Putting E-Learning in the Context of Customers Scenarios

How Organizing Instructional Content for Just-in-Time Learning Enhances Customer Support

September 23, 2004

Whether they are customers, business partners, or employees, adult learners in business situations seek solutions to their work-related issues. Customer support entails not only providing the correct answers to technical questions, but also ensuring that customers learn about underlying principles, acquire new skills, access new knowledge, and are able to solve problems in new ways. E learning initiatives at National Semiconductor and IBM demonstrate how instructional content can provide just-in-time learning within the context of an ebusiness environment.

NETTING IT OUT

Whether they are customers, business partners, or employees, adult learners in business situations seek solutions to their work-related issues. Customer support entails not only providing the correct answers to technical questions, but also ensuring that customers learn about underlying principles, acquire new skills, access new knowledge, and are able to solve problems in new ways.

Once again, it is important to deliver content in context. E-learning initiatives at National Semiconductor and IBM demonstrate how instructional content can provide just-in-time learning within the context of the tasks customers are performing.

ACQUIRING NEW SKILLS AND EXPERTISE

Fueling the Engine for Customer Loyalty

Today, in the knowledge economy, your customers need to be able to acquire new skills and expertise while they do their work. As we concluded in our recent report about how customer support fits into your customer lifecycles, “End-to-end customer support is the engine that drives customer loyalty[1].” Essential aspects of this support include helping customers explore and learn about their options for solving problems, as well as helping customers learn how to install, test, and use your products.

Whether they are customers, business partners, or employees, adult learners in business situations seek solutions to their work-related issues. Customer support entails not only providing the correct factoids to technical questions, but also ensuring that customers learn about underlying principles, acquire new skills, access new knowledge, and are able to solve problems in new ways. Content for effective e-learning needs to be incorporated into your ebusiness environment.

Solving a Design Problem

Here’s a hypothetical example: Eric Enberg is a project manager at Total Media Interactive, an electronics design firm specializing in developing low-cost, high-value consumer products. Eric has a ten-year track record specifying the hardware components for conventional television sets--those large footprint appliances that use CRT displays. Trained initially as a hardware design engineer, he is now a design team leader seeking to design a family of affordable and easy-to-use flat screen television sets for worldwide markets. Using the latest generation of large screen LCD devices, these television sets incorporate a welter of digitally driven features into a svelte footprint[2].

Beyond ensuring high-resolution pictures, Eric is responsible for the aesthetics of the total viewing experience. He and his team need to design the controls for such familiar functions as channel selection, volume, tone, color balance, contrast, and resolution, as well as the controls for such new features as split screen viewing, variable aspect ratios, freeze frames, surround-sound audio, or other bells and whistles that product managers are likely to specify. Eric and his team need both to implement the new functions enabled by the LCD devices and to ensure that the controls they design are intuitively obvious for the mass-market consumers to use.

Eric must thus solve an interrelated set of design problems. Producing a quality product at a competitive price is an essential issue. From a technical perspective, he and his design team need to learn how the functions that are embedded within the LCD devices (and the associated electronic controllers) actually work. But producing a usable product is also an important concern. Eric and his team need to learn how best to organize and structure the controls so that consumers can use their flat screen television sets easily, and resolve most problems without requesting customer support.

Getting Information for On-the-Job Learning

Where should Eric and his team turn for new technical information and on-the-job learning?

Since flat screen televisions incorporate many subsystems from Total Media Interactive’s conventional television sets, Eric and his team might begin with one or more reference designs from prior projects. They can use the technical data sheets and application notes--published by LCD device manufacturers on their respective Web sites--to adapt an existing design to the requirements for a flat panel display. Along the way, they can learn about the innovative capabilities that drive LCD devices. The manufacturers themselves (or third-party experts) might provide further guidance by developing a series of short courses--delivered on demand (over the Web)--in which hardware engineers can learn about the new technical concepts enabled by the LCD devices.

Embedding usability into the design of flat screen television sets poses an additional challenge. This is an area that Eric and his team, skilled as hardware design engineers, have not addressed in their prior work. They not only need to design solutions to usability problems, but they also need to be able to define consumers’ intentions and expectations in the first place. For instance, changing aspect ratios for split screen viewing involves both allowing consumers to control the dimensions for separate displays, as well as enabling them to determine the placement of multiple displays within the overall screen.

On-Demand Access to Informative Content

Ideally, Eric and his team should be able to access an e-learning environment--an extensive collection of online resources, organized in ways that help them solve their problems and focused on their particular learning objectives. The engineers can then quickly discover the basics about usability design for LCD devices and identify the essential human factor elements that they should consider...

 

***ENDNOTES***
1) See “ Where Does Support Fit in Your Customers’ Lifecycles? Everywhere! ” by Patricia B. Seybold, July 29, 2004.

2) See “Once a Footnote, Flat Screens Grow into Huge Industry,” Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2004, for an analysis about the pending changes in the television marketplace.

3) For a case study about National’s current capabilities, see “ Delivering Content in Context at National Semiconductor: Organizing and Visualizing Content for Reference Hardware Designs ,” Dec 18, 2003.

4) Analog University is organized into four divisions and a shared Resource Center. The Analog School of Design focuses on end customers--hardware design engineers who need to learn about current design techniques in analog electronics technologies. The Distributor Hall targets sales and field application engineers and provides them with instructional content about new semiconductor products and applications. The National Sales Academy provides National’s sales force with training about products and solutions. The Partner Pavilion incorporates instructional content provided by National’s business partners, such as how to test a device supplied by National when embedded within a partner’s board. The Resource Center provides links to National’s knowledgebase, the Webench simulation environment, and a list of online seminars.
***ENDNOTES***


Sign in to download the full article

9 comments


  • getnada.com
    xalelpipyle pipyle on April 18, 2021 at 3:01 p.m.
    Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been months for me. Well this article that ive been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and it has same topic together with your article. Thanks, nice share.
    buy twitch followers
     
  • getnada.com
    xalelpipyle pipyle on April 20, 2021 at 10:23 a.m.
    Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!..  
    Tree Removal Geelong
     
  • getnada.com
    xalelpipyle pipyle on April 22, 2021 at 2:30 p.m.
    Very good points you wrote here..Great stuff...I think you've made some truly interesting points.Keep up the good work. 
    addidas yeezy boost
     
  • getnada.com
    xalelpipyle pipyle on April 24, 2021 at 8:29 a.m.
    I like this post,And I guess that they having fun to read this post,they shall take a good site to make a information,thanks for sharing it to me.
    https://www.fotolog.com/types-of-innovation/
     
  • getnada.com
    xalelpipyle pipyle on April 26, 2021 at 7:27 a.m.
    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part   I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.
    plastic sheets factory
     
  • getnada.com
    xalelpipyle pipyle on April 27, 2021 at 6:33 a.m.
    nice post, keep up with this interesting work. It really is good to know that this topic is being covered also on this web site so cheers for taking time to discuss this!
    Concrete Contractor
     
  • getnada.com
    xalelpipyle pipyle on April 28, 2021 at 1:04 p.m.
    I am unable to read articles online very often, but I’m glad I did today.  This is very well written and your points are well-expressed.  Please, don’t ever stop writing.
    Murdica Window Coverings
     
  • getnada.com
    xalelpipyle pipyle on April 29, 2021 at 10:45 a.m.
    An fascinating discussion is value comment. I think that it is best to write extra on this matter, it won’t be a taboo topic however generally people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers
    Cathedral City mechanic shop
     
  • getnada.com
    xalelpipyle pipyle on May 1, 2021 at 8:20 a.m.
    Thanks for sharing the post.. parents are worlds best person in each lives of individual..they need or must succeed to sustain needs of the family.
    The Manitoba Securities Commission
     
You must be a member to comment. Sign in or create a free account.