Working back in the insurance industry, one of my annual projects was to take one of our annual compliance courses and re-design it for a new compliance refresher activity. Annual compliance training is not new, and it is often met with resistance. The topics are familiar to people and the subject matter has often been covered many times over. Not wanting to deliver the same old information slides, intermixed with scenarios, and the traditional assessment built into the end, I trawled through eLearn examples offered through the E-Learning Heroes Community, trying to find a new way of delivering repetitive content.
I was inspired to try something a little different which would allow me to up the fun factor with a game, while incorporating a little bit of the real world with scenarios that allowed learners to make choices.
How did it work?
The game itself was designed around real world scenarios that represented the NZ Privacy Principles. For each scenario, learners were asked if a potential breach had been found, or if privacy was upheld. The game took approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete. If the learner achieved 80% then no further action was required. If they didn’t achieve this, then they were re-directed to a 20 minute eLearning course to revisit the principles once more.
How did the learners feel about the new game?
As I had made a significant change to the learning design, I was interested to see how learners felt about the experience. Certainly the uptake in the course was clearly positive by the number of attempts we recorded in the first week when compared to the previous traditional approaches. Normally our uptake would be around the 30% mark, which required chasing people up during reporting. The news of the game, and how easy it was to complete had our uptake jump up to 60% within the first week.
Using the first level of Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model to analyse the effectiveness and impact of the game, where I created a questionnaire to establish how learners reacted to the training, 90% of trainees felt the training was worth their time; and 88% thought it was successful. A number of the comments were supportive, stating that they appreciated the opportunity to apply their existing knowledge to scenarios without having to complete a traditional eLearn on a topic they were already familiar with. A few people did state they felt that their area of the business hadn’t been as represented in the scenarios, and they felt it difficult to apply the scenarios without fully understanding the context. While you cannot please everyone, the learning here for myself as a learning designer will be to try and create more personalisation in training, or at the very least to create more generic scenarios where learners can see how scenarios apply to them in their own roles.
So what were the benefits for management?
The total number of people who passed the activity was 77%, which illustrated that the scenarios were challenging enough. By introducing the game approach on a subject people were very familiar with, we reduced the amount of time in training. If I had used the traditional approach, the total training time for the organisation would have resulted in 53 hours. With 77% of learners passing the game, the total training time for the organisation dropped to 38 hours.