A quick visit to NATO’s elearning portal information page will give you a list of three principles on which their e-learning initiatives are based.
- Effective, efficient and affordable methods of knowledge transfer
- Improved nation and partner engagement by providing relevant content just-in-time
- Incorporated guidance for developing e-learning capability among partner institutions
NATO’s technology-enabled learning program has five components which can be very effectively applied to any corporate organization. They are as follows:
1. Advanced Distributed Learning: It consists of educational courses delivered over a network using regular web browser. The aim of these courses is typically to introduce students to basic principles and concepts on a given topic/ situation. Students are given various resources such as templates and tasks for practice.
In the corporate world, such type of courses could be relevant for product training or process training where employees could be given an overview
2. Computer-Based Training: This includes training courses delivered through CD-ROMs or other storage devices. These consists of standalone course that are not really SCORM compliant and does not require learner log-in – more like plug and play type of courses.
In the corporate world, this could be useful when training employees with minimal computer skills – for example workplace safety training videos.
Image source: http://www.act.nato.int/e-learning/elearning
3. Immersive Learning: NATO uses immersive learning for mission planning and rehearsal exercises. In the corporate world, immersive learning can be used in any situation where concepts or policies need to be reinforced through case studies or examples.
It can also be used for software applications training or for equipment training particularly when expensive machinery is involved.
4. Mobile Learning: Mobile learning can be useful to provide guidance to field personnel such as technicians and machine operators in assembling or using a piece of equipment.
Mobile learning in business context is useful to ensure staff such as sales people or service technicians, who are constantly on the move, are kept in the loop with important updates and key knowledge reinforcement.
5. Collaborative Learning: NATO provides collaborative learning tools such as chat room, discussion forums, wiki and webinars or webcasts which gives learners opportunities to interact with each other and with the instructor to share mutual insights and experiences.
This has equal relevance even in a corporate environment as most learning happens on the job and when individuals interact, collaborate and learn from each other.
At today’s date, there are a host of open source learning management systems available in the market and it is certainly not difficult for even small and medium sized organizations to emulate NATO’s formula of integrated eLearning experience.