Wednesday, January 13, 2016

“Enablement: A High-Impact Corporate MOOC Strategy” #ATDTK

These are my live blogged notes from a concurrent session at ATD TechKnowledge 2016, happening this week in Las Vegas. Forgive any typos or incoherencies.

Sam Herring, Intrepid Learning -- “Enablement: A High-Impact Corporate MOOC Strategy”

The corporate MOOC – flip things. Instead of leading with the instructor’s knowledge, lead with business problem that you’re trying to solve. Motivation goes way up when you help people do their work in a MOOC.

If a credential really demonstrates market value for the individual, then maybe the individual will be motivated to complete the course (in a discussion of whether or not completion of a MOOC matters).

Collaboration is key.

If we need to develop our leaders to transform our business – and we need major behavior change – you may have a hard time convincing seniors leaders that technology based learning is the way to go.

Off the shelf content is so often not relevant and so no one sticks with it.

Case Study: Microsoft
Microsoft’s new CEO had an evolutionary strategy vs. a revolutionary strategy: Mobile First, Cloud First. Moving to a SaaS product. And so lots of change across Microsoft.

And so not a challenge that the learning team could just throw off the shelf content at.

Instead, partner with one of the world’s top business school programs and tailor it.

So Intrepid went out and talked to the top business schools. They were looking for those with a track level in innovation (not content, because they all had content).

Partnered with the largest executive ed program in the world: INSEAD (“The Business School for the World”)

Landed on:
3 8 week courses, multiple cohorts
Semi-synchronous, cloud-based
INSEAD professors
Intrepid Corporate MOOC platform
LinkedIn Certificates from INSEAD
Target Global Audience: 15,000 sellers

The Secret Sauce:
Learner Centricity (keeping them in the course)
Business Relevance
8 week program
Tile-based design (similar to Microsoft or EdEx).

Elements of the course include:
High level senior leadership involvement from MS execs (videos laying the reasons…)
Earn your certificate in the program by earning a certain # of points – earn points by watching videos, completing assignments, weekly discussions, final assignment, giving feedback to colleagues on their assignments [“gamification with a purpose”]

Shot Microsoft sellers in the room (with people you might know), the Dean from INSEAD in the classroom talking – you feel like you’re in a program for Microsoft sellers.

The Dean then shares a case study and talks about Michelin, the French tire company.

Social forum on the case study. Collab and participation was off the charts. 80% participation across the course in all forums.

So this combo of world-class content, frictionless learning experience, and the context – this was working.

Assignments. Like a lab. You bring your biggest accounts and your apply this learning to your accounts.

In Week 5 – studying Value Chain mapping. The first thing they do after learning these concepts, is create a map – could be on a napkin. And then you answer a bunch of questions. This is the assignment which then folds up to a field report. You see how each learner is applying these concepts to their accounts – in a pinterest like feel.

[This course was not required. Completely optional.]

So for a 20 point assignment on mapping the value chain, people posted some amazing maps. This effort by students in an optional course, really blew people away.

This learning process becomes a mechanism for sharing best practices. Sharing their thinking about their own real accounts. Connecting people across the globe.

For the program, the metric that Microsoft execs really cared about was “account plans created”. This was the leading indicator. Lagging indicators were really strong, too (e.g., deals closed, etc.)

The whole challenge of engagement – the team was obsessing about how to drive engagement. The idea here is that the learners are leaving their fingerprints all over this course through discussions, etc. So they harvested this info through curation – moderators teed up the really interesting posts from the previous week. Or they created word clouds from different topics.

Another things that was awesome – with low-fidelity video – the Dean answered questions which he captured on his computer’s camera and uploaded to the cloud.

It doesn’t all need to be planned out to the nth degree in advance.

Created a simple leaderboard. Gamification with a purpose.

Have a verified badge.

“We want to be the place where technology sellers build their careers.” This badge helps build that brand for Microsoft.

85% completion (for an optional course, 8 weeks, 3 hours a week)!
This has held constantly across cohorts. Cohorts are typically about 1,000 each.

From a business metrics perspective:
3,600+ account plans created (partial data only)
188 Readiness Indicator Score – this is a score within Microsoft that means a lot. 188 is high.
95% said the course will improve how they perform their job
A $25m deal was attributed directly to the financial acumen skills learned in the MOOC
99% overall satisfaction rate
This was the highest scored program ever within Microsoft. We more than rivaled engagement levels from face to face classes. We far surpassed it.

Best practices and lessons learned:

Exclusivity at scale – initial deliveries always positioned as exclusive opps for top performers – created sense of scarcity and exclusivity
World class content from top biz schools, relevant content, tailor to MS content
Clear expectations and communication – concise, twice weekly emails; pre-, midway, and end emails; course calendars, syallabus, FAQs, context tiles
Compelling learning experience: single seamless online tech platform; learner-first philosophy; intuitive, easily updatable interface – don’t put up barriers for the learner, make it as easy and frictionless as possible
Fresh content curation – moderators curate top posts of the week & questions for professors; professors respond to participants each week
Demonstrated ability – final assignment aligned to job function; peer review
Co-branded badges
Constant improvement – solicit feedback and adjust

A context tile at the front of each learning path that described what was going to happen drove completion

Microsoft is now going beyond skill based courses to product based courses

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