This week I interview superstar learning designer Jill Parsons, who tells us all about the learning design behind our latest refresher suite!
A trail-blazer in our Product Delivery team, Jill dares to go where no learning designer has gone before! Most recently, she’s contributed wonderful wording, creative concept and a lil’ bit of flair to the creation of our latest refresher training suite, Top-Ups. (Psst, it also features me, Vin Weasel!)
I took some time out of my Workplace Heroes campaign (more on this later on...) to sit down with Jill. I wanted to discuss just what it is that makes the Top-Ups refresher training suite so ground-breaking.
Vin Weasel: Hi Jill! Firstly, I won’t ask you to tell us who your favourite Top-Ups character is (because it’s clearly me!). Instead, I’d like to ask you what you most enjoyed about working on an elearning course that’s been inspired by a new social approach to learning online?
Jill Parsons: Hi Vin, well, I have to say that I do also have a soft spot for Dolores the Law Walrus, because she’s just so darn cute and knowledgeable! But what I really love about the Top-Ups courses is that they get straight to the point. They’ve got such a great look and feel – each screen is really clear and easy to read and navigate, so it keeps everyone engaged.
From a team perspective, designing and building it was so much fun! We had the whole team on board, collaborating and throwing ideas around, it was so great.
Vin: That's awesome - who doesn't wanna have fun at work? Now, like most millennials, I like to learn on-the-go and I don’t have time to sit down for 45 minutes and do compliance training at my desk! I heard that you can do the Top-Ups training on your phone – is that true?
Jill: Yep, you can! Top-Ups was designed mobile-first. So it’s not only responsive, but each and every screen delivers clear, punchy content that’s easily viewed on your phone. Microlearning is definitely good news for those of us who like to learn on-the-go.
Vin: I keep hearing this word ‘microlearning’ getting thrown around. Could you break that down for me? I’m more of a 'macro' kind of guy.
Jill: Hmm, I’m sure you are! Well, as I’ve said, Top-Ups delivers bite-sized information in microlearning parcels. None of these are more than three to four minutes long. And the best part? We use adaptive technology to test learners’ knowledge before they even get started, so they only have to consume the content they need a refresher in. Basically, these courses are really short! People can choose to do a course all in one sitting, or dip in and out.
Vin: That actually sounds amazing! Now, I understand that Top-Ups has created a theme around 'Workplace Heroes'. Can you tell us any more about that, or is it Top(-Up) secret?
Jill: Oh wow, I see what you did there... Workplace Heroes is actually my favourite parcel! It was particularly enjoyable to work on, because we involved other workers from across our business in the filming. Plus, anything that puts a positive spin on being an ‘everyday’ hero in the workplace is great. I’m all for people ‘calling it out’ and doing something positive in their roles at work.
Vin: Wow, how do you guys come up with this stuff?! So, if you were filming… that means there’s videos in Top-Ups! Were you excited to put on your director’s hat?
"Microlearning is definitely good news for those of us who like to learn on-the-go."
Jill: Yes, I love directing! We listen to our clients and they’ve said many times they want video – so we’ve delivered. We spent many days at different locations for the Top-Ups filming. It was really hectic, but so much fun! We do most of our filming with professional actors and all the post-production in-house, so I’m really lucky to work with such a dynamite team. Video is perfect for serving up bite-sized learning, making it easy for people to complete this training on-the-go – anywhere, anytime.
Vin: Okay, lastly, we all know that work life is serious enough without serious(ly boring) compliance training. So, did you have that in mind when you decided to use such playful language and content in Top-Ups? And I’ve heard rumours about a compliance game… can they really be true?!
Jill: Yes well, we really enjoyed brainstorming the content for these courses for quite a while, and we wanted to focus on how we could encourage positive behaviour and get people talking about compliance at work. So, I can confirm, yes, the rumours are correct: there is a compliance card game! This came about because we were generating some pretty in-depth conversations around policies, law and behaviour, and how to look at them from different perspectives. So, learning and development and HR professionals rejoice! We’re excited. Watch this space.
Well, there you have it! We're excited about this, and we think you should be too. You can find out more about refresher training here, and more about our Top-Ups refresher compliance training here. Or, please get in touch with one of our friendly Business Managers to find out how we can help your organisation and its workplace heroes!