E-Learning On The Fly - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
How GIS Data Can Help Fix Vaccine Distribution
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/17/2021
Graph-Based AI Enters the Enterprise Mainstream
James Kobielus, Tech Analyst, Consultant and Author,  2/16/2021
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
White Papers
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