How to Avoid A Regulatory ‘Roll Over’……
Like a bad relationship on Valentine’s Day, facing another year of regulatory eLearning can bring on a sudden headache. Lucy Cartlidge, Unicorn Client Relationship Manager, asks how can you avoid that sinking feeling?
It’s crazy how quickly the year whizzes by.
It’s already Valentine’s Day today, the day women are let down remembering how forgetful and ultimately unromantic their men are 😉 Next will be Children In Need – surely that happens twice a year?? – then it will be Christmas again before we know it!
Many organisations are in the process of working out their regulatory/mandatory training calendar for the year ahead, and deciding whether to follow the same process as the previous year or to mix it up a little bit.
Just like a failing relationship on Valentine’s Day, another year of the same regulatory eLearning can often result in the learner feigning a headache and finding an excuse not to go through the ordeal………
The majority of Unicorn’s clients are in the financial sector and all face the same challenge; how to make content fun and engaging whilst retaining the underlying importance and significance of the subject matter.
Here are my top tips for achieving great results on an otherwise, dry topic.
1. Trust the learner
This is often a difficult concept to get your head around as our natural assumption is the learner is going to view their training as something forced upon them and will be the same as last year. It will take an hour out of their day and feels pointless as they know everything they do is aboveboard and they won’t be laundering any money that day for example.
Tesco Bank saw this problem as a challenge and wanted to transform the way their learners learnt. Together we came up with an approach which would test the learners’ knowledge through a competency-based assessment, which once successfully completed learners would be exempt from completing the full module.
We then put together a refresher module, taking key information from the main course for learners to brush-up on and then attempt the assessment. The full module was completed by new employees.
The questions within the assessment were linked to specific course modules so forcing learners through particular modules before letting them have a second attempt at the assessment. Unless the learner is a new employee they choose their own learning path.
The outcome of this was giving the learners some responsibility for their learning pathway engendered better buy-in and engagement. Tesco Bank trusted their learners and in turn the learners do what they need to do to make sure they are at the right level at all times.
2. Assessment questions
Writing good assessment questions is a skill often taken for granted. A common mistake is the sentence for the correct answer is often longer than the other options, for example!
Using the Tesco Bank example, we had to make sure the assessment questions really tested applied knowledge. Including questions like ‘When was the FSA formed?’ is pointless. If learners pass with little effort Tesco Bank comes under major scrutiny from the regulators.
Preferably, questions should:
• be clear and concise
• not contain ambiguities, double negatives or be negative
• have answers approximately the same length and be equally likely
• remain internally consistent
• be randomised as far as possible to try and avoid colleagues consulting each other
• be as relevant as possible to what you need learners to actually know and retain
• never include ‘All of the above’!
3. Regulatory eLearning can be sexy, fact!
Believe it or not, you can turn otherwise dull and lacklustre content into a visually-engaging piece of learning which is an extension of your organisation’s branding.
Unicorn has recently developed a suite of mandatory courses for Santander that’s just that. Sexy!
There are some 11 courses with several themes, all appropriate to that course. Three of those courses sit within the regulatory suite which, despite being our bread and butter – financial crime, anti bribery and corruption and fraud awareness – can still be a dry topic.
Santander wanted the boundaries pushed and so a ‘Minority Report’ concept was born, only without Tom Cruise. Learners download ‘missions’ – ie modules – and work alongside a hologram and special agents to complete the course.
Clients often worry the seriousness of topics will be lost if they add a theme like this. But we’ve found it actually helps attract learners and engages them in wanting to complete the ‘mission’ successfully. They are also more likely to retain knowledge as they actually enjoy it.
Getting more eLearning for less investment is still the wish for the majority of clients.
Although having a big budget can mean added whizzes and bangs, it doesn’t mean it will have more effect. You don’t actually need to spend a lot of money and there are some really good tools that can turn the bleakest PowerPoint presentation into a butterfly of a course. Trust us we’ve seen a lot of ‘simple’ PowerPoint presentations!
Taking the Minority Report concept, the course was developed at the top end of the budget and it does look fantastic. Yet the real reason it works so well is because it has a familiar, consistent theme running through it. The success is in the storyboard.
So the point is courses don’t need to be flashy or super rich in media, although that can help. Creating a story and a real learning journey is much more impactful and successful.