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Implementation of a learning management system
In the early 1990’s XYZ mining company revolutionised their approach to learning. Existing learning programs were examined and costed, many millions were being spent and it became obvious much of this money was wasted.
2 An exhaustive learning needs analysis was carried out. This worked formed the basis for the introduction of competency-based learning in the Australian mining industry.
3 Doctor Stephen Billett of Griffith University was engaged to research preferred and effective modes of delivering learning. Not surprisingly learning by doing coached by a content expert was favoured. A lot of people saw classroom learning as largely a waste of time. Carrying out authentic tasks in the workplace was seen as important.
4 External trainers and internal trainers, of which I was one, had to attend a week course with a unit that specialised in advanced learning techniques from the Qld. Department of Education. This emphasised interactive techniques and Action and Experiential learning.
5 Consultants were engaged to prepare self-paced, competency-based modules in many areas. The modules were given to learners and they were assigned a content expert to refer to as needed. Some modules articulated to a National certificate IV . My role was to do the T.N.A., write modules, liaise with the consultants writing the modules, assess learners, coach learners and where necessary facilitate the modules.
6 A system was introduced whereby the supervisor had to engage with the learners to develop an action plan to implement the lessons learnt from a learning experience.
7 A matrix of mandatory and recommended learning for all levels of employees was developed.
8 The performance appraisal process put a high emphasis on learning with the result that individual learning plans were developed for all employees.
9 The organisation truly became a “Learning organisation” and a high value was put on learning.
10 A communications plan was developed to communicate learning processes to employees. Various available media were used to communicate learning change.
11 Development of the learning materials involved many project teams and a philosophy that “When initiating change, People support what they create” was used.
12 Assessors of the self-paced learning modules completed learning and set about assessing learners
13 It was summed up for me when I was sitting in a mine manager’s office that overlooked the coal stockpile and the mine manager said” There was a time when I had evidence the bulldozer operators did not always know what they are doing and the machines were not always well maintained, since this new training I no longer have these concerns”
The precursors to success were the very thorough learning needs analysis and the establishment of the preferred and most effective means of learning.