Employee-generated Learning Why Employee-generated Learning? The tools we use Employee-generated Learning
as a driver of culture change What's next? Live Q&A
Tessa 0:02 — Welcome, I see lots of people dropping in. I’m just going to give it a minute or two for everyone to join before we really get started. But feel free to introduce yourself in the chat in the meantime.
Perfect. Welcome, everyone. I see that some people are introducing themselves in the chat and letting us know where they’re tuning in from, so lovely to see people from all over the world. I see Indonesia, Austria, Germany, Shanghai, Brussels. Great. From the UK as well. Columbia. Canada. Great. Alright. Perfect. So welcome, everyone. I see that there are already around 70 of us here. Great to see where everyone is joining in from. Perfect. Great.
So, thanks, everyone, for joining welcome, first of all. Lovely to see all of you joining the webinar. I do see some familiar names. So lovely to see you again. Welcome. Welcome also to those of you tuning in from LinkedIn Live. It’s great to see how many of you are interested in today’s session. My name is Tessa I am an onboarding specialist at Easygenerator and I’m here to kick off part one of a three-part CEO series.
Of course, I’m joined here today by Kasper — CEO at Easygenerator — and I’ll let him introduce himself in a minute as well. Just so you know, you are all muted but you are more than welcome to chat using the chat and to ask any questions you would like either myself or Kasper to answer. Please use the Q&A for that and then we will answer them either in the moment or towards the end. The webinar will be around 45 minutes total. So, Kasper will present around 35 minutes and there will of course be some time to answer those key questions in the end. And this is being recorded. You will receive a recording later this week.
So, without further ado, welcome to part one. Kasper is here, of course, to speak on the power of Employee-generated Learning. So, Kasper handing it over to you.
Kasper 2:56 — Thanks, Tessa. And welcome to all of you. So, I see that indeed people come from all over the world, which is really cool. I saw it was raining in Brussels, I’m not far from Brussels. I’m in the south in the Netherlands and, well, it’s now dry, but it did rain earlier today. So, it’s not really a great summer. But, next, the webinar on the power of Employee-generated Learning. So, I’m really happy to present that to you.
And for me, that all starts with a quote that I really, really like. And it’s from Lewis Platt. He was the former Hewlett-Packard CEO. And he says, “if HP only knew what HP knows, we’d be three times more productive.” And I heard this sentence a few times being quoted by other people with different company names in there. But I think this is the source. And I think this is really the essence of what we’re talking about today. Because in your company, there is so much knowledge. Basically, there’s all the knowledge you need to do anything you want. And if you can get that to the surface, if you can, sort of, disclose that huge lake of knowledge, it would boost your productivity. So that is what we’re talking about today. We call that Employee-generated Learning and I will tell you a bit more about that.
So, it has been the start of why I started with Easygenerator. It was the solution that we have. And basically, it was triggered because of my personal frustration. I have held many jobs in the world of learning, performance support, knowledge management, but mostly in the last 20 years in the area of e-learning. And I got really frustrated. So, there’s an issue with speed, with cost, and with maintenance, if you look at e-learning.
So, the first problem is speed. It is extremely tiresome and slow to create proper e-learning. It will take you between 90 and 240 hours, as far as this research is concerned. Maybe even more. But it is a slow process. That’s clear. And with that, it’s also an expensive one. Because, well, just add the hours — the hourly rate to the hours — and you get a simple sum with this outcome. So, I even read this morning’s amount that was even higher in other research. So, it’s got to go up to 30, 40, or even $50,000 per hour of e-learning. So, it is expensive, which both could be fine if it actually serves the job. But my main issue is maintenance. What I saw in the past is that once we create an e-learning course, which was neglected. I once did a project at a big oil company in the Netherlands, implementing their Moodle LMS. And a part of that process was, of course, that we had to migrate the course from the old LMS to the new one — to the Moodle one. And before we did, I said, “are the courses that you have still up to date? Are still accurate?” And they guaranteed — they said, “yes, of course they are, we have a big team working on that every day, so no problem there.”
But nevertheless, we did a check. So, we got 100 courses out of that old Learning Management System and asked the subject matter experts just to check if the course is still valid — is it still accurate. And the shocking outcome was that none of these courses were up to date. And some of the courses were two, three years old. But there were also courses just two weeks old. And that is a huge problem. So what I felt is that we spent so much time and money to teach people outdated stuff. And that is what I wanted to solve with Easygenerator.
So, the root cause of that is the process of how we create instructional e-learning through instructional design. So, let’s say that Tessa is really experienced in presenting webinars. So, let’s say that I as an instructional designer want to create an e-learning course on how to host a good webinar. I would interview her and a couple of other people who have a lot of experience and put that together with my didactical and instructional design knowledge. So, I’m using the knowledge of the SME — in this case, Tessa — and some of her colleagues to get that information over to my side in the L&D department. And then based on that, I will create a course. Of course, I have to go back and forth a couple of times, because I need to check if it’s correct. And then I need to double-check, I need to review, and then do another review. And then finally I have the course.
So that process by itself is slow and cumbersome and expensive. But then the big issue comes, I am the owner of that course. So, I put it in my LMS and the learner can take it. But meanwhile, Tessa and the other people working on the webinars — giving webinars, organizing webinars — they learn every day. They may be read a book that sort of blows their mind and, “you can do it in a completely different way.” They have a bad experience or a really good experience. They develop.
I am not connected to that development. Because I’m the owner, I don’t have any triggers to update my course. But in fact, in the business — in the real world — life is going on and change is going on. And I can’t capture that progress. So that is the reason.
So, this process — the fact that I, as the instructional designer, am responsible for the course — is the reason that it will be outdated. Very often even as it’s published, because the process is so slow. But most of the time shortly after that. So, this process is an issue. And that is what we need to change.
The key thing that we need to change is that we need to leave the knowledge where it is. And that is in the business. So, we call that approach Employee-generated Learning. And it’s a very simple change of the process in creating the content. It looks like this.
So, what you need to do is the key thing is that the business needs to own the learning content or the performance support content. They need to be responsible for both the creation and the maintenance. So, it’s not the instructional designer, in this case, me who is responsible, but it would be Tessa who is responsible for creating and maintaining the course. I’m only there to facilitate her; to help her; to make sure that she can do a good job. But if she’s responsible for that, then the process already becomes much more simple because then we don’t have to go back and forth to check. So, what we find is it can be five to 10 times faster to create a course.
But more importantly, once it is published — and what we see, by the way, is that this kind of content is being published not only in an LMS but very often also in Learning Experience Platforms, Performance Support tools, intranet. I recently saw somebody using Slack and Teams as their learning channel, really cool. So, you can publish it anywhere, but the key thing is that the employee — the subject matter expert — is responsible for that content. So, when they learn, when they develop, and something changes, they can dive in, change the course, press the ‘update’ button, and it’s live with the new version. But this is the only way to actually make an investment in learning that sticks; that keeps up to date, and that keeps actual.
So, I want to talk about a couple of business cases of customers that we have because they all use Employee-generated Learning — so learning created by their employees — but with, sort of, different backgrounds, different business cases.
So, the first one I want to mention is Nielsen. Nielsen was not our launching customer — we had a few customers before that — but our launching enterprise customer. So, Nielsen is a big consumer data company from the States, but they are worldwide, they are global. They have, I think people working in 140 countries. But they are in trouble because they are in gathering consumer data and selling that data to companies that sell products and do services. The issue, of course, is they now have new competition. So now we have companies like Google and Facebook, creating data like that and competing with them on that market. So that means they are in trouble; their business model is under pressure. So, they need to really watch every dime they spend. And they do that through Easygenerator.
It is way, way cheaper to create content through Easygenerator with your subject matter experts than the old school process of centralized content creation through instructional designers. So, they completely went for that. And they were the first big company that did that. And they’re still doing that. So, the company now, most of them still use Easygenerator very successfully. But it’s, for them, the way to create real cost-effective learning. So, the cost is, for them, a really key issue.
Another example of a customer is Unilever. They use Easygenerator already for a couple of years now. And as their learning manager once explained to me, Unilever is a company that has two different speeds. They have a slow part and a fast part. So, the slow part is the factories, where they create all the stuff that we can buy in a shop. And those are brick and mortar. And once you put that down, it will not change overnight. So that is like a slower process. This change here is not that rapid. So if you do like old school approach learning, maybe even with face-to-face learning, it’s okay, it will not change that fast, you have time to adjust if there is change. But all the other parts of the business — we’re talking about marketing, sales, product development — there, they see the speed of development ever increasing. It’s faster and faster and faster.
Learning has an extra disadvantage. So, you can only create a course, not at the beginning of a new product. But once a product is there, or it’s at least defined. So, you’re you have to start somewhere during the process. And because the process of creating is so slow, like I described to you, they’re just too late. The product is done, the training is not done. And that is their biggest issue. So, Unilever, they need to be able to create learning at the speed of the business. So, it needs to be fast, it needs to be accurate. And of course, they love that it’s cheaper and they love that you can keep it up to date. But for them, that speed of going to market at the same time as a product, that is the key thing. So, Nielsen has a focus on cost, Unilever much more on speed.
The third one is also an interesting one here, it’s Kellogg’s. They really believe — their learning manager, Thor, really believes — that the business should own the responsibility for learning. And it’s really his conviction that they should own that completely. And that is the key thing of Employee-generated Learning; that’s why we are a great fit for them. And when they started with Easygenerator, he actually negotiated a price for all the brands. So they have many brands like Pringles, and I don’t know what more, but I think many brands. And he only negotiated like a price and a default contract. But then he told everybody who knocks on his door and goes, “Okay, I have a learning request, can you create a course?” He says no. He said, “you have to do it yourself, here’s Easygenerator, this was the price negotiated, you can buy it yourself, arrange yourself, and if you have any questions, I’m here to help you, I will support but it’s your responsibility to do that.”
The first thing that happened is that a lot of the learning requests, something like 20% I believe, just went away. Because people were really thinking, “wait a minute, I have to have to create a course, isn’t there a better solution for that?” So, they came up with smarter solutions that sort of did not involve the creation of an e-learning course. And of course, so that is an interesting fact by itself. But for the rest, they started creating content, and they actually had to buy the license with Easygenerator, and they have to find their own authors and create content. So they’re really, really owning it.
So now a few years later down the road, so they do now have, luckily, a corporate license because we had to send so many invoices to all the different brands. That was a lot of work. But the principle is still there, they really believe that the business should own the content, both the creation and the maintenance. That’s the only way that you can do it in a good way. And I think that is one of the reasons that it is a big success at Kellogg’s.
And the last business case that I wanted to discuss is Electrolux. So it’s a bit different. So, Electrolux, our customer is their sales department. And they are organizing training to the whole of Europe on how to sell their appliances. They sell household appliances — they create household appliances, and their partners sell them. So, they actually have trainers traveling through Europe, teaching people in a three-day course how to sell a vacuum cleaner, an oven, and things like that. But the problem is, of course, that is quite expensive. And it’s not scalable. So, they wanted to move to a more blended solution where they mix e-learning with face-to-face training. And for that even in part that looks at Easygenerator for the creation of the course.
So, they told their trainers, “Please capture the knowledge part of your training into Easygenerator in a course, and next time that you have to do a training, ask people to take this course upfront. So, in advance. Once you do the training — and instead of doing that for three days, you only need one day — you’re not really talking about transferring that knowledge because they already have it. But then you start working on how to apply that knowledge in your day-to-day life. So then in that live session, you can do role play using that knowledge and actually learning how to apply that. So that will also give you a higher level of learning because it’s not just knowledge which is transferred, you actually learn how to use that knowledge.
So that model, by the way, is called the flipped classroom. It comes just from the regular education where teachers started to record the lecture instead of getting it in the classroom, and then ask the kids to make their homework in the classroom instead of at home. So, when you make your homework at home, and you get stuck, you don’t have any help there. Where you get stuck in the classroom, the teacher is there to help you out, and you can actually learn a lot from making those mistakes. So that principle, the flipped classroom, is being used by companies like Electrolux, to transform their face-to-face training to e-learning. But in the process, not only moving partly online, but also improving the quality of the learning because it is less focused on just the transferring of knowledge, but really adds that extra layer of applying that knowledge.
So, they’re doing that, by the way, due to COVID. I think traveling has been canceled. So, they moved the last day of training also online. So, they’re now completely online. But it’s still a blended approach of transfer the knowledge to an e-learning course and learning how to apply that through face-to-face training. Whether that is online or face-to-face is not interesting — a trainer telling you how to do that learning.
So, four real different business cases, that all shed a light on EGL — Employee-generated Learning in a different way. So, Nielsen focused on cost, Unilever focused on the speed of development, Kellogg’s on the ownership of the content in the business, and Electrolux on helping them to transfer into a blended learning model with a flipped classroom. So those are four different applications of EGL. And that is what Easygenerator does. And that is what I really believe is the solution to the problem that I described earlier. A slow, expensive process of creating content, but most of the time, not being able to keep it up to date.
So, I think these are four examples of companies who are doing that successfully. And the interesting thing is that we are now doing that as a company. But my role as a CEO goes one step beyond that, of course, because I need to look ahead. I need to know what is two or three years from now, down the road, what is going to happen in the world of learning. So, what kind of things do we need to start developing so we have that in the product once those changes are there. So, I’m always trying to look ahead. So, I was looking at the trends and developments in the world of learning and I find more than 100 trends described in blogs, webinars, whatever. But I brought him back to what I think are the four main trends in learning today.
So, the first one is that there is a huge shift from formal to informal learning. So, the guy, by the way, on the screen, he died a few years ago. But he’s like my ultimate e-learning hero, Jay Cross. He was the guy who, in the 90s, coined the word e-learning, for the first time. So, he’s about like the inventor of the word, even. But he was also one of the first people to move away from e-learning because he saw the limitation. So, on the right side of the screen, you see the circle with the formal learning, the 10%, the social learning, 20%, and experimental learning, 70%. That is referred to as a 70-20-10 model. You can, by the way, argue about the percentages, but the idea is correct.
Only a small part — if you are a competent worker. So, you have your formal education, you’re working for a couple of years. If you look at your knowledge and the skills that you have that you need in order to fulfill your job in a good way, only 10% of that knowledge comes from formal education. And formal education is from kindergarten to university. It is e-learning courses, face-to-face training. All that together amounts up to an enormous percentage of 10% once you are a competent worker. So that means that 90% is not formal, but informal. And there are two parts here. So social learning, learning from your peers, learning from your coworkers. But most important is learning by doing learning on the job.
You become a good sales guy by selling — and failing at that, sometimes — I’m learning from that. Or you become a CEO by running a company. You can’t learn that from a book. So, the 70-20-10 model applies to how the learning was. So, because Jay saw that e-learning was focusing 100% on the formal learning part. There were courses published in Learning Management Systems, and that was it. And he said, “we need to start paying attention to the other 90% as well.” So, he wrote a book on informal learning, he wrote books on workplace support and workplace learning. And that is really the start of a big hype.
That is still going on, I think it’s a bit over the top already. But it did change the awareness with all learning departments that they need to focus not only on formal learning but also on social learning, knowledge sharing, and workplace learning. And that sort of, by itself, created a huge shift from formal to informal. We see the budgets moving in those directions. You see the attention moving in that direction, and you see all kinds of projects and initiatives in that direction. So, something that’s going on already for 10 years, but is now really mainstream happening everywhere.
Then the next one is Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson. They came up with what I think is a brilliant notion. And especially I think that it was Conrad. So, he told me once that he, in his first job, landed a learning job and had no experience. He said, “this can’t all be the same learning.” So, probably there are different moments; different learning needs at that moment. And he came up with five moments of learning, and I think is really brilliant.
He found out that there are five. So, you have a learning need when something is new, when there’s more information when something changes when you suddenly need to solve something — an issue — and when you have to apply something. And the interesting thing is that he divided the learning process and the worker process into three phases — train, transfer, and sustain. When you’re new to your job, you have to learn everything. Then a formal course or face-to-face training is really in order. So, you need to learn quickly a lot of information. The same is when there’s a lot of new or a lot more information, and you have the same learning needs.
So new and more are really in the training phase. And formal learning is really an option there. And what you see, the black line going up in the graph, that is the learning curve. But we have a mind that is made to forget. So yeah, that is how it works. So, you get so much information in, and your mind is filtering it out. And it really needs a trigger to store information in your long-term memory. And if it doesn’t have that trigger, it will just push the information out and forget about it. So, that the black line going down is the forgetting curve.
So, once you’ve been trained through the formal training, or in other ways that you can do the new and more learning needs, you come into the transfer phase where you become competent. And you see the gray line, by repetition and practice, you become completely competent on your job. And once you’re competent, you’re in the sustain phase. But still, then, you have three learning needs. So if something changed, you need to know how to handle that. When you encounter a problem, you know how to solve it. And with all these things that happen, you need to know how to apply that to your work.
So, these three moments of learning still happen while you’re working. And in that case, you don’t want to stop working, then go into a classroom or to a Learning Management System and take a course of a few hours and then come back to work. You just want to Google the solution, find it and go for it. And, and that is really a different learning need. And that applies for all three of them than like the more fundamental learning needs like new and more. So, these learning needs, that happen while you’re working and need to be solved as quickly as possible, they’re much more into the direction of support. So, you need to find something, a solution, how to handle change, how to apply something, get instructions on that, put it in and continue your work. So, it’s much more like support than it is learning.
You go to trend number three, and another e-learning hero, and that is Cathy Moore. So, Cathy Moore had a really simple notion, which is so powerful. Basically, your statement is just knowledge — having knowledge in a company, in a corporate environment — doesn’t have any real value. Only if you’re able to apply that knowledge to your skills, then it becomes valuable. With that, she created a theory called action mapping. And what it says is that if you create learning objectives, you need to connect them to business goals. And a learning objective is not what you need to know, that is what you need to be able to do. So that is a different approach. And with that, you created a new direction there. And I really recognize it. I think knowledge is getting less important. Having the skills to apply that knowledge becomes more and more important.
So, for example, I have to do, as a CEO, a lot of work with Excel. But I’m not a real Excel hero, I know about it, but sometimes I just don’t have the knowledge. So yesterday, I just had to create a query where I had to combine numbers from two tables, and based on that, do something in the third one. And I know you can do that in Excel, but I really don’t know the formula. I just Googled it. I found the formula within 30 seconds, and then I had the knowledge — I had the skills, I have to say — to apply that knowledge. And I was able to just create that query and continue with my work. So, I can just Google the knowledge and if I have the skills, I can apply that. And that is becoming more and more common. And what you’ll see is that more companies are actually wanting to create like a company Google with company-specific knowledge that people can just find really quickly that will help them and apply them to their skills.
Which brings us to the last one, and that is, I think, a really important one. It is a trend of moving from top-down to bottom-up. And there’s an analogy with the TV. So, what you see on the left, a TV — a really old school TV even. A TV is broadcast. It is organized top-down. So, somebody comes up with a program. So, you have the news at eight, you have Inspector Columbo at 8.30, and you have a soap and at nine, for example. And that’s it, you only can follow their leads. You don’t have any input. Well, you can switch channels but somebody else, again, decided for you what you have to do. So, with that, it is like the old school way of learning as well. A TV is the same as an LMS. And a TV program is the same as a learning program. You’re onboarding a new employee and say, “here are 10 courses, take them when you onboard,” which is completely pre-arranged for you.
But what’s happening in the world of TV, of course, is that now we have Netflix. It’s still the same content, the same series, soaps, and movies, but they’re now in an environment that is not pushing information to you but making it really easy for you to find it. So, it is up to you, the viewer, to take initiative — to go in, to find something you want to see and play it at the time that you want and on the device that you want. So, it is much more a bottom-up approach. And we see the same happening with learning, we now have Learning Experience Platforms. They are like the Netflix of learning. It’s an environment with the same courses, with the same content. But it’s not pushed to you. They’re sitting for you waiting for you to find it, and to run it whenever you as a learner need it. So that makes it more your responsibility. And it’s more like a bottom-up approach.
And I believe we are even going to take that one step further. So, three examples here. YouTube. So, people who create videos on YouTube are also the viewers on YouTube. And people who create content on Wikipedia are also the readers on Wikipedia. And people who create the news on Reddit, they’re also the people who take that news from Reddit. So not every creator is also a reader, but it is increasingly the case. And I believe the same will happen with learning. I believe that the learners will also be the teachers. They are also the authors of the content that other learners need. And that is what Easygenerator facilitates, so that is the trend here.
And these four trends are actually, you can combine them into a diagram. So, you see from the bottom to the top, from learning to support, from the left to the right, diagonal — from formal to informal — you have the knowledge and the skills from right-bottom to top-left, and in the middle, top-down to bottom-up to the right. So those four quadrants actually are the four elements a corporate learning department has to manage. It’s formal learning, which is decided by top-down, formal learning. We see knowledge sharing, which is still learning, still the same courses, but now created by employees. So now it becomes knowledge sharing because an employee is putting their knowledge in the course and sharing it with his peers. And we see performance support coming up. And that is very often informal. It is supported in the workplace. And we see more and more that also that is created bottom-up by your peers. So, they are sharing the solutions for your problems, for example.
And also, of course, with talent development, where skills are sort of the key thing, very often, top-down organized, it is really done to a supportive way with coaching on the job and things like that. We see that happening also more and more. And we see the trend to learning, that we are moving from formal learning to knowledge sharing. Actually, that is what happened with Easygenerator when we launched eight years ago. Because we are now in an environment where people can create courses themselves. So they share their knowledge in the form of a course. But we’re now in the next step.
We believe that those people also will create the performance support content of the future. So, a checklist, a how-to guide, and a best-practice, a frequently-asked-questions, information like that. Really small nuggets of information, where you capture a part of your knowledge and transfer that to a fellow worker, that can just find it easily and use it while they’re working, solving a problem, or helping them deal with change or helping them to apply something. And the same with talent development. So, we believe that the attention from the learning department and attention from the learning community is moving from formal to knowledge sharing, which already happened. And now the top is also being involved more and more. So, performance support and talent development.
Tessa 32:26 — Sorry. Maybe I can interrupt you here. It is a question that I think is relevant. Also, with knowledge sharing and performance support. Marijn has asked, “I like learning at the speed of business, to keep people learning it should help them become better at their job, a lot of momentum and motivation in learning is lost because of employees not learning what they feel they need to learn. What are your ideas on making the learning offering adaptive to individual learners?”
Kasper 32:51 — Yeah, so it’s all about teaching them the right content. So, I think that having the content created by one of your peers is already a big help. Because if it would be an instructional designer like me, then I don’t really know what’s important to you. But if it’s just your colleague sitting next door, somebody doing exactly the same work, they have a better filter on that. So, they know in a better way, what you need, than a learning department. And so, I think that is one. And the other thing that you see, it will also work the way that Google works.
So, if you have a lot of Employee-generated Learning, a lot of content, and you publish that, let’s say, in what I call your corporate Google, an environment where you can find content, learning content — whether it’s an LXP or something else is not really important — you will see that content that has been used more will get a higher rating in those searches like it is in Google. It will become more popular. So, if something is bad, and not really a right fit for the job, it will drop significantly. And if something is really good, and it’s helping, it will rise and significance, like it is in Google. So I think that is a filter that will help you, not only creating better content by making it by SMEs but also filtering out search mechanisms like Google.
Any other questions? Or shall I move on and wait for the rest later on?
Tessa 34:13 — Yeah, perhaps I can move on into questions later.
Kasper 34:16 — Okay. So, this change that we see also reflects in the tooling that we use. So, what you see in the left corner, the formal learning corner, you have the Learning Management Systems, and those were the systems that were like the dominating factor in the world of learning for a long time. Most of the money spent went there. Now we see the Learning Experience Platform. So, where you see that the growing curve of the Learning Management Systems is going down, or at least flattening the Learning Experience Platforms, they are exploding. I hear gross percentage 100%, 200%m even more. And they are growing rapidly. And that is the Netflix-of-learning kind of approach that’s really what is needed.
And it’s also something that, by the way, that fits extremely well with Employee-generated Learning, and of course, those courses are shorter, and they are really well-suited for a Learning Experience Platform. So, we see a lot of our customers using Degreed and EdCast and tools like that. And using that to publish Easyenerator content.
We also see more and more performance support systems and talent management systems coming up. I have to say there are less widespread than the LMSs and LXPs. But what we do see is that there is a trend that companies are moving away from the likes of one big solution. So, one thing that can do everything. What we see happening more and more is that people are sort of creating our own learning ecosystem based on a couple of tools that communicate through standards. So, for example, we have customers using Degreed as their LXP, Easygenerator as their authoring tool, and then an LRS for the result tracking. And all of them can be tied together through standard connections like xAPI and everything around that. And that will create one perfect solution for that specific customer that is a perfect fit for them. And somebody else will maybe take out one of those elements and adjust it or add another element to it. So, you can build your own system like it with Lego blocks and put it together.
I think that is something that we see happening more and more. So, like a lot of specific, really good solutions for one specific purpose. Like Easygenerator — we are only good for Employees-generated Learning. If you are an instructional designer, you want to make a real interactive, really fancy, really complex course, you shouldn’t use it. It is not meant for that. It is really specific. And with learning ecosystems, you have the ability to plug in those kinds of specific systems and tie them together. So that is what we see happening a lot.
as a driver of culture change
So, when I talk to learning managers, and I ask them, “okay, what is your ultimate goal? What do you want to reach?” So let’s say the mountain on the screen is the Mount Everest, and the flag is on the top of Mount Everest, what is there? What is your ultimate goal there? And then people start talking about building a learning culture and things like that. So, changing the company so people have a mindset that is formed around learning, that’s formed around development and things like that.
And so, I tell them, you can see Easygenerator and Employee-generated Learning as your base camp. So, it is a starting point where you can start because it’s an easy way to start. And it’s like building a foundation where people getting used to sharing their knowledge but also learning from their peers, which is like one of the stepping stones to build a culture change over time and to build an actual learning culture in your company. Because that’s something that will happen overnight and not something that you can do with one action. It’s something that will take a long time. But Easygenerator and Employee-generated Learning are building stones in that process. So, you can use that as, like I said, the base camp for the start of your climb to the top of culture change. So, we see that this is being used as part of, but also as a sort of accelerator of cultural change.
So finally, so what could you do next? So, if you are interested, so please dive in. And there are very simple ways to start. So, like a culture change, starting with Employee-generated Learning is not something that you can do tomorrow and the whole company will jump on it. It is something that you will start doing, build success, and build on that. So, for example, some good tips for you are, you already have a subject matter expert, probably, that you work with; that you create courses with. Just switched it around. Ask them, “okay, here’s an authoring tool, start creating it yourself, and I will just help you. Make them responsible instead of you being responsible. So just that step by itself will already initiate a huge change. Make your subject matter experts responsible for the content creation, and you just supporting them. So, you don’t have to find new people, you don’t have to find new projects, just do them in a different way.
Also, encourage other people to create content. And one of the best ways is to actually have content created by SMEs that is a huge hit in your company, that actually solves a problem, that addresses our learning need. If you create that and people start understanding that’s not created by a learning department but created by their peers and that they can do it themselves as well. That is really powerful. So, encourage people, convince them with success.
And finally, you really need to be able to convince the management. So, if the manager tells somebody, “Wait a minute, you’re a consultant, so I only count your hours that you actually work with your customer.” So the moment that you’re creating a course, it’s sort of like a penalty because it doesn’t count as a productive hour, then you have an issue. So, you need to make sure that the part of the business that needs to own the learning, that the management there is convinced of that and that they actually promote this with the people they manage. If not, it will be a big blocker. So, start working with SMEs you already have, make them responsible for the content instead of you, encourage others to create content by showing the success of Employee-generated Learning and asking them to create something by themselves as well and make sure you have the management onboard so they facilitate this and will block it.
So that was my story for today. So, Tessa over to you.
Tessa 40:49 — Yeah. So maybe before closing off, I see that we do still have some time. There are some questions that came into the chat. So maybe nice to address those. So first of all, a question: Under Employee-generated Learning, how do you sync the content generation with the need to align it with skills and competencies? In many cases, the employees are experts in their professional field but don’t know, themselves, how to convert or sync content into skills.
Kasper 41:16 — Yeah. So, in fact, what is being said here is they sort of lack the instructional design knowledge, they lack the didactical knowledge to actually make a proper course that does the job. And that is a valid argument. Because if I push this idea forward with any learning manager, and I tell them creating courses with the instructional design process is slow, it’s expensive, and you can’t keep it today, I always get three yeses. But 99 out of 100 times, I get back, “What about quality? If it isn’t proper learning material that people create, it will not do the job.”
First of all, I think you, maybe, underestimate your subject matter experts because they can do a lot better than you expect them. But they do need support. So, it is really important. So, it’s not that I want to sort of stop having instructional designers in the company. I think they should change the role. I think they should be the coach; they should be the mentor; they should be the co-author, the co-creator of courses. And especially when you created an e-learning course for the very first time, you need to sort of learn how to do that. So, it was Easygenerator, we do onboarding sessions for that, get used to the tool, but we also give webinars on how to create a proper course, we give webinars on how to get proper questions, but we also really focus inside the tool more and more, building in support for the author.
So, for example, in Easygenerator, you have to create a learning objective for a course, and we build in what we call the LO Maker — a learning objective maker. So based on Bloom’s taxonomy, you select a level of learning by selecting a verb and then you build a proper learning objective out of that. So that is already a starting point for better e-learning. But we also know, for example, really recently added a feature to Easygenerator that we call data insight. So based on the results of the learners, we look at the data. We not only tell you how many people failed and passed, and how many people took it, but also how long they took to finish your course.
And we also analyze the question. So, if everybody else has a question correct or incorrect, or too many people answer a question correct or incorrect, it tells something about the quality. So we can actually give people advice with just a question to improve the quality there. And I think that’s sort of our holy grail. So if you have the mountain with the flag on top, then our holy grail is to actually build in that instruction design knowledge — that didactical knowledge — into Easygenerator more and more so we can support the author from within.
For now, we have all the things that we do with webinars. We have built-in support. And we have, I think, probably the best customer success and customer support team in the world. So, in Easygenerator, you have an option to just click a button, ask a question, and it can be on a tool. But it can also be under any didactical pressure. We even have a brand guarantee that if you fail to create a proper course, just let us know. We’ll sit down with you online. I will work with you until you have a proper course. So that is how we try to address it. It’s a relevant issue, but we try to address that in that way.
Tessa 44:29 — Alright. Great. Thanks, Kasper. I see that we’ve got one minute left, so rounding off perfectly, I would say. There were a few questions unanswered still. But as Kasper said, you can always reach out in the chat. Also, for didactic advice, I saw that some people were asking, “what’s the best size for an e-learning and should we split it up if it’s too long?” That’s also the kind of question that you can always ask us through the chat as well. Happy to help in that way. But yeah, to round off, I would say thanks, everyone for joining part one of the three-part series. It seems from the comments that many of you have at least gathered some inspiration from today. So lovely to see that. And yeah, I would say keep an eye on our LinkedIn for the second and third parts without giving too much away. We’re going to cover also more about the implementation and about the content that’s generated specifically as well. So yeah, do you have any closing thoughts yourself, Kasper? Any advice to share?
Kasper 45:27 — No. Thank you for hosting this and I look forward to parts two and three, actually, where I will pay a bit less of a role. I will be more the host. We involve a couple of other people who have really practical skills and experience in implementing things like this and tap into the experience as well. So, I look forward to that.
Tessa 45:48 — Perfect. Thanks, everyone for joining, and have a good rest of your week.
Kasper 45:53 — Bye-Bye.