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Transforming Learning and Development with iOS

contribution from Thomas Creighton de Farias, Head of Learning

As a business we are aware of the transformational effect of using iPad for businesses of all sizes, not only do we see our partners and clients succeed with the equipment -  we like to ‘practice what we preach’ and use iPad to transform aspects of our own company and functions.

compu b employee at tills using ipad

One such area is in Learning and Development. In every businesses today, there are challenges for Learning and development, to name but a few:

  • Multi-site locations
  • Mobile staff
  • Ever changing technology 
  • Greater need for expertise knowledge
  • Costs of training, whether its travel, training hours, etc
  • Evaluation of effectiveness of training
  • A misplaced belief that all new technology is intuitive

At Compu b, learning and the pursuit of growth is one of our core values as a business. We recognised early that it is fundamental to our business success. Being experts is one of our unique characteristics, it sets us apart from others;  and how can we rightly claim to be experts without measuring knowledge and cultivating a culture that will grow as technology develops? If you are one of the many business that promotes 70:20:10, how do you evaluate the impact or effectiveness that training has on the business?

For those unfamiliar with 70:20:10 - the basic idea is that 70% of learning should be experiential (on the job); 20% should be through social interaction (peer to peer with colleagues) while 10% of learning should be through formal structured courses.

So how is mobile technology used in this model? I will be discussing this in more detail at the iOS Business Summit in Wood Quay on September 14th - full details on https://www.summit.compub.com.

For now here is a taster:

10% Formal Structured Courses

One of the greatest strengths of having a mobile workforce is that they are located far and near, bringing those people together is still a worthwhile experience - however not always possible. Mobile staff need mobile technology, and a flexible solution to still take part in formal structured courses. Using our Learning Management System and iPad, we have been able to recreate the training room experience in everyone’s hand. Classes can be delivered remotely with staff joining through webinar and sharing in discussions, activities, quizzes and more. Quite often we will use the camera on iPad to record staff demonstrating what they have learned, which allows them to also review their own practice and examine ways of improving. 

For our technical classes, we need to keep staff up to date and prepared for future updates. With mobile devices, staff are able to access the latest information and guidance on iPad instantly. This 'always available' approach to learning, means our staff can access the information that is needed by them instantly.

20% Social Learning

How can you build social learning when staff work in small, or even 1 person teams? For me - being social, in this instance, refers to being able to ask peers and professional networks questions, pose scenarios, get reactions to ideas. The power of social networks to connect is undeniable. Our LMS is positioned and feels like a social network. The activities that are posted to it range from group discussions, quiz competitions to more creative competitions encouraging staff to create videos and share on the system. The LMS is accessible to all in the company, and staff are encouraged monthly to complete courses throughout each month. While staff are given time to do this 'on the job', what's encouraging to see is the amount of discussions that continue outside of work. By constructing it this way, staff have turned training into a 24/7 always on, just in time experience.

70% experiential training

On the job training is done at grass roots level, often supervised by a manager of the team - to coach and perfect skills. When done well, you can create a workforce of experts. The biggest challenge? Consistency. With iPad, managers can document great work, use rubrics to ensure consistency of approach and record expertise in a meaningful way to share with others. Creating rubrics and sharing with staff, creates transparency around what is expected by them and they see quickly the areas for development.

iOS is a powerful tool for lots of different parts of businesses today. While intuitive in their design, companies should be wary to become complacent in their distribution amongst staff without training. If you are hoping that your staff will magically reimagine processes and redefine standards, you must also invest in appropriate learning opportunities for staff to explore the potential of iOS and discover what the tool can do.