'I can only see the top of your head.’
A phrase we've all heard at least once in the past year. Or have said. We are massively online. We have meetings, we have free bouts, we attend seminars and we learn online.
We did the same for corona
After all, online training is easy to scale up and available anytime, anywhere. Moreover, it is a big puzzle to schedule people from the operation for a half or full day training. Especially for a large logistics organization like Rhenus Contract Logistics, online training is a godsend. Caroline Segers, Employee Experience Specialist explains: ‘In 2018 we started using UpTrek: an online gamified learning platform developed by IJsfontein. ‘ Rhenus employs about 1100 employees. So there is a lot of training to be done. By training online we save time and money. For example, we developed a Safety and Security training course in UpTrek. In one month we trained 70% of all employees. This saved 1900 hours. ’
But online training can be much more than a savings in time and cost. Provided it is developed properly, in some cases it also simply delivers a better learning experience.
For example, when an active form of learning is better suited to the target group
‘Our employees are best described as active doers,’ Caroline says. ‘These are not people who like to sit in a classroom all day. In UpTrek the employees follow the training where and when it suits them. Moreover, they can cut the training into small pieces, they can stop when they want and continue later. Because UpTrek uses game elements, it is also a very active form of learning, which suits this target group well. In UpTrek employees are part of a team and compete with other teams. That has a very motivating effect; they really enjoy doing it.’
An online training course can also enhance the effect of a physical workout
New employees at Rhenus follow the onboarding module in UpTrek before they are introduced to the office. This works well. In the first 5 weeks, the new employees are 17% more efficient than employees who have not followed the online training. They work faster and make fewer mistakes. New knowledge is picked up faster and sticks better. David Ausubel, a psychologist specializing in education, demonstrated this effect in the 1970’s with an experiment. He showed that students can process new material better if it is linked to knowledge that is already present. Thanks to the online modules, the employees have prior knowledge to which they can link the new knowledge they receive on location. This makes the familiarisation process considerably more effective.
By training online you can train much more.
UpTrek has been set up in such a way that organizations can easily work with it themselves. We provide a train the trainer workshop and watch in the beginning, but after that the organization can do it themselves’, says Maria de Lange, product owner UpTrek at IJsfontein. And Rhenus makes grateful use of this. At the moment they are developing a training that deals with the values of Rhenus. Normally we would not design a separate training for this. That would require too much time and logistical planning and would not outweigh the benefits. ‘With UpTrek we can do it,’ says Caroline. She also developed a training course on corona. This covered not only the rules of conduct, but also the psychological effects of the lockdown. We wouldn’t have been able to do these training courses without UpTrek.
The trick is to see it as two different complementary forms of learning
You can’t translate a physical training course 1:1 to an online course. Then you really compromise on the learning experience. But if you redesign the training and make use of the digital and online possibilities, then online training gets its own unique quality. And that’s exactly what we want to achieve with UpTrek,’ says Maria. UpTrek is designed on the basis of years of experience of IJsfontein with (digital) game-based learning. ‘We translated that experience into a user-friendly platform that allows you to design a valuable online learning experience with relatively little effort. ’
Step by Step
‘We learn, adjust and build again,’ says Caroline. ‘If you want to make the switch to digital or blended learning, you really need to be able to rely on the expertise of your supplier and the quality of the platform. Even though UpTrek is not entirely custom-made for us, sometimes it feels that way. Our needs are really being listened to.’
And that works both ways. Maria: “Rhenus’ experiences help us to constantly improve the platform. They are a large organization that dares to pioneer and sees the added value of online training. Indirectly, they have a lot of influence on how UpTrek develops. ’
They also want to make strides internationally. Both Germany and Poland have become enthusiastic about the platform. Finally, Rhenus wants to focus on multilingualism. Many employees do not speak Dutch and English poorly. UpTrek offers the possibility to offer the same training in different languages. Caroline: ‘Online learning definitely has a place in our organization.