E-Learning On The Fly - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Business & Finance

E-Learning On The Fly

IBM's prototype mobile systems are aimed at customers in industries such as retailing and fast food.

IBM is prototyping mobile E-learning solutions for customers in industries such as retail and fast-food restaurants that can provide on-the-fly, on-the-go training with bite-sized content for employees.

IBM officials wouldn't disclose the customers' identities. However, the prototype solutions will let employees in a retail environment, for instance, use a handheld device to wirelessly access three to five minutes worth of training about new work processes--or learn about new products being sold.

The training content might help the store employee explain to a customer the differences between two similar products, or to learn about a new sales procedure in a few minutes while the employee isn't busy helping a customer.

"In the future, learning will be more on-demand and embedded in the workflow" of processes, says Teresa Golden, VP of marketing and strategy for IBM Learning solutions. The mobile training prototypes support trends in training that IBM predicts will become more commonplace, based on findings of new "learning" research the company is unveiling next week.

"We see (training) evolving more organically in an organization," says James Sharpe, director of E-learning technologies at IBM. Employers are looking for new ways that employees can learn and gain answers to questions, either from accessing more formal training content, or collaborating with subject experts, he says.

IBM will be demonstrating these prototypes and unveiling its learning study this week at TechLearn, a learning conference in Orlando, Fla.

In its research, IBM says the lack of product knowledge among employees leads to job dissatisfaction contributing to high turnover rates in the retail industry ranging from 60% to 300%, with an average rate around 70%. However, equipping retail employees on the sales floor with handheld wireless devices from which they can access training modules and product information can help even new salespeople to more quickly get up to speed on store processes and better serve customers, says Golden.

For fast-food restaurant environments, more traditional E-learning often isn't practical because of space constraints, lack of PCs, and busy schedules of wait staff. IBM's prototype solution for this industry includes a wireless thin client that can let workers access content in small doses before or after hours, or during times when the restaurant isn't busy, Golden says.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2018 State of the Cloud
2018 State of the Cloud
Cloud adoption is growing, but how are organizations taking advantage of it? Interop ITX and InformationWeek surveyed technology decision-makers to find out, read this report to discover what they had to say!
Commentary
The Staying Power of Legacy Systems
Mary E. Shacklett, Mary E. Shacklett,  4/15/2019
Commentary
Q&A: Red Hat's Robert Kratky Discusses Essentials of Docs
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/15/2019
Commentary
How Cloud Shifts Security Balance of Power to the Good Guys
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  4/11/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll