‘Welcome to the age of YouTube learning’: Beca

by L&D13 Jul 2016
Technology is making learning more accessible and interactive, which helps make it much more fun for the learner and the developer, said Melanie Hawkins, L&D business partner at Beca.

Hawkins is based in New Zealand and is part of the Group Delivery (change) team at Beca - one of the largest employee-owned professional services consultancies in the Asia-Pacific.

As part of her role she has the opportunity to brainstorm “out there” ideas that would not necessarily be tried in a traditional learning environment.

“Our learning solutions address real business needs, so it’s great to be able to be creative,” Hawkins told L&D Professional.

“We are moving more towards continuous performance support as a way to offer learning touchpoints to someone through the life of their role, rather than single point-in-time up-front training, that only introduces them to their role.

“We are creating short sharp e-learning/video hits that we embed within our project management tools so users can pull the right information at the right time – welcome to the age of YouTube learning! “

Hawkins added that Beca still have up-front learning, but it’s more likely to be in the form of e-learning that doubles as an ongoing reference tool; and focusses on familiarisation and navigation around their systems rather than “how-to” information.

“I’m passionate about finding the right solution, and the solution to the actual problem, rather than the symptom,” she said.

“I enjoy spending time getting to know the business so that as a team we can add more value and challenge assumptions.”

In the Group Delivery team it’s all about the right tool for the job.

If all we need is a quick-card we don’t waste time building a workshop, Hawkins added.

Beca also have elements of gamification and rely on social learning (especially Yammer discussions) to support and embed their initiatives.

In one of their workshops they have given the participants the chance to practice what they’ve learnt through running a simulated project through to completion.

“They work in teams (yes it’s competitive) and we’ve had great feedback on the value of the experience,” she said.

“There are so many things we’ve learnt and we’re still learning. Most importantly there is no magic bullet! There is no cool tool or approach that is best for every solution.

“Gamification works, so does social learning – but there is still a place for ‘old school’ workshops and information cards. I’m a great believer in using the right approach for your audience and your message.”

Melanie Hawkins is a featured speaker at the Learning & Development Masterclass in Auckland. It takes place on the 24 August 2016.