I am using the Subscription-Based Learning model for a second time.
This time, in our Unified Communications pilot.
Here are the results of the first time.
A few things made me think that pulling out this technique again was a really good idea:
1) Self-limited timeframe. The posts will last for the duration of the pilot.
I found during Telecommuting that when projects started to hit – the model was too human-resource intensive to maintain indefinitely. For an indefinite version of this technique – it helps to have a resource that can focus on maintaining it full-time.
2) A product that will still be in development at the time of roll-out.
The Subscription-based learning model is a great way to “re-train” in a timely manner as a result of changes in the application.
3) The need for regular communication with and from our pilot participants.
The previous version did not engage our audience nearly as much as I would have liked. That said – I received more feedback, participation and ccomments than expected.
This time, I am hoping that with the addition of a discussion board application (we are going to use the free version of IdeaScale) we can get about 10% active participation.
So…300 users, 30 separate users commenting on the blog, adding something to the discussion board, or emailing me at least once. About anything. Even if the correspondence is “this system sucks” – at least they will have cared enough to engage. I am hoping I am going to get more (and more positive) feedback than “this system sucks.”
4) Exposure before, reinforcement after.
Great thing about this model is that it is not a “one-and-done” event. There will be classroom training, but my hope is that by the time they get in the classroom – they will have already received initial exposure to the interfaces (both hard phones and software clients) and had some of their initial questions and concerns answered.
Once the training is over – I can revisit things they likely forgot in class, address “how tos” that no one thought of (or we didn’t have time to cover), and deal with “hot topics” in a timely manner when the context is fresh.
Reduction of the fear of the unknown before the classroom – so Pilot participants get more out of the time.
Support and reminders after the classroom – reducing the “I forgot” and “you didn’t cover that in training” (though we probably did) and general feelings of abandonment that we hear after almost every implementation training.
This technique also maps much better to the way people actually learn vs. the “big event”.
My hope is that this improves the Pilot participant’s perception of both the new system and the support provided for the new system.
5) The need to develop a reusable library.
This worked fantastically for Telecommuting. By the time I wrapped that blog up – we had 24 posts, around 12 custom videos, and a tagged searchable reference library that we still use to provide instructional resources to people at the University.
There will be very little time between the Pilot and the beginning of implementation. My hope is that by the time we hit Implementation – much of the custom training development will be complete.
I had hoped that I could leverage our new SharePoint installation.
Unfortunately, that project won’t be ready for public University consumption.
Because this project is somewhat politically sensitive – I also engaged
our IT communication team and will be going through an approval process
for these posts. I’m saddened by the need for this (fear-based culture rears its ugly head again) – but our
communications team has proven to be easy to work with and we are going
to work together to try to make this governance process less onerous.
So between another WordPress blog (on my own personal account again), IdeaScale (more for testing community engagement techniques and processes), the University’s Google Drive installation (for editable documentation), a ListServ (so I am not sending out 5 emails with 50 people per), and some good communications people, I think I have a workable system.
Will keep you posted with findings.