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Transforming into a Digital Academy - Part I

Why should you turn your organization into a Digital Academy? What are the greatest difficulties and resistances? What are the technical aspects of greatest interest? How are trainers accustomed to traditional teaching activities trained? Our series of articles in collaboration with Festo continues!

Transforming an internal Academy characterized by mainly face-to-face training activities into a Digital Academy requires many steps and the overcoming of some critical points.

In the last year, requests for help in this regard have also increased from industrial customers of the services of Festo Consulting and Academy.

Where does the need to transform into a Digital Academy come from?

Especially since the beginning of the pandemic, transforming into a Digital Academy has been essential in order to continue to guarantee training for people working from home, but also to guarantee a service to customers.

In particular, producers of capital goods, machines and plants and in any case of complex products with international markets found themselves in the need to enhance their digital, synchronous and asynchronous training offers.

Cultural and skill resistance of trainers

From the point of view of synchronous activity, one of the most relevant critical points is undoubtedly the possible distrust on the part of trainers: everyone must approach new tools, which they can then practice to train themselves, and a substantial redesign of teaching.

With many of its companies already equipped with an internal Academy, Festo has focused specific programs to develop digital training skills.

Most of the trainers were well disposed, for some it was more difficult. Some even initially denied that a change was happening, and hoped that everything would soon return how it was before. Actually it was immediately clear that the new modality would definitively complement, if not even replace, the “old” one. After more than a year, the trainers' approach can now be said to be optimal. Not everyone always uses best practices, but they still know they have to focus on maintaining attention, as well as on the practical and cognitive stimulation of the learner.

To facilitate the trainers' work, it was also necessary to adopt some technical measures in the classroom, especially to recreate the visual aspect of the class experience.

However, the transformation implies the redesign of a course with specific activities designed for the virtual classroom. Some have become excellent virtual trainers but it takes more time to consolidate their experience and to strengthen their skills to also become excellent training designers. At this moment, Festo experts support both internal trainers and those of customers in re-designing the learning experience based on the new modes of use.

Transformation of operational laboratory activities

Many Festo customers are machine and plant builders: training on the technical part of the laboratory, with practical aspects, is very important.

With the advent of the pandemic, the need arose to make training with practical part accessible even at a distance.

Both internally in the Festo Academy and in the corporate Academies, a substantial redesign process of these didactic modules has been carried out to make them usable from afar.

Although the practical activity carried out in a manual laboratory is difficult to replace, Festo Academy and customers have organized themselves from a technical and technological point of view to provide a valid experience with some precautions, for example:

  • using different cameras to shoot activities in a realistic way;
  • duplicating in a simplified way some laboratory equipment at the different locations and managing the presence of small groups connected with the trainer;
  • using a digital twin and a simulation software

and much more.

Digital solutions to support a traditional academy?

A hot topic for many in the last year has been, and still is, the choice or replacement of the LMS platform: Festo Academy is often involved in the management of specifications or in the software selection.

The company discovers all the needs it has over time, addressing the needs, so the suggestion is to always choose open and scalable platforms that can evolve with the growth of experience and internal complexity.

In addition, corporate academies need the platform to manage both face-to-face and virtual classrooms as well as Flex classrooms in an integrated way, with some in presence and others remotely at the same time, an increasingly frequent situation.

In Forma Lms Festo Academy has found a partner who has given the possibility to customize their internal needs in a very thorough way.

A hot topic for many in the last year has been, and still is, the choice or replacement of the LMS platform: Festo Academy is often involved in the management of specifications or in the software selection.

Designing asynchronous and blended training

In the next article in collaboration with Festo, we will continue to explore other aspects of the transition from a traditional Academy to a Digital Academy, starting from the need to design asynchronous and blended training. Stay tuned!

About Festo:

Festo Academy

Festo Academy is an Industrial Management School operating on the issues of industrial processes, organization and business management with Executive Masters, role paths and training initiatives.
Its mission is to support companies in expressing their maximum potential by expanding and developing the skills of their human resources.
Festo Academy and Festo Consulting are part of the multinational industrial group Festo A.G., a leader in the industrial automation sector, constantly focused on innovation and the enhancement of people.

Festo Academy is:

Affiliate of the Demand Driven institute
ATP of the Project Management Institute (PMI)
Certification body for maintenance skills (EN 15628) and fluidic technologies (CETOP)
Collaborator of Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org.

Iso 9001 certified as EA37 consulting and training company 


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