I have been hired by some of America’s largest Fortune 500 companies (including several billion-dollar and two trillion-dollar global enterprises) to swiftly modernize their technology apprenticeship programs in recent years. After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became essential to humanize digital learning in accordance with the latest research on the pandemic’s impact on education, converting five separate tech apprenticeships into a 100% remote, blended learning format during the pandemic.
As Instructional Experience Designer and Learning Strategist, I was in charge of collaborating with a large group of subject matter experts five levels down from the CEO. In a fast-paced Agile environment, we rapidly converted in-person and instructor-led learning experiences to a 100% online, blended learning format.
When the Product Owner and Director both accepted promotions a few months into this multi-year project, I assisted with interim Director of Performance Consulting / Director of Learning duties for six months while the role was backfilled. Upon hire, I helped train the new Director on instructional design, curriculum development, blended learning, and learning strategy best practices.
Our flipped classroom model utilizes 75% self-paced or self-directed eLearning. In accordance with the 70/20/10 Instructional Design Model and social constructivism, the majority of time is spent in peer groups, receiving on-the-job training, or independently performing self-paced and self-directed eLearning. The remaining 25% instructor-led virtual classroom training.
Assessments take neurodiversity and cognitive dissonance into consideration, and some lessons were co-created alongside neurodiverse or neurodivergent subject matter experts.
In accordance with the latest research on eLearning and performance improvement during the COVID-19 pandemic, graduation rates are determined by growth, overall improvement, feedback, and skill demonstration on real-world projects, rather than only utilizing overall assessment scores.
The Results Speak for Themselves:
At enterprise-level corporations on five continents worldwide, my blended learning cohorts average 30 to 60 learners per track, with some cohorts having over 100 learners each.
- Many cohorts average 97% assessment scores on their first try
- During the COVID pandemic, a 100% remote, blended learning cohort of 106 learners saw a 12% improvement in assessment scores over three months
- In the same cohort, 92% of learners ultimately passed the course on the first try.
- Five cohorts exceeded the Fortune 500 Enterprise’s KPI goal, with 91% of learners demonstrating increased proficiency in a minimum of two or more target skills.
We continually evaluate, improve, and pivot in real-time based upon learner feedback and data analysis.
Phase II goals:
- Launch two (2) new, fully-remote programs by the end of 2022, each with a blend of 75% self-paced e-learning combined with 25% virtual, instructor-led training.
- Gradually move towards a blend of 60/40 or even 80/20 self-paced vs instructor-led.
- Reduce context switching.
- Implement more hands-on projects for assessing and demonstrating skills.
- Create a sustainable internal talent pool.
- Hire a workforce that meets the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.