, pipeline building, and customer relationship management, the
company’s contract sizes have increased substantially. Salesforce.com signed an $80 million contract with HewlettPackard Co. in the fourth quarter of
2011. The company said that such large deals will become more common as big
companies scramble to create a social marketing presence.
New Acquisitions Lead to New Challenges
Salesforce.com has grown through acquisitions. It recently acquired Radian6, a
company that produces a suite of products to help clients track and analyze outreach efforts, while monitoring what is being said about their brands.
Salesforce.com’s movement towards cloud-based solutions is represented by its acquisition of Assistly. This deal allows the company to offer cloud services
to small and emerging businesses. It also purchased, Model Metrics, a company that provides mobile and social cloud consulting services.
Salesforce.com’s learning organization has the challenge of incorporating all these new services into their training. As more and more acquisitions move the company closer to its vision, the learning and development team will be an integral part of paving the way to success.
Salesforce.com’s learning team’s ability to align strategically with business goals is unrivaled. The team presents an excellent example of the role that learning can start to play in a company’s market penetration strategy.
Learn More: Experience Salesforce.com: http://youtu.be/_Igg3yJ1m3s
#3 - Cisco
Cisco Learning Network: Supporting the Learning Community of Tomorrow
The Cisco Learning Network (CLN) is hugely popular with Cisco’s suppliers, customers, and employees reporting more than 12 million visitors.
CLN was born from an aggregation of several disparate sections of the company’s existing online instructional materials dealing primarily with test
preparation and professional exams. It also includes a social learning component, allowing users to ask questions, find solutions, and reach out for information.
CLN has become ever more essential to the company’s operations. In the first two years, website visits numbered 12.5 million with 313,000 registrations,
99,500 messages posted, and 44.6 million page views. It is now a key part of the company’s strategy to attract new talent and develop the skills of
its existing partners and workforce.
Social Learning for a New Generation
The CLN community membership is mostly male but otherwise very diverse. They are technical professionals dedicated to IT networking who come from different countries, generations, and companies.
Younger workers are both heavy users in the CLN and its strongest advocates.
The users themselves maintain the balance between lively interpersonal discussion and high quality content. The CLN community does not have much tolerance for anyone goofing off, and much of the support and policing is done by the network.
Social networking is a powerful tool for mentoring at the company. Older,
highly certified people often enjoy interacting with their younger colleagues on
the network. They build valuable relationships and can stay in touch with what is going on in the industry.
CLN enables employees of any generation to collaborate effectively if they are
in different locations. In the future, communities like CLN will become more important as the economy becomes more globalized and applications and content increasingly move to the cloud. There are now foreign language
networks, such as CLN China and CLN Latin America.
In addition to supporting social interaction, CLN attracts users by offering practice exams and mobile learning modules on the iPhone. Cisco also created game-based learning, such as the Mindshare game, which is designed to help people prepare students for their exams.
Collaboration Drives Recruitment
The CLN community tries to cater to the needs of the younger generation by delivering high quality content as well as collaboration. This is strongly tied to Cisco’s recruitment efforts. Young workers today are aware that they need to be constantly upgrading their skills and Cisco’s learning platform can be an incentive to attract top talent.
Users in the community are very serious about obtaining certification, because this can allow the learner to receive a big increase in salary. Cisco’s certification standards are high. There are already multiple areas where learners can earn certification: Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT), Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) and Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE).
Learn More: Experience Cisco: http://youtu.be/Ct0KTSHhhg8
#4 - IBM
IBM's Virtual Event Center
Many businesses responded to financial pressures during the recession by slashing travel budgets, and IBM was no different. This created a huge obstacle for its marketing team. Without the ability to travel, they no longer had as many opportunities to meet current and potential clients in person. Being able to interact face-to-face was essential to their business.
To overcome this challenge, IBM launched its first global partner virtual
event, using the Internet to allow business executives from around the world to interact and share information.
The impact was overwhelming. The company’s marketing group saved millions
of dollars, and still reached thousands of suppliers and resellers. This success
inspired IBM to implement virtual events throughout its operation. Thus, IBM’s
Virtual Event Center was born.
Doing Business Virtually
IBM’s marketing division launched the virtual environment in April 2010 to handle product launches, conferences and training for executives. They were able to reach 18,000 clients and potential clients in 26 countries in 2010 alone. They tracked over 15,000 document downloads. Each visitor participated for an average of two hours. The virtual events cost, on average, $10-20 per participant, making them considerably cheaper than an in-person meeting.
Feedback from IBM’s marketing professionals was very positive. The Virtual Event Center was credited with improving lead generation. In addition to facilitating contacts, the data collected by the system could be analyzed to identify new potential clients.
Now many IBM divisions use these virtual events for training, career development and similar on-demand programs. The system allows for complex interactions between far-flung instructors and learners.
Driving Interactions Virtually
The IBM Virtual Event Center does its best to replicate an in-person event. It provides a wide range of tools to help participants make contact from all over the world.
“The virtual platform seemed to be the best environment in which to do that,”
said Cheryl Max, director of corporate functional capabilities at IBM. “With the
number of countries we reach, virtual events allow us to be anywhere, anytime
Attendees can attend pre-recorded keynote speakers, download podcasts, and access articles from the resource center. They can meet other attendees in the networking lounge and participate in interactive discussion forums. There is an exhibition hall where a user can attend virtual exhibitor booths, ask questions, watch presentations, and make contact with company representatives.
A participant can create a virtual briefcase to store contact information, messages from new contacts, and documents. Polls and other tools are used to track user engagement. The entire system links to Facebook and Twitter, so attendees can share their experiences with their wider social networks.
Globalization Drives Growth
IBM is only one of many companies leveraging virtual event platforms. The shift
isn’t just driven by the economic downturn. In an increasingly global economy,
the need to have opportunities for interaction between business professionals across the world is becoming critical.
As the global economy recovers, Max said virtual events will still be valuable.
They will still allow businesses to reach more people in more countries, improve
training, and keep attendees in contact after an in-person event.
But, Max says, the quality of event programming will be more important than ever. The big challenge for future hosts of virtual events is keeping its far-flung participants from logging off and disengaging. To do this, content has to be relevant and compelling.
“You have to create the right triggers and opportunities for people who are participating to engage with the speakers and one another,” Max said. “You have to think about the capabilities built into your platform for tweeting and interactions. We’ve certainly looked at enhancements to the platform.”
Learn More: Experience IBM: http://youtu.be/Ql61bW2rY3A
#5 - Scripps Health
Scripps Health Builds Efficiencies to Lower Health Care Costs
Scripps Health’s innovative training programs won them a place in the top five
private Learning!100 winners in 2011. But the training professionals at the
California-based health care company did not stop there. With the encouragement of their top management, the company focused on using learning to anticipate changes that might come from new health care reform laws.
Faced with cuts to Medicare reimbursements to hospitals, Scripps created the
Performance Improvement Certificate Program. This training program utilizes
26 tools to help their employees become more efficient, reduce costly errors, and offset lost revenues.
Teaching the Business Side of Medicine
Participants in the Performance Improvement Certificate Program are selected
by company management. They learn data-based tools and techniques to successfully launch a project, fully develop it, and evaluate it when it has been completed.
Since its launch in 2010, participants have created programs to reduce linen
costs, maximize timeliness, accuracy and efficiency for nurses’ initial patient assessments, and improving the productivity of interventional radiology teams.
“We focus on creating employees who really understand the business side of
what we do,” said Veronica Zaman, Corporate Vice President of Human
Resources and Learning at Scripps Health.
Zaman said that a lot of the performance issues they have are in some way
related to finances. The Performance Improvement Certificate Program is
designed to teach their employees to think intelligently and creatively about the financial impact of their role on the entire organization.
Investing in Talent When Others Don't
“You know in today’s world, just [implementing] best practices isn’t where you
need to be,” said Zaman. “You need to be raising the bar.” Zaman credits senior leadership at Scripps Health for being willing to put money into training at a time when so many companies were pulling back. During the recession, many health care companies cut back on spending in all areas of their
business not directly related to patient care.
But Scripps Health spends about $30 million per year on learning. The company ties individual performance to patient satisfaction. Employees at all levels get bonus incentives for good performance.
The company’s corporate CEO, Chris Van Gorder, is strongly invested
in using training to help the company stay ahead of competitors. Van Gorder believes in investing in the company’s workforce and Scripps maintains a no-layoff philosophy. Managers and training professionals work diligently at retraining employees who get displaced due to restructuring and downsizing.
Scripps spent the last two years reorganizing its entire Center for Learning and Innovation. Instead of having each hospital in the system run their own training program, they instituted a One Scripps program. This made the entire learning system horizontally integrated across every hospital.
The company takes pride in being a career-destination for people in the health
care field. Zaman said that it was not unusual for entry-level employees to grow throughout their entire career by participating in Scripps’ Center for Learning and Innovation’s programs “Some of those entry level people are now senior executives,” said Zaman.
TOP 5 PUBLIC SECTOR ENTERPRISE PROFILES
#1 - American Heart Association
Learn to Live at American Heart Association
The American Heart Association’s (AHA) mission, Learn to Live, is all about education. However, the AHA's education chapters were all regionally based. There was little cross-regional collaboration and none of their materials were online. In order to reduce costs while still training 3,000 full time employees around the country, the organization combined its resources to form the American Heart University (AHU).
Consolidating Existing Resources
“Each region was doing great stuff, but it was fragmented,” said Derek Cunard, Dean of American Heart University. “The staff realized the importance of education… the talent was already here.”
Cunard’s team identified AHA’s key competencies and selected the best trainings that its regional offices had already created. Whatever they did not already have, they purchased or created and put them all online. AHU now has hundreds of courses available 24/7, including more than 300 custom-built offerings covering volunteerism, advocacy, specific causes, education, technology, and finance crafted to cover the needs of AHA’s staff.
If You Build It Will They Come?
The big challenge was getting the learners used to online learning. AHA staffers were used to going to a face-to-face class, attending an outside training event, or viewing a self-paced video tape course.
“The biggest fear … of the dean of any corporate university is if you build it no
one comes,” said Cunard, wryly. Cunard’s team “really felt it would be best to create the university to look like a real university, give them something familiar.”
They organized each curriculum into 19 schools of learning. They were consciously named to resemble schools in a traditional university. Staffers can attend the School of Fundraising, Advocacy, Finance, or Technology. “You name it, we’ve got it,” said Cunard.
The offerings in each School were hand-picked by the head of each area,
so learners could feel confident that the courses offered would be targeted
to their job role. Employees are encouraged to take courses outside of
their current area. “If they work in our Advocacy area and are interested
in a future fundraising path, they are encouraged to visit our online career
center, review job descriptions, and expand their knowledge with targeted
development courses and activities… it’s all connected and very innovative,” said Cunard.
It worked. By early 2012, 100 percent of the AHA staff was enrolled in at least four classes, with a completion rate of about 85 percent. Cunard said that this testifies to widespread enthusiasm for the system. “Everyone at our organization is driven by the mission. They have a lot to do. To have them slow down and complete a course is actually remarkable.”
Expanding Beyond The Staff
AHU recently made a limited number of courses available to a pilot group of AHA volunteers. The program includes a diverse group of executives, cardiologists, national and affiliate board members, and the leaders of their top 100 metro areas. The volunteers have access to 10 custom courses developed
to teach volunteer engagement and the AHA vision for volunteerism. AHA plans to expand the pilot program in fall 2012.
“We’re going to continue to grow our catalog of custom courses for our volunteers, and slowly push our courses out to all levels of our volunteer leadership,” said Cunard. “Everyone from an elementary school coach who does a Jump Rope for Heart event, to an executive at a Fortune 500 company who might speak at an event to raise money for the AHA … anyone can take a course.”
Learn More: Experience the American Heart Association: http://youtu.be/yZxgcV5D0Fw
#2 - Defense Acquisition University
Defense Acquisition University Expands Global Capability
The DAU serves approximately 150,000 acquisition professionals located in multiple countries. In 2011, DAU students completed 676,023 courses, including classroombased classes and Web-based learning. DAU employees received approximately four million hours of informal, on-the-job learning
using its non-traditional knowledge-sharing and mission assistance learning assets.
DAU researched how and where its employees learn and developed non-traditional tools that can help them real-time. They use mobile and virtual technology to put materials into learners’ hands. They can get training and information in the middle of their work day if necessary.
“You can go to www.dau.mil, you can quickly access everything you need to do
your job, and it is current,” said Hardy.
Making Social Networking Work
DAU also nurtures a strong collaborative component. The Acquisition Community Connection (ACC) supports daily exchanges between members of communities of practice and special interest groups representing all career fields. In 2011, the ACC grew to 129,166 registered community members with 77,321 member contributions, using 18 communities of practice and 33 special interest areas.
This social networking tool connects far-flung professionals to their peers. It
allows employees to reach out for expert help, advice, and support. The tool supports the formal learning and policy recommendations across the whole Defense Acquisition Workforce.
The ACC is accessed via the Defense Acquisition Portal (DAP). The DAP provides
acquisition professionals with a single entry point to all of the site’s relevant material. The DAU contains links to mandatory and discretionary reference material, performance-support tools, Ask-AProfessor coaching tools, acquisition
events, and related Web resources.
A Growing System for Leaner Times
DAU launched its continuous learning system in 2001. Since then, DAU has experienced a 380 percent growth in graduates each year. Last year, DAU graduated 56,699 classroom students and 146,431 online students.
As all branches of the Department of Defense experience tighter budgets and
continued demands on their resources, it will become increasingly important to
have even more effectively trained acquisition personnel. DAU plans to expand further into web-based courses, knowledge sharing assets, and mobile learning and will continue to innovate in other ways to support learners at their point of need.
Learn More: Experience the Defense Acquisition University: http://youtu.be/gSHEEPlNt64
#3 - Khan Academy
Khan Academy Re-Invents Education
In four short years, Salman Khan has opened educators’ eyes to a whole new
world of self-paced learning.
Khan is the Founder of the Khan Academy, an Internet site that offers 2,800
educational videos where 2.5 million students per month watch 300,000 videos per day. Its popularity among students and educators has grown ten-fold in the past two years and more than three-fold since mid-summer. Before long, its video lessons will be translated into 11 languages.
A New Model of Education for Corporations
Khan sees the day when the academy’s educational model is accepted by both
educators and forward-thinking corporations. “Some of the training courses I took and taught at Oracle were like traditional classrooms with PowerPoint,” he remembers. “But you need self-paced asynchronous learning, [because] it’s a huge luxury to have people take a half-day off to show up at training seminars.”
“On top of that, the content never really spoke to me,” he added, “The presentations were very sterile and cold.”
Repetition of lessons without the worry of instructors being judgmental is one of the core tenants behind his educational approach. Kahn says that organizations should make videos of any lecture-based content, so that learners can review them privately and repeat them as often as they like.
“It’s much more interesting to show rather than just tell,” he said. “Throw in
exercises, data, analytics, badges, awards, and then all of a sudden managers and CEOs can see what content is being consumed, how it’s being consumed — and employees can do it on their own time, on the plane or from their iPad. It’s a much richer, constructive way to learn.”
Instruction Without Judgment
Classroom instruction consisted of lectures, and then students went home to
do homework—often all alone with no immediate help available.
That’s where on-demand learning comes into the picture. Students can repeat Khan Academy’s YouTube videos as often as they need to understand a topic. “If I was tutoring and had to repeat something over and over, even the most patient tutor could get frustrated … and the student has the fear that he or she is going to be judged.
“I didn’t think that Khan Academy would be mainstream in classrooms for a
long time, because the education system is supposed to be so bureaucratic and resistant to change,” Kahn said. “But teachers were realizing that lectures were better at home because they could be replayed and reviewed many times.” This freed classroom time for problem-solving and oneon-one interaction between teachers and students.
Using the traditional model, “teachers didn’t have any information on how the
students were doing until the exam. After the exam, there was nothing the
teacher could do, because they had to move to the next concept. The fixed thing shouldn’t be the amount of time you have to work on something;
the fixed thing should be the student mastering [each successive] concept.”
“Once the system says you’re fairly proficient in one area, it will move you
down a ‘tree’ to the next area. Students can start at the most basic areas and
move on; it’s how you’d learn a video game or how to ride a bicycle. The variable shouldn’t be your grade; the variable is how much time you take to actually learn the concept.”
Learn More: Experience Khan Academy: http://youtu.be/vmtgz95ZBbE
#4 - Department of Veterans Affairs
The Veterans Affairs Learning University; Training Employees to Meet the Needs of Returning Veterans
Employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) face monumental challenges as they provide care and assistance to the approximately 22 million living vets currently on record. With approximately 1.4 million combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan needing to find their footing in a struggling economy, the need to provide care and assistance is at an all time high. Whether explaining the various benefits VA offers to veterans and their families, ensuring all veterans receive the highest quality healthcare services, or working to eliminate veteran homelessness, the VA, under Secretary Shinseki’s leadership, is transforming the way it does business.
The VA Learning University (VALU) has stepped forward supporting this transformation through key initiatives that represent a real investment in employee development.
“Most people come to VA for the mission, and they stay because of the mission,” said Alice Muellerweiss, Dean of VALU. “We just want to make sure that they’re in the right job … and they’re going to provide the best service to our veterans and their family members.”
Meeting the Needs of a Diverse Workforce
VALU trains individuals in a wide variety of jobs spread across VA, including the VA Central Office (VACO), the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), the
National Cemetery Administration (NCA), and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Many VA offices are located in rural areas, far removed from state capitol headquarters and major metropolitan areas. Some staff work night and evening shifts. Some VA workplaces are high stress environments such as hospitals.
It is a challenge to provide consistent access to training to such a diverse group of employees. VALU’s distance learning offerings make it possible for VA employees to access training wherever they are, whenever they are available. VALU recently upgraded to a flexible and user-driven Talent Management
System (TMS). The new TMS offers materials for instructor-led training, 17,000 downloadable e-books, and 30,000 online training courses. It features easy-to-navigate talent management and career development tools, including dashboards allowing learners to track their training activities.
Interactive webinars are critical to the VA’s learning strategy. These provide
instruction on topics ranging from clinical care to transformational leadership. The webinars allow staff in dispersed geographic locations to engage directly with one another, giving both staff and instructors opportunities to share information and have meaningful discussions.
“The students absolutely love the training overall,” said Dean Muellerweiss. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. When polled, 80-90 percent of learners say that the skills they learn are relevant to their jobs. In 2011, the system recorded that nearly eight million training courses had been completed.
Another VALU initiative, MyCareer@VA, is designed to help employees navigate the Department’s extensive career landscape. MyCareer@VA offers resources to help employees match their interests and experiences to job opportunities. The website (www.MyCareerAtVA.VA.gov) offers tools to help employees chart a clear path from where they are today to where they want to be. With over 80,000 web visits since its launch in October 2011, MyCareer@VA is changing how VA cultivates its workforce. Employees want career options and supervisors want efficient and productive teams. This innovative career design tool offers both.
VA for Vets
The VA’s goal for the upcoming year is to increase the percentage of its employees who are veterans from 32 percent to 40 percent. The VA for Vets program focuses on recruitment, retention, and reintegration of veterans working for VA. “Reintegration is critically important,” said Muellerweiss.
“They’ve been doing something very different [than they did in civilian life].”
VA for Vets provides a variety of online tools to help veterans translate their military skills to skills needed in private industry. “Whether they are an infantry
man, a cook, a logistician, officer, or enlisted, it doesn’t matter. They will translate the skills that they [gained] whether on the battlefield or in garrison, into jobs that are meaningful,” Muellerweiss said.
The goal is clear: offer the best possible career and development opportunities to VA employees so they can give the best possible care to veterans and their families. With these exciting new tools, the agency is on its way to turning this vision into a reality.
Learn More: Experience the Veterans Affairs Learning University: http://www.youtube.com/user/DeptVetAffairs?ob=0&feature=results_main, Hear from the Veterans Affairs Learning University: http://youtu.be/_2D5AhWC6oE
#5 - Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division
iMentor Prepares the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division for the Future
The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) was facing 66 percent of their workforce retiring over the next few years. Yet, their mentoring program only attracted four percent of the workforce. NAWCTSD realized it was more important than ever to transmit a wide range of institutional knowledge to the younger employees. Enter iMentor, a coaching program reinvented for a new generation.
“We’re really encouraging some of the more senior people with lots of experience to touch as many lives as they can, and leave a legacy through mentoring,” said Sandra Hughes, Research Psychologist at NAWCTSD.
The training professionals brought new people into the iMentor system by hosting a series of events. “We provided a free lunch and a fun and festive atmosphere … for people to share what they know with others and facilitate some matching,” said Hughes.
The result? Over 50 percent of NAWCSTD staffers participate in iMentor, with
some senior staffers giving guidance to six or seven protégées.
IMentor’s current incarnation combines traditional distance learning offerings
and face-to-face interaction with a computer matching component. Someone seeking a mentor fills out a form detailing what sort of mentor one is looking
for, including desired skills, location, and other attributes.
The mentors also fill out a similar form detailing what topics and areas of expertise they can provide support. Potential mentees can look at a list of mentors who have the aptitudes they seek.
Similar to an online dating service, the system matches the employee to a mentor who matches the employee’s needs. It is then up to the employee to follow up and make contact in person. They then connect via telephone or meet for lunch.
Mentors discuss goals, answer questions, and serve as a general sounding
board. Hughes said some mentors find that they learn quite a lot from their
It is possible for a mentee to be matched with a mentor in a distant location, so some mentoring relationships take place primarily online. “The younger generation grew up using technology to communicate.
It’s very comfortable for them,” said Hughes.
Traditional distance learning also plays a role. Online courses often bring up
questions that lead to meaningful mentor/mentee discussions. Hughes said that this is most effective when such training focuses on hard skills, like process or software training. Soft skills, like giving feedback, benefits more from in-person practice.
Supporting the War Fighter
The NAWCTSD leadership strongly supported the expansion of iMentor. Most
people with military experience understand the value of mentoring. The impact
on performance for younger people is easy to detect.
“A lot of times a young person entering a very large, bureaucratic institution can feel very lost,” said Hughes. “They’re able to have a person [who] they can always ask questions. I can already see that this is improving their performance. They don’t spend two hours looking for a form. They can find it and get back to doing their job.”
Learn More: Experience iMentor: http://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedStatesNavy?v=6DriBYQvG_4&lr=1