The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), faced two training issues that are all too common in government: a dispersed, time-crunched workforce; and budgetary restraints.
Despite using a mixed approach to training that included in-person classroom instruction and online webinar courses, they still were dealing with several challenges in getting people to take their trainings:
- Cost: Attending in-person training and retreats were costly with tight travel budgets.
- Time: Taking time out of a hectic work schedule for a two-day or two-hour in person training or webinar was difficult.
- Engagement: Webinar content or long, in-person trainings were not designed to encourage participation or discussion.
These issues caused low training enrollment rates, low retention rates from session to session, and low engagement rates.
That’s when FHWA decided to take a new approach to better meet their training demands.
FHWA utilized GovLoop learning services to develop new training experiences using cohort-based social learning as well as a flipped classroom approach.
Social Learning: Similar to a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), GovLoop designed a learning experience spread over seven weeks, engaging participants in a blend of live online group sessions, content posted in a virtual classroom, and group writing assignments staged in a collaborative wiki.
Flipped Classroom: The premise of this approach is that participants complete online training on their own and then participate in live classroom discussions to solidify what they learned in teams. GovLoop converted four hours of online training content from subject matter experts into short videos that were not only more consumable in a shorter period of time, but also more engaging. Leveraging GovLoop’s easy-to-use, mobile learning platform, participants were able to discuss course material and learn from both subject matter experts and each other.
Finally, the approach was agile. Each week, courses were evaluated and the material and approach for subsequent weeks was adjusted as needed to align the course with the needs of participants in real time and ensure the biggest impact for FHWA’s investment.