Gorillas, dolphins, orcas, wolves and humans. What they all have in common is that they rarely ‘go it alone’ and are highly social animals. How they develop and learn about the world depends solely on their connections – connections that, for humans, are not only for survival but also for their happiness and the success of their careers. With that said, wouldn’t it make sense that teamwork and collaboration be a critical element for effective e learning programs?
Everybody learns differently but what we do know, according to the National Training Laboratory, is that traditional lecture-style teaching only has about a 5 percent retention rate among learners. Reading doesn’t fare much better with a dismal 10 percent retention rate. However, what shouldn’t come as a surprise, is the effectiveness of social elements. Just by adding a discussion to your e learning program will garner a 50 percent retention. And, leading at the top of the chart is practicing (75%) and teaching others (90%).
What many trainers are finding is that a blended e learning approach has been quite successful because of its ability to influence critical thinking among teams. There is an individual component, which is taken in a self-paced manner and a teamwork component, which provides ample opportunities for collaboration between learners.
SharePoint is well-known for its content management capabilities but in more recent years it has also taken on the label of grand poobah of collaboration.
What better way to encourage teamwork than with a SharePoint team site. Team sites can be created for just about any collaboration task and is highly customizable - upload content, create task lists for team members, use blogs or wikis to share information, gather input with discussions or surveys and establish a team calendar. For even more convenience, SharePoint and Microsoft Project can be synced together so a manager can make changes in Project and then lead a discussion with the team in SharePoint. No duplicate efforts.
Team sites are not the only way to collaborate. Teamwork and collaboration also happens with SharePoint MySites, wikis, discussion forums, gamification and newsfeeds.
There are a lot of elements that contribute to training success. But, the most powerful equation that leads to a strong online learning environment is face-to-face + synchronous conversations + asynchronous interactions.
In simple terms this means traditional face-to-face training combined with conversations in real time such as Web and video conferencing and concluding with asynchronous communication like discussion boards, blogs, Web-based training and surveys.
Is there a way to wrap all of this magical equation into one easy to use system? The answer is yes. Having an LMS that is tied to your SharePoint, like ShareKnowledge, allows all of this and more.
For example, as a trainer, you can easily upload all of your learning content into one central location in SharePoint. Since ShareKnowledge is built on top of SharePoint, you can seamlessly pull any learning info into the LMS without duplicating efforts.
Within ShareKnowledge, there is also a trainer workplace where all instructor-led training and online training is organized complete with notifications, calendars, grading and reports. In addition, real time collaboration happens with the help of webinar connectors in ShareKnowledge.
ShareKnowledge tailors team training needs by allowing the ability to assign courses based on job title or organizational unit. And, its unique PowerSync™ feature automatically adjusts training with promotions, transfers or team changes.
All of the social features in SharePoint cross over to ShareKnowledge as well. For instance, after taking an e learning course in the LMS, learners can gravitate over to the discussion group that is tied to that course.
It is imperative that business units across an organization are equipped with the right tools to meet their specific goals and objectives. And, this often comes with unique training needs that do not always fall under the same organizational LMS umbrella. ShareKnowledge provides a solution for team training when a corporate wide LMS does not work as needed and training demands require granular, departmental, group, or team control in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment.
While there will always be some crossover in training needs that a corporate wide LMS will suffice, there also will be an equal amount of situations where specific teams need a tailored solution. Common problems teams face include:
While most corporate LMSs only allow certain administrative access, this is not the case with ShareKnowledge. Any team, department or group can utilize flexible permissions in order to manage their own training without interfering with centrally managed learning objectives.
Let’s face it, nobody wants or has time to learn a big complicated system in order to do one simple task. On the rare occasion that a team is given access to the corporate LMS, it can lead to frustration when it falls short in usability. ShareKnowledge mimics the same Microsoft Office-like features that many teams have been using for years.
Independent team training is all fun and games until the big boss wants to see how a team is meeting goals and objectives. Managers can easily track team completion with results and status reports within ShareKnowledge. And, because ShareKnowlege provides an integration solution that “talks” to other systems, team managers can seamlessly push back their data to the corporate LMS in an automated, simple manner.