Reality Check on eLearning in Berlin

For the 6th consecutive year, the reality check on eLearning and L&D practices, Speexx Exchange, took place on November 30 Berlin, at the Intercontinental Hotel, on the eve of the Online Educa Berlin. HR thought-leader and Speexx Exchange keynote speaker, Laura Overton – CEO of Towards Maturity, inaugurated the day.

Looking at the C-Suite and Top Deck Organisation

The day started with very insightful data from the latest Towards Maturity Benchmark Report, focusing on the challenges that the C-Suite faces when it comes to HR and L&D. The keynote speech also featured practical advice and tips on how HR and L&D can unlock the true potential of employees also with the help of technology. “Transforming the traditional learning culture by joining people and technology, as well as communicating success are just some of the keys to unlocking the potential of your people.” – Laura Overton.

Engaging Learners and Transforming Cultures

The second speaker, Brenda Barbour from the World Bank Group, charmed the audience with a very interactive and charismatic presentation about how companies can better engage their learners through different tools such as a hackathon and mentoring.

“We spend a lot of time on recruiting the right people, making sure they have the right skills and the right knowledge, but a key factor is to also make sure that they are doing the right thing, which requires time for reflection and a good flow of knowledge within our teams.” – Brenda Barbour.

Following the first coffee & networking break, Gilbert Leiva from I-Education presented how global bank Santander at their business unit Chile created a massive shift in business culture by mandating English as a corporate language standard. “Whereas in other parts of the world it may already be common practice, for us this shift made a significant impact throughout all levels of the organisation.” – Gilbert Leiva. “After a first few hurdles, the engagement of employees was extensive and truly positive.”

L&D in Hardest to Work Places

Chris Proulx – CEO of LINGOs, represented the NGOs sector, showcasing an excellent best practice case study about developing talent in the hardest to work places. With a truly inspiring presentation, Chris shared the keys to successful learning and development in places with limited resources.

“For NGOs, it’s about making learning accessible and affordable.” – Chris Proulx.

Successful Mobile Blended Learning at Air Canada

After a networking lunch break, the day continued with a best-practice example from Steven Atkins of SABA Software. Diving into some of the new trends in learning, Steven presented the story of how Air Canada implemented an essential part of their safety training via mobile learning, a challenging mission due to the highly dynamic work environments of the pilots. “It’s about extending the value of the learning pieces, not just making them available.” – Steven Atkins.

Talking about mobile blended learning, Steven Atkins also revealed some of the lessons learned by Air Canada:

  • The importance of a having enough planning time to test your learning solution on all desired devices
  • The vital role of aligning the offline and online experience of learners
  • Allowing learners to do their training at their own pace, at the point of need.

Looking towards the future, learning and testing should move away from the traditional paradigm of knowledge intake followed by testing, towards adaptive reasoning around what the learner is doing: having a short test and then adapt the knowledge intake according to specific needs.

The New Rules of Video

The last presentation held by Martin Addison – CEO of Videoarts, included valuable tips on how to create value through video and the factors that HR and L&D specialists should consider when developing a learning program with the Millennial generation in mind, whilst targeting pre-Millennials at the same time.

“As L&D professionals and video producers, we need to produce content that gets to the point, that works brilliantly on any device, we need to speak their language and drop the SME written scripts and we need to entertain our audience.” – Martin Addison

Interactive Session & Live Survey

The day ended with an interactive session, as well as several live reality check sessions during which participants completed a live survey regarding the state of e-learning and talent development practices. Participants answered some of the most burning questions of the industry: What do we need to do to get leaders on board?  How can we support self-directed learners and how can HR and L&D professionals facilitate experiential and social learning?

The reality check sessions brought forward some of the challenges this industry still faces – such as finding and retaining the best talent (25% of participants naming it as the top challenge in 2017) and aligning training and development with business needs (23%).

The reality check on e-learning and talent development practices goes on after the Speexx Exchange Conference as well. The Speexx Exchange Survey is still open and awaiting to hear your thoughts. Take the Speexx Exchange Survey and make your voice heard! Tell us about the challenges you face and also get a chance to win an iPad with a free Speexx language course.

The participants of #Speexx Exchange also went to social media channels to share their feedback, making the day a great opportunity for online discussions to also take place.