eLearning Award Winner Spotlight: BBG's Digital Learning Breakthrough

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eLearning Award with BBG

The initial introduction of a digital, flexible learning solution at Barnimer Bus Company to keep bus drivers' route knowledge current and effective – that was BBG's central endeavor in collaboration with Fellow Digitals. This was intended to ensure better performance in regular operations and more effective onboarding for new employees. In our interview, Thomas Engländer from Fellow Digitals tells us how the implementation of the eLearning tool Coursepath succeeded in the mid-sized bus company, how it was received by the staff, and what special role apprentices played in this project.

eLearning Journal: Within the project, a digital learning solution was implemented for the first time at BGG to conduct bus driver route knowledge training flexibly and efficiently. What were the reasons for choosing the LMS "Coursepath"? 

Thomas Englander
Thomas Engländer, Product Consultant / Partner Manager, shares his experience gained from BBG's onboarding project

Thomas Engländer: The Barnimer Bus Company indeed needed a tool that would primarily involve bus drivers in the "eLearning journey" – not an easy task because this was a completely new concept for the driving staff! There were several hurdles for them. One of them is that they don't have access to a PC during their work. Many of them don't even have a company email address. So, we needed a tool with simple mobile access, even without a personal email address. Our eLearning tool Coursepath provides a very practical solution for this: participants can register via vouchers or QR codes and have access to all content on the go via their mobile phones or tablets.

Then there's the content: Mostly, the drivers are supposed to be trained via video. For this, a sufficiently high storage capacity is required. Initially, the training managers considered using YouTube. However, this plan was discarded due to data protection reasons, and a closed learning environment was sought. Coursepath quickly emerged as the suitable tool because videos can be hosted seamlessly, and the upload and download speeds are convincing. Moreover, data protection is optimally ensured. With our 100% intra-European hosting and various ISO certifications, we are among the safest providers of learning and communication tools worldwide.

A third important criterion for selecting the LMS is its multi-author capability. BBG wanted to produce a large number of their courses in-house, that much was clear. However, as a small company, they couldn't afford to assign a single employee to do that. Instead, everyone was supposed to pitch in together. So, a large number of employees were given author rights and started creating courses from their self-recorded video material. Enriched with short texts and questions, a variety of courses were quickly created – without the training managers having to do much creative work themselves.

eLearning Journal: A special feature of the project is that the bus lines are recorded by the apprentices with GoPros and then independently processed into learning videos. What impact does this approach have on the apprentices' learning process?

Thomas Engländer: The apprentices represent a particularly interesting target group for the Barnimer Bus Company. Because they play a dual role: they are both learners and creators of the training content. The fact that this dual role serves a purpose is described by training manager Steffen Groß: "The more someone engages with the subject matter, the deeper the knowledge sinks in." The process is as follows: As soon as the need for new or updated route training is identified, an apprentice is assigned the task of filming the route with a GoPro camera, processing the resulting video material, and creating a learning course. Texts or questions are then added to the eLearning. The video can also be divided into shorter segments, creating small learning sequences. The possibilities are diverse.

This creative task is fun for the young employees and promotes their technical skills in handling the GoPro, video production, and course development. Through deep engagement with the subject matter, knowledge of the route plan itself is also extraordinarily well established. Benjamin Franklin, born in 1706, already knew this: "Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." At Barnimer Bus Company, this concept is remarkably well implemented in practice.

eLearning Journal: In addition to multiple authors, it was also important for BGG in choosing the LMS that the training portfolio consisting of in-house produced and externally purchased training courses can be accessed centrally. How were these requirements technically ensured?

Thomas Engländer: As a small company, BBG does not have enough capacity to create all the courses it needs itself and purchases courses in the Microsoft Office area. These external courses enrich the academy additionally with their professionalism and detailed expertise. Both internally and externally produced courses should be accessible centrally in one place and managed and evaluated together. Technically, this is very feasible in Coursepath. The Office training courses are integrated via an LTI interface, a very simple solution that saves the uploading and downloading of files: content is simply added to the academy with a click. There is also no need for (often expensive) third-party software for embedding, which is often the case with SCORM formats. So, BBG can seamlessly integrate purchased training and offer participants a very well-structured and clear learning offering.

eLearning Journal: How is sustainable learning success ensured for the bus drivers?

Thomas Engländer: Sustainable learning success was very important to the training managers at BBG. Certainly, they could have provided bus drivers with learning material on route knowledge in the short term, but that wasn't the goal. They wanted to optimize processes, ensure that employees always have the right information at hand, and thereby provide the basis for error-free driving.

Furthermore, the aim was to ensure that employees enjoy visiting the learning platform and independently select the appropriate learning material. This motivation was achieved especially well through a special offer: downtime that bus drivers often have between trips can be billed as working time if used for learning. The proof is very simple: learning times are documented directly in Coursepath. Steffen Groß, our partner at the customer, speaks of a win-win situation: "We can convey the content, and the employees can do their job better. They use the time when it's not worth going home."

eLearning Journal: How did you manage to get BBG employees excited about the new and first-time digital learning offering?

Thomas Engländer: Almost by itself! The offer to book downtime as learning time was well received, of course. Especially the younger ones were immediately enthusiastic about the opportunity to go out with the GoPro and get creative themselves. For others, it might take a little longer, but gradually they also recognize the personal benefits of the learning offerings. By refreshing their own knowledge, they become better at their jobs, avoid mistakes and frustration, and quite literally get to their destination faster.

This article first appeared (in German) on elearning-journal.de as a sequel to our winner's announcement for the eLearning Award 2024.

Annika Willers

Manager Internal Communication

Annika Willers

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