Training professionals is a time and resource-intensive endeavour. When profits are the priority, the incentive shifts from providing the best possible training to providing the most affordable training. And as tempting as it may be for businesses to skimp out on updating course content, it can have a detrimental effect on learner outcomes – especially in rapidly evolving industries. But thankfully, the opposite is true at Verbeta, and it’s all because of their dedication to providing the best possible learner experience.
Based at Instituut Verbeeten in Tilburg, Verbeta trains people in healthcare, education, and social housing, as well as coaches teams on professional development and change trajectories.
Their practical training courses are rooted in theory, and each one uniquely addresses niche aspects of leadership and management in the aforementioned professional fields. Verbeta’s ultimate mission is to work together to do good, positively impacting employees, their organisation, and their customers.
Since launching their learning environment GUIDA on aNewSpring two years ago, Verbeta has addressed the dynamic needs of their learners to ensure the best possible outcome.
During and after every training day, Verbeta actively listens to participants and how they experience both the classroom and online activities. These valuable insights enable Varbeta to fine-tune its course offerings and make iterative improvements with each cohort of learners. It was this pursuit of excellence that made Verbeta the aNewSpring 2023 Award Winner in the "Best Learner Experience" category!
Read on to discover how Verbeta created outstanding learner-centric courses.
Finding ways to save time for greater engagement
Verbeta’s philosophy centres around putting the learner first. They knew that achieving better outcomes required feedback from participants, so they set out to conduct regular needs analyses to find out how they could improve.
“Participants and clients were asking for change in the form of wanting more time during training days to interact with other participants and having more time to work on their self-improvement projects.”
Verbeta took this challenge head-on by looking for ways to optimise training. Importantly, they needed to find ways to save time for greater engagement on training days while ensuring the course content and learning journey were structured to be both repeatable and scalable.
Re-designed a blended learning journey around Verbeta's vision
Starting with understanding how learners want to learn, Verbeta developed its “vision on learning”, which centres around three separate actions:
Doing the work
Learning from others in the programme
Learning from formal training
Verbeta re-designed its blended learning journey around this vision, culminating in the award-winning learning experience.
Four important steps Verbeta took
Pre-prep before classroom training
They adapted the learning journey by moving most theory-related content and lessons into their online environment. By “doing the work” (learning the theory on GUIDA in advance), participants came to the classroom well-prepared.
Facilitate interaction and engagement
Thanks to the time they freed up for learners and trainers through the online component, Verbeta was able to facilitate deeper in-person interactions.
Active listening in training and skills development fosters a culture of healthy communication, and professionals in this course have the opportunity to engage in this culture. In doing so, trainers and participants could freely exchange ideas and share experiences, which helps them connect the theory to their own workplace situation.
Create a structure around scaling and improvement
Verbeta implemented a structured approach to scaling and improving their programmes. They carefully designed the learning journey based on feedback and tested it with multiple learner groups.
In combination with an established routine for evaluation and feedback, the aNewSpring platform enabled Verbeta to make iterative changes to continually improve the learning journey. Important improvements get implemented immediately, while smaller issues are combined into updates once or twice a year.
Allow students to learn at their own pace
The self-paced nature of the platform is perfect for those who retain well but need time to absorb and synthesise information. This kind of learner-centric approach means participants have the autonomy to monitor where they are in the learning journey and skip parts they’ve already mastered to spend time on topics that need more attention.
Linda says: ”Learning at the participant’s own pace is central. GUIDA ensures that our participants can learn whenever they want, which means online and during classroom meetings.”
Continues to scale and improve with each iteration
Verbeta has successfully scaled and improved its courses to better accommodate learners’ needs and wants – and it continues to do so with each iteration. Here are some of the results they achieved through the process.
They added value to each individual’s learning journey by tracking participants’ progress. This heightened awareness allowed trainers to provide tailored guidance and support. As a result, steering learners in the right direction on training days becomes easier.
They enhanced the personal experience of each learner by creating introduction videos of the trainers and providing ample opportunities for discussion with trainers and participants. This helps learners form a connection with trainers and fellow students from day one, even before physically meeting each other.
They could keep the training simple, which is important as each cohort typically comprises people from different social and educational backgrounds. Additionally, keeping learning material highly visual, with very little text, helped ease cognitive overload.
Both learners and trainers found they had time to delve deeper into various topics. This allowed for a thorough understanding and practical application of concepts in real-life scenarios.
Using GUIDA also sparked an encouraging trend – learners were more eager to actively engage in the learning process. They were also faster to seek assistance, leading to a collaborative, dynamic, and productive learning environment. This creates an opportunity for Verbeta to give specific and targeted feedback, and helps them monitor the improvement process. According to Linda, this has resulted in a 30% increase in questions and more requests to participate in the improvement process.
Verbeta presented their solution at the aNewSpring Awards in 2023 and earned the title Best Learning Experience!
Based on more recent feedback, Verbeta learnt that participants (especially those less tech-savvy) wanted an easy way to look back into their learning journey to find a specific tool or concept they wanted to use in their day-to-day work. To address this, Verbeta is looking to build a “toolbox” that will be available 24/7 and be easily accessible during and outside collaboration sessions.
For now, Verbeta’s mission is accomplished.
“We are so incredibly proud that we have succeeded in translating our vision of learning into our online learning environment on aNewSpring.”
As a result, Verbeta wants to offer more of their courses via the platform, one of which is their Yellow Belt training. Linda shared the first new project on their list: “We think using GUIDA can help create more harmony, so that’s what we will be working on in the upcoming year!”
If you’re keen to find out how you can improve your training, join Roy de Vries on 21st December when he’ll be chatting to Linda during his monthly Roy’s Training Improvement Café – a series of informal, interactive sessions where he gives the stage to different learning pioneers in our network.