Digital transformation of learning

New learning culture in public administration

New ways of learning for apprentices, students and employee development

Digitalisation is changing the way people work in the administration and thus also the way in which employees, trainees and students want and need to learn. What do blended learning solutions look like that make managers and employees fit for the digital workplace? And how can we remain attractive as an employer for trainees and students in the long term? These questions were raised by the learning function of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (DRV-Bund): What forms of work do we need in the learning function in order to design effective learning experiences that are integrated into everyday life and customized to the needs of the users?

Enabling new experiences

During the intake it quickly became clear that the assignment contained two tasks: On the one hand, the staff of the learning function should work together to design new forms of learning. On the other hand, the way of the internal cooperation and the positioning of the learning function should be discussed. Qualification and organisational development had to be closely interlinked in a change process. The goal was learning by doing. Employees should gather first practical experiences designing new learning solutions. Therefore, we set up a sprint process with 3 mixed teams. Program developers, trainers and teachers, digital experts as well as students created first prototypes for specific tasks.

Step 1: Interviews with users

At the beginning of the process, we conducted interviews with individuals of the most relevant user groups to better understand their work-life and needs. The results of the interviews provided relevant information to develop a shared vision and served as a reference point during the entire process.

Step 2: Create a shared vision

Together with the management team and selected employees, we discussed new trends and new ways of learning: What makes the difference to traditional ways? And what fits to the organisation? On this basis, the team created a shared vision for future learning. This vision provided orientation to the sprint teams while working their tasks.

Step 3: Training of Co-Facilitators

The learning process was supported by carefully selected internal team coordinators who have been prepared for this role.

Step 4: Sprint Process

Then the sprint process started. In a two-day introductory workshop, the participants got introduced to the shared vision, the basic idea of the learning process and the respective work assignment. In the self-organized phases, the teams had the opportunity to reflect on their progress in regular coaching meetings. The sprint process resulted in a presentation of the results to important decision-makers. The teams presented their concrete solution, ideas and suggestions on how situational and self-directed learning can be made possible in everyday life. For example, one sprint team designed a way of teaching a topic in form of a flipped classroom approach. Another team designed a prototype for a configurator for rare technical questions at the workplace.

What's next?

The teamwork during he sprint processes provided the first important experiences as to how new learning solutions can be developed in the education department in the future. Further more answers were found which forms of collaboration are necessary for this. Together we reflected those experiences: How can the positive work and learning experiences be integrated into the everyday life of the education department?