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As of today, SAP Training and Education have released 55 training rooms. There are that many rooms that most people in the SAP ecosystem could find a topic of interest to them. In the table below, I have attempted to categorise the topics to provide an idea of the balance between technical and functional as well as other key focusses. Fifty-five Learning Rooms is quite impressive considering how SAP Learning Hub was only launched in the past ~12 months.

Grouping Rooms #
Functional 13
SuccessFactors 12
Development 5
BI/BW/BoBJ/BPC 6
Ariba 4
Solution Manager 3
Technical 3
Mobility 3
HANA (Admin) 3
Other 3
TOTAL 55

For those of you who don’t know about SAP Learning Rooms have a look at this blog: Learning Rooms: Social Learning with SAP Learning Hub

My First attempt at Learning Rooms


SAP Learning Hub has been a great asset to my own training needs. Both for certification purposes and upskilling for work. Course Guides via FlipBooks were great and so I became quite excited when I found out about Learning Rooms.

Unfortunately (Security and GRC), my topics did not have Learning Rooms. L Hope existed when I saw the road map for Learning Rooms. I saw Q4 2014 as release dates for GRC and Security topics. Each week I would go to SAP Learning Room in anticipation that one of the rooms had been released.

In the meantime, I enrolled in Ariba and SuccessFactors Learning Rooms to have a look at the content layout (although I was already using SAP JAM). However, I didn’t last long as those topics aren’t my core discipline and I didn’t have a system to prototype in. Though, the layout and features looked great 🙂

Excitement Sustained for Attempt Two

At the end of last year, the Learning Rooms for GRC and Security were released. My excitement increased. I had marked time out of my calendar to go in and work in these rooms. I had hopes that that I could use these rooms as avenues to compliment my self-training.

In this attempt, I joined the Security Learning Room (LR-AUDSEC SAP Authorization and Auditing for SAP NetWeaver Learning Room) and clicked through the door to start preparing for the SAP Certified Technology Associate – SAP Authorization and Auditing for SAP NetWeaver 7.31 (C_AUDSEC_731) certification.

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And then I was disappointed again. 🙁

It felt like there was an important meeting but there was a last minute change to the room and no-one told me. Or maybe Christmas holidays started early. The chairs were all empty and I sat there wondering what happens next. I saw folders on the desk so I clicked into them to see if they had the information I needed. But they were empty. So I applied my “10 minute rule” and left.

New Year New (Third) Attempt

Still determined, I thought time to jump back into the Learning Room and have another look around. Not much has changed. Let me show you:

Membership

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There are currently only 13 members in this room of with the following breakdown: 9 Administrator and 4 Members (of which only 1 has participated). As well as that there are 4 Pending invites

Content


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SAP Learning Hub already provides me with the necessary course guides via FlipBook functionality and I have access to a work system. In accessing the Learning Room, I’m coming here to join in with the community and bridge the gap between traditional classroom training and self-paced. This is one of the reasons why Learning Rooms were created. The additional content could be videos; extra documents; questions and answers or discussions. I’d see it as the type of content that we would reject on SCN with comment the person should read the manual or seek training. This Room has the potential to provide supplementary content to better teach some of the more difficult topics.

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So we have a folder for each module. This makes sense to break the topic downs to specific areas of focus for certification.

Each folder has one content each which provides the links to the applicable learning material.

The problem with this space is that it is still work in progress (Module 13 “currently the content is not available, it will be provided later” or Module 2 “will be produced by trainer later” or Module 3 “currently the content is not available, it will be provided later”) or it provides the links to the Course Guide.

In short – it’s still work in progress for initial setup

So content wise, the Learning Room has offered me no additional content other than linking to the FlipBook (love, love, love!) which I can access via the Learning Hub anyway. At most, it put some approximate durations in place and let me know the chapter.

This content has taken care of my time management skills but that’s it.

Member Contribution


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Only one member other than the Administrator has contributed content (yes I realise it’s not me) and this was a month ago. They asked regarding practise questions for certification. The question is unanswered.

This Room has 9 administrators and it’s taken a month and still no answer? Heaps of Admins and very members participants. Question not answered. The question is a month old so is there point in answering it?

Such a delay in an answer is a bit of a setup back for this Room. I thought trainers are on hand to provide guidance? Does this not apply during holidays?

Recommendations

This part appears to be some smarts of JAM but showing me the Most View Content or Featured or Liked. When content is minimal I’m not getting much value from here

Forums

It looks like an area has been setup for each topic. Categorisation sounds good. Volume doesn’t exist.

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No one feels like chatting either. 🙁 In fairness, there’s only really been 4 enrolments.


Events


If only this was my work calendar. Zero meetings!!

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Great that Learning Rooms provide this feature. It looks like any member can create an Event. I’m a tad nervous in case I become like the unpopular kid sending out invites to my birthday party and having zero people turn up.

Links


Seems there’s nothing else to add in as references. Not even help.sap.com or useful SCN blogs?

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Tasks


We may be small but we’re not jamming that well together

8 tasks.png

Securing my future Optimism to prepare for the Fourth Attempt

After round 3 I’ve called it a night for Learning Rooms. As negative as my comments are, SAP Training have done a fantastic job in building these rooms. However, the builders have done their job but we’re still waiting on the interior decorators to put in the final touches.

I haven’t gone and looked through many other rooms to see if this one is isolated. However, it is a “traditional” SAP topic so it’s not one of the key targets like HANA, SuccessFactors etc. I’m not sure if this is one the contributing factors to lack of content. At the end of the day, we have two sides contributing to the state of this empty room: lack of quality content that is unique to the room AND lack of membership.

From a content perspective SAP could improve this room by adding information. They could provide content files of configuration activities, etc. that you could upload into your system. They could use Workforce Performance Builder (happy for you to cross-product promote) and record the training activities in the course guide to bring them to light. They could link in some key articles or support documentation as additional reading. They could upload more sample questions (such a popular request from so many people studying for certification). There is so much opportunities to add content. And it does seem the JAM platform provides many tools to share content and collaborate. It’s just not happening here.

The lack of content might explain why of the other 3 who enrolled last month did not return.

From a participation perspective, will members be asked for specific feedback? How well has SAP been able to advertise and alert potential members that this room is available? Is there mechanisms in SAP Learning Hub to apply some analysis and recommend Learning Rooms to participants based on their learning plans and course completion? Is SAP Training advertising specific rooms in the relevant SCN space? But even if SAP finds way to get people to RSVP and turn up to the party, they still need to host something that captures and retains the audience.

Secondly, from a participation point of view we need to start asking the questions and creating the discussion. Unlike SCN, no question is a silly question (well… maybe it is but you won’t have someone press Alert Moderator on you). We can at least control the participation and improve our understanding and knowledge by teaching it to each other (I’ve always had the view that if you can explain it to someone so they understand it then you must know the topic yourself).

Finally, maybe SAP needs to think about making Learning Rooms an extension to classroom access. If you have paid and attended classroom training then why not be granted to the associated Learning Room? The trainee can continue their studies after the course is done (not sure if this is possible to provision in isolation to the rest of SAP Learning Hub). This might be a way to get more people to open the door and join in (and consider moving to a Learning Hub subscription to obtain the other rooms).

I hope this one example is not indicative of the other 54 Learning Rooms. My disappointment aside, I still believe Learning Rooms are a great idea and have a place to get interaction for learning SAP. But yet, it was built and (almost) no-one came.

I would love to hear your thoughts on SAP Learning Rooms. Have you used them? Is there any particular ones you see as active and valuable? How would you get more people to join in?

Regards

Colleen

Reference Links for SAP Learning Rooms

https://training.sap.com/uploads/Learning_Rooms_Listing_January_2015.pdf (Updated Regularly – Navigate to this via training.sap.com > SAP Learning Hub > Scroll to PDF Information Section)

Learning Rooms: Social Learning with SAP Learning Hub

Making the most of your Learning Hub Subscriptions with Learning Rooms>

Getting Help Navigating the Learning Rooms

SAP Mentor Monday Recap – SAP Learning Hub and Learning Rooms

Disclaimer: SAP Education invited me to be part of their SAP Learning Hub Champions Program by providing me with a free 12-month subscription to SAP Learning Hub Customer Edition, which includes access to the Learning Rooms

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8 Comments

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  1. Tim Breitwieser

    Hello Colleen – Let me introduce myself as the solution manager of SAP Learning Hub. Thanks for sharing your insights from your first attempts exploring the learning rooms in SAP Learning Hub, in particular the “SAP Authorization and Auditing for SAP NetWeaver” learning room. Sad to read your experience has not met your expectations so far. I appreciate your constructive critique and suggestions and will look into these, not only to fix issues with this particular learning room, but also with regards to the learning room concept as such since we are constantly improving and will continue to improve. Short comments on two points. Though learning rooms are built as “living” learning spaces where contents are changing, may it be adding new or removing outdated materials, it shouldn´t be the case that you find weeks after opening a new learning room still placeholders saying “currently the content is not available, it will be provided later”. This is being addressed and you should soon see additional contents coming in. Questions posed by participants of a learning room are supposed to be answered within an appropriate time, usually a 1-day turn-around, and not remain unanswered for weeks as you regrettably observed. The good in the bad is that this particular question is now answered. Please keep your motivation to embrace learning rooms as a new way of learning. We are committed to provide you with an innovative learning experience and will keep evolving the concept further. Tim

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    1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

      Hi Tim

      I am very sorry for taking so long to respond (public holidays and cross-country commutes). Thank you so much for your almost immediate feedback and interest as well as coordinating corrective actions to some of the content issues.

      I really look forward to popping back into that room and seeing it grow. Thank you for working away in the background to address those issues.

      You make an excellent point that Learning Rooms will constantly have new content (and remove outdated information). The key message of “living” learning spaces requires as much contribution from the members as much as it does from the administrators/trainers. As a member, I appreciate trainers cannot improve content if questions are not asked (how would you know what to add).

      Perhaps, I’m partially answering my own question of how do we get people to participate is to actually put out hands up and ask for help (that is create a question or ask for specific learning clarifications). It may be one approach to build momentum for new members to join and see the assistance they can receive and realise “simple” questions and  clarifications are welcomed.

      In fairness, I wonder if this particular room needs more time to build membership (December release date followed by holiday period didn’t help).

      As I (less than directly) mentioned in this article, I do see SAP Learning Hub and Learning Rooms as an important investment in SAP skills development. Within my country, it is difficult to attend classroom training (schedules and location) so having this facility plugs the gap. SAP is evolving so quickly that online and self-paced training is a necessary supplement to traditional forms of education.

      Again, looking forward to my next attempt. I’ll even start creating questions 🙂

      Regards

      Colleen

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  2. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Hi Colleen, I applaud your determination and optimism in trying Learning Hub. 🙂 The question is really not as much “will they come” but rather “if you build it and it’s not good – will they return?”. And the answer is most likely “no”.

    We no longer leave in times when one had to take a bus to a library or take an in-person class to learn something. We are bombarded with enormous amount of information and learning opportunities are also abound. But there are still 24 hours in one day and our jobs are actually becoming more demanding. So if something doesn’t work right the first time then it’s extremely difficult to get anyone to try it again even once. People are looking for the best ROI on their time investment.

    When Learning Hub was just announced, I’ve spent quite a bit of time just trying to get in and do some basic navigation. (At that point I believe one had to go through some kind of awkward purchase process that may no longer be needed.) There was very little content (in Discovery Edition) and most of it was not something that any of my colleagues could use. We never went back there and it was a waste of time.

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    1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

      Hi Jelena

      You are right that people do not have patience for trying new things. In this example, I see more a case or membership growth is more a contributing factor than content issues (refer my response to Tim). In this room, only 5 members has made it more difficult (it makes me think of sitting in an exam waiting for the first person to get up and leave before everyone follows: perhaps we are all sitting back waiting for someone to ask the first content-based questions).

      So if something doesn’t work right the first time then it’s extremely difficult to get anyone to try it again even once.

      You are right – we only get one chance to make a first impression. Though, I find the risk of closing doors on first go is we might lose out ultimately. If a product improves and learns from feedback then I will always revisit it to maximise my opportunities. Unfortunately, a lot of people will take on piece of a negativity and spend the next x number of months/years saying it doesn’t work.

      The discovery edition of Learning Hub did cover a lot more functional/business process content compared to technical. As you are an experienced developer, that edition probably was not indicative of the available content. My recommendation to to technical people is to obtain Learning Hub subscription if you want the current course guides to perform self paced. However, Learning Rooms are starting to get built for technical areas.

      As per my critical analysis, I’m still leaning towards finding productive ways to improve memberships and active participation to the room(s). As it is a JAM platform, it opens itself to collaborative forum for junior members (even the more experienced needing to refresh). I’ll consider it a win if we see newbies continuing their learning via these tools and remove basic questions from SCN (I can live and dream).

      I’m still determined to see these rooms become extensions to training 🙂 On a positive, being in at the beginning means I’ll get to see them grow and deliver on the goals.

      Regards

      Colleen

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      1. Jelena Perfiljeva

        I’d certainly love the Learning Hub (or anything for that matter) to replace the basic questions on SCN. 🙂

        You’re right – it’s not fair to completely dismiss something after just one try. But there is a fine line between giving something a second chance and wasting time on something that just won’t work for you. I guess one needs at least see some potential to return. Sadly, we just didn’t (not just me but functional colleagues as well). We were very excited about the SAP Navigation course that could help our business users but it was over an hour (I think) long snooze-fest.

        We’ve also looked into getting a subscription but found no way at all to check what exactly will be available with it. And we don’t have budget to just buy “a cat in a bag”.

        Like I said, people are looking for best ROI on their time. It needs to be easy (to access and to use), fast and at least for beginners – cheap or better yet free. As it stands now SCN and other open courses are still the winning competition. E,g, openHPI web site is much easier to use and has the same stuff – forum for questions, videos, tests, etc. Maybe someone should call Hasso Plattner. 🙂

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        1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

          Hi Jelena

          Good feedback here (I’m sure the SAP Education team are paying attention)

          We’ve also looked into getting a subscription but found no way at all to check what exactly will be available with it. And we don’t have budget to just buy “a cat in a bag”

          I’ve noticed this as a bit of a challenge. There is a spreadsheet that lists all of the learning content (4000+ items). Would this assist in understanding the product or do you mean you want to see demonstration of what else is there?

          In relation to finding content boring, etc – did you and your colleagues rates and provide feedback within Learning Hub?

          ROI is a big thing – free is even better when education is self funded 🙂

          Regards

          Colleen

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            1. Colleen Hebbert Post author

              Hi Jelena

              The Customer Edition has a link on the landing page. I’ll CC Tim to see if the same link can be published for the Discovery Edition:

              Tim Breitwieser

              Tim – On the landing page of Customer you can download the xls with all courses (Except for Learning Rooms). This would be a useful item to make available for Discovery Users so they can see what a subscription entitles them to

              Regards

              Colleen

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