Computer-aided technologies have long been part of our everyday lives, and a recent Master’s thesis by Swisscom employee Nicole Taylor focuses on testing their effectiveness, suitability, sustainability, and comparability. In Swisscom’s IT operations organisation, the new medium analysed is referred to as corporate TV. The well-founded analysis based on media-didactic perspectives enabled her to evaluate whether and how corporate TV based on video technology can be used as a medium and how the medium can be further developed.
Taylor mentions in her work that our current understanding of the term “new media” was defined way back in 1982 by Dietrich Ratzke. The title of his work is Handbuch der Neuen Medien, “A Handbook of the New Media”.
The author argues that, with the help of new media, learning theories can be enriched and optimally integrated into existing learning environments.
Why do companies today rely on the integration of new media?
“Digitisation” is on everyone’s lips. Dealing with “new media” has long been part of everyday life. In adult education, individuals responsible for education increasingly rely on computer-aided
There are various learning theories that inform the didactic and methodical approach. These guidelines still apply. People responsible for corporate education are increasingly confronted with the situation of enabling ubiquitous learning (= independent of place and time): The speed at which learning is to take place today and tomorrow is constantly changing. Training measures must also satisfy business management requirements and be aligned with the company’s objectives.
In an analysis by www.crossknowledge.com, two thirds (68 %) of the companies surveyed declared cost optimisation of training measures to be the greatest advantage and added value. Sixty-one percent said that more employees can be trained with less effort through digital learning units, and 66 % observed that a faster rollout of trainings is another advantage.
What does theory teach us?
Media pedagogy is closely linked to the disciplines of pedagogy, media studies, journalism, and communication sciences, as well as psychology and sociology. Media pedagogy pursues four goals, two of which can be directly linked to media-didactic perspectives:
- Educational media pedagogy, which looks at the efficient use of media in learning and educational processes, and
- Action-oriented media pedagogy, which should satisfy the needs of the users through active use.
How does Swisscom deal with these requirements?
I looked at Swisscom’s corporate TV platform with video content and classified and evaluated it from a media-didactic perspective. My aim was to examine whether the medium and the platform can promote sustainable learning and information. I did this with the intention of analysing suitability, effectiveness, sustainability and efficiency.
Anyway, my Master’s thesis is based upon two questions:
- How should a corporate TV platform and the video medium be judged from a media-didactic perspective?
- Can corporate TV and video be used to promote efficient and sustainable learning?
The use of what are known as learning nuggets (= small, produced learning units) was investigated. User behaviour as well as the effectiveness, suitability and sustainability of corporate TV were also examined. The idea was to demonstrate the comparability to traditional learning methods and to critically assess the advantages and disadvantages.
From the analyses carried out, it was possible to shed light on various issues.
Summarizing the research design, these are the findings:
The data collected indicate that TV programmes tend to be viewed at the beginning of the week and that the volume of data decreases steadily towards the weekend. User behaviour can be influenced by targeted communication campaigns or ranking methods such as “likes”, as various feedback from the research shows.
Suitability, effectiveness and sustainability
From the group discussions conducted, it can be concluded that employees prefer short and concise segments. However, it is important to employees that a clear message is conveyed and that the content and core message are summarised again at the end. If further content is available for study, it should be referred to in the article the learner is currently reading or by some other means.
It is important to note that lettering and images are easy to read and increasing number of different types of media and techniques should be combined with each other. In the future, longer articles ought to be revised didactically by giving employees a short introduction to the content and allowing them to switch back and forth between chapters.
The data evaluated shows that basic information on certain topics can be conveyed. This ensures sustainability. The fact that that the medium is only a one-way channel should not be underestimated. This means that there is no interaction between the viewer and the expert or the producer of the content. A feedback loop is not yet technically possible, whereby the new knowledge or the achievement of objectives can be checked with specific questions. At the moment, corporate TV offers no possibility to switch on interactions or even a knowledge test. The transferability and the learning effects must therefore be checked with other media.
Is learning with new media cheaper? The corporate TV medium examined was designed for a specific target group with a large number of members who have to be reached with a purposeful training measure. From a financial point of view, it is rather economical. However, the video medium currently has major limitations. For example, as mentioned, it is a one-way medium and does not include a feedback loop, interaction possibilities, or a way to distribute documents or handouts.
Unfortunately, the video format’s current state of technical development offers no possibility to circumvent these limitations. Therefore, people responsible for corporate education rely heavily on the blended-learning approach and combine various technical, didactic, and methodological elements in order to promote sustainable and efficient learning.
Written by Nicole Taylor, based on her Master Thesis “Corporate TV von SwissCom”.
Nicole Taylor will be speaking about her activities in the session on Making the Move From Face-to-Face to Digital Learning on Dec 6.