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Author's profile photo Stefan Funk

What each learning officer should consider when building learning programs – Key takeaways from eLearning Summit Tour 2013

How to build learning that matters, engage your employees and also leverage Social Media/Web 2.0 technologies? This has been the theme of the eLearning Summit Tour 2013 (German only) I attended in Stuttgart, Germany. This event has been part of a road show organized for learning officers, HR executives and learning designers for German-speaking countries. There has been a great mix of Best Practices presenters from small, medium and large size companies here in Germany, as well as opportunities for attendees to network and exchange experiences in the area of eLearning and corporate education.


Following the key takeaways from the event:

1. eLearning vs. traditional classroom / Formal vs. informal learning:

One major topic that has been discussed during the various Best Practices sessions as well as during the networking lounges, whether companies should either focus on eLearning or traditional classroom trainings. My key takeaway from this discussion is that there is no right or wrong choosing either option. There was one remarkable statement by one of the experts: “The time is over where one size fits all!”


This statement is especially true as you have as you have different types of learner mentalities within your organization. Therefore this applies not only to the format of learning content, but also to the type of learning be it formal or informal learning activities.


With that in mind, every learning officer and designer should offer a rich set of learning offerings where learners are able to pick-and-choose based on their personal learning preferences.


2. Measurement of training program success:

Measuring success of implemented learning programs is still a challenge for most companies. However, more and more learning program designers are incorporating the definition of success metrics at a very early stage of the learning program design.

With that they are able to measure the success of a program during and after the implementation. But there are still different maturity levels of KPI definition: they rank from quantitative (e.g. how many learners have taken the training) to qualitative measurements (e.g. assessments, impact on the learner’s job).


The most impressive example of measuring success, I have seen during the eLearning event was the pre-, post- and follow-up assessment approach. With that approach learners had to do an assessment before the learning started. Then they had taken the learning and the learning organization did an assessment right after it. And, last but not least, after a three-month-period, they did assessed the knowledge again. With that, the company has been able to showcase the impact of the respective training as well as to highlight behavioral changes of the learners.


What would be now interesting to see, to compare the assessment results of learners that has taken the training versus the ones that has not. That would be the best method to on the one hand side showcase the importance of training as well as great input for the business case, why learning is important and matters to the organization.

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      Author's profile photo Sarah Kellman
      Sarah Kellman

      Thanks very much for this write-up Stefan.

      It’s good to hear that the learning trends highlighted during the event dovetail with the approach being taken by SAP Education. And you're right: one size does not fit all 🙂

      While classrooms remain strategically important to SAP Education as a way to provide in-person instructor-led training, we do deliver learning in Virtual Live Classrooms and via the SAP Learn Now mobile app, as well as via SAP eLearning and SAP eAcademy offerings. These mobile and online courses complement classroom-based training, allowing users to improve or maintain their skills by building online and mobile learning into their schedules. We actually have a great success story from our customer Samarco out of Brazil to illustrate this trend.

      Thanks again for sharing your take-aways from the event!