Corporate learning and development (L&D) is as important as ever, helping companies gain and retain top talent, improve productivity, and contribute to the company’s success. Hence, it’s something all companies need to get right.

According to a Deloitte report on corporate learning and development, the average job tenure is 4.5 years, and the half-life of a learned skill is only five years, meaning linear career paths and functional silos are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of companies and workers in a digital age. “To be effective, the modern work experience must deliver an integrated, always-on corporate learning and development experience,” but “companies and their learning departments have not traditionally been set up to provide [a] seamless, interactive, and iterative learning experience.”

L&D typically uses a hub-and-spoke model, where a single facilitator (the hub) teaches material to many employees (the spokes). This approach is also known as “one to many,” and it hasn’t changed much over the last century, even though technology has enabled more effective and flexible models of teaching.

A comprehensive, innovative learning environment

Two years ago Engageli created a comprehensive learning environment that introduces several innovations based on pedagogical principles that support active, effective learning and employee engagement. This includes a “many-to-many” communications model in which the facilitator is still the central figure guiding learning, but where employees can also have close and seamless engagement with the facilitator and each other in real-time, in addition to numerous native communication and engagement tools, granular data, and full support for synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid instruction.

Technology-supported active discourse

Instead of a seminar with one facilitator and hundreds of note-takers, Engageli classrooms are built around interactive, egalitarian small groups where active discourse takes place simultaneously with the facilitator’s teaching. Engageli supports effective learning and development in employee onboarding, upskilling and reskilling, manager effectiveness, and customer onboarding.

Here are some of the unique aspects of Engageli that make this possible:

Tech-enabled differentiated instruction. Research in higher-ed settings has shown the traditional one-to-many pedagogical approach to learning is not the most efficient way to generate comprehension and retention. Instead, a combined approach, one-to-many plus a many-to-many engagement is more effective, especially in large classes. To achieve this, Engageli has virtual “tables” of up to 10 employees per table, where they can both listen to the facilitator and discuss what is being taught among themselves in person or via remote or hybrid modes. This drives peer-to-peer learning and enhances comprehension by providing the ability to seamlessly move between the new content, large group environment to small group discussion spaces. Beyond tables, Engageli also provides the ability to divide a classroom into separate sections connected to the main classroom for differentiated instruction and large group work. This goes beyond standard classroom technology by allowing both small and large group active learning and facilitation.

Engagement tools. The platform includes native interactive polls and quizzes (i.e., single choice, multiple-choice, text-based) to easily gauge comprehension and participation. With the GSuite, Microsoft 365, and Miro integrations, as well as a native whiteboard built-in, facilitators can distribute Google or Microsoft files (e.g., documents, slides, spreadsheets) or share a whiteboard for collaborative work at tables without employees having to open a new tab or navigate away from their Engageli classroom.

Plugins and add-ons can add these features to existing solutions, but that often requires facilitators and/or employees to split their attention across multiple tools or devices. Engageli natively contains a full suite of communication and engagement features, reducing the cognitive load on the facilitator.

Group learning/collaborative/communication tools. Employees working in small groups promote peer-to-peer learning while fostering a sense of collective engagement. This collaboration functionality is especially helpful when employees come from multiple backgrounds—culturally, economically, and linguistically.

For example, employees whose native language may be different from that of the facilitator or other employees in the group can use Engageli’s non-verbal icons and digitally driven communication tools to quickly indicate if they need additional help or to write out thoughts they may not be comfortable sharing verbally. Ultimately these tools can also create a setting that breaks barriers and strengthens employee connections.

The platform also fully supports both anonymous or named Q&A to the full group, and private messages to the facilitator(s), peers, or tablemates, to support employees who might be reluctant to ask a question in front of hundreds of peers.

Bidirectional feedback. To help codify responses and reactions to what is being presented, Engageli offers employees the ability to easily provide real-time feedback via quick thumbs-up/ thumbs-down reaction buttons. These emojis can be used not only to set the pace of instruction but also to create a sense of community where everyone in the virtual room has a sense of the sentiments on a topic, while only the facilitator(s) know exactly how each person responded.

Synchronous/asynchronous instruction. As we have learned from the recent shift to work from home and increasingly geographically diverse workforces, not all learning or collaboration needs to be in-person, or even in real-time. Engageli offers various options for companies looking to support employees across time zones with both real-time and asynchronous instruction. Its potential to link effectively virtually any facilitator in the world with any employee in the world in an easy, pedagogically sound way, offers a new possibility to the ideal that, one day, training may truly be universal.

While other commonly used platforms offer playback of flat video recordings, Engageli’s asynchronous Playback Rooms provide flexibility for employees while fostering active, collaborative learning and deeper peer-to-peer connections, much like the synchronous Engageli experience. Available 24x7 through the provided classroom link, employees can join a Playback Room alone or in groups of up to 10. Engageli Playback Rooms provide an opportunity for employees to engage with training material on their own time, make up missed sessions, review previous session recordings, or collaborate with their peers.

Engageli’s recordings include the ability for employees to engage with polls, quizzes, and discussion questions as if they had attended live. They can similarly ask questions, message tablemates, or take notes on the platform. Engageli is the only solution offering interactive recordings.

Data and insights. The Engageli platform measures synchronous and asynchronous employee talk time, Q&A, polls/chat involvement, attendance, and engagement with tablemates to assess employee participation and improve instruction. This data codifies employee responses into actionable data that helps facilitators understand what employees are grasping and what may need repetition, review, or further explanation. Using the digital response and comprehension tools will more than “pay off”—when employees demonstrate they have learned and retained more than they might have via using conventional pedagogy alone.

Seamless, inclusive, flexible experiences

While forward-looking companies compete to attract and retain top global talent, their efforts to effectively onboard, train, and mentor employees increasingly depend on tools and technologies that enable them to offer seamless, inclusive, and flexible experiences, and the data that lets them track and iterate on performance. The Engageli platform meets these needs while supporting the unique cultures and values of a wide range of organizations.