From left to right: Robin Reips, Martin Oswald, Kerstin Schachinger, Katharina Röschegg, Mike Hoffmann
Why reinvent the wheel? This was the thinking that, in April as part of a workshop series, motivated employees at ABICOR BINZEL in Buseck, Gießen, to carefully recycle existing content and develop knowledge paths for the introduction of new product lines. These paths give all employees the opportunity to pass on their knowledge quickly and easily.
One Friday afternoon, workshop participants gathered together in the seminar room of ABICOR BINZEL in Germany’s Gießen district. In front of them were paper cards in all the colors of the rainbow, a whiteboard, and a workshop leader from Pokeshot’s consulting team. “Shall we get started?” the workshop leader asked.
What do we want to achieve? Planning is everything
The participants arrived highly motivated and eager to learn how to create effective knowledge paths with SmarterPath. But first we took a step back and asked ourselves: who is the target group for these knowledge paths, and what exactly is the knowledge that needs to be passed on?
Yet the most seemingly simple of questions can often sprout more queries than answers – like a tree producing ever thinner branches. It was a challenge to formulate the goals as specifically as possible while still keeping them achievable and realistic. “If I don’t know what I want to achieve, then going through the click path to create a knowledge path is not really going to help me,” explained workshop leader Kerstin Schachinger. “It takes five minutes to learn how to use SmarterPath – it’s that easy; the harder and more important task is to have a clear idea of the goals and available content.”
In addition to the modest task of assessing the existing knowledge of each target group, the participants had to keep returning to the following key questions when setting their expectations: What is realistic? Is the goal achievable? And, above all: what input does the target group need in order to achieve the respective goal?
Analog over digital: focusing on the essentials
In order to concentrate fully on the content and not be distracted by digital tools, we decided to use an analog prototype method. After discussing learning types and the importance of multimedia content, we mapped out on paper the structure of some example knowledge paths. This method created a flexible working process, as individual content steps could be continuously added, moved, or removed.
By focusing on the content together, all of us in the ABICOR BINZEL team became aware once again that we have so much material already available to us. Content that is suitable for knowledge transfer is integrated into a new system by creating a learning path in SmarterPath. SmarterPath is really easy to use, which is why we were able to spend more time dealing with the target group and preparing the content. (Katharina Röschegg)
Three knowledge paths for introducing new product lines
Once the procedure and background were clear, the paths were adapted to suit the target groups. Three new product lines are to be introduced soon and SmarterPath will support their roll-out. This primarily involves, in addition to defining learning objectives and developing knowledge paths, finding out which content already exists and can be reused (upcycled) so as not to have to “reinvent the wheel” – an approach that saves on multiple resources and means that content no longer has to sit idly on unused file servers.
The results speak for themselves: by combining the knowledge of all participants, three knowledge paths for the introduction of new product lines were designed in a very short space of time, which can also be implemented directly thanks to how simple SmarterPath is to use. We would like to thank the workshop participants of ABICOR BINZEL for their active and motivated cooperation: this is what makes consulting fun!
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About the author
Kerstin Schachinger supports the Pokeshot team as a Workplace Learning Consultant. Combining experiences in adult education in Vienna and Berlin with her enthusiasm for training and her love of creating great content, she found instructional design, facilitating workshops and conducting webinars to be her favorite areas to work in. Kerstin’s linguistic background allows her to break down information and communicate complexity in an easy way, an essential skill when creating learning experiences for a wide variety of target groups.