Building Proven Expertise Through Learning & Performance
As more integrators enter the IP video market, often with limited IT experience, we see a growing need to better ensure that they have the skills required to successfully perform in the field. After all, a Milestone certification is in essence a promise we are making to our customers that the certified individual from our partner community has a level of proven expertise. It was time to up our game and better deliver on that promise.
eLearning Jump-starts Expertise
In order to jump-start channel expertise with our products, especially our Business-ready solutions, we began developing eLearning. The goal of these short, self-paced modules is to give learners a basic level of knowledge and skill in installing, configuring, or using our products. Designed to support job performance, each module focuses on the key tasks and steps that need to be completed.
As opposed to passive training videos, these interactive eLearning modules make it easy to navigate to the exact job task desired and get hands-on practice completing the steps through interactive simulations. Available for free and with 24/7 accessibility, these modules are a great way to get started installing, configuring, and using the Milestone Husky network video recorders, XProtect Professional software, and XProtect Smart Client.
Instructor-led Classes Practice Installation Steps
Our key objective in redesigning the instructor-led classes was to make them much better at preparing learners to perform on the job. As a first step and in order to clearly understand what knowledge and skill are truly needed, we performed a detailed job competency analysis. We identified exactly which competencies are required to successfully design, install, and configure surveillance solutions from moderate to high complexity.
We then looked at who performed these different tasks in the field and quickly realized that the people responsible for designing the solution were often different from the ones who installed and configured it on site. It became apparent that we needed separate classes for design and technical installation to serve the various needs of these different audiences.
Finally, we wanted to make the classes even more hands on. We created learning experiences that are more learning-while-doing practice workshops than traditional presentation-of-information classes. In the technical workshops, learners practice going through the tasks and steps required to perform an actual install based on realistic customer scenarios and specifications. In order to help bridge the learning from the classroom to the field, learners follow detailed job aids that walk them through each step of the installation. After the workshop, learners can use the job aids in the field during live installations.
Certifications to Qualify Expertise
Training is where knowledge and skills are developed. Certifications are proof that an individual has the required levels of knowledge and skill. So we eliminated the certification requirement of attending training, stopped administering the certification assessment as part of our workshops, and moved our certification assessments online. At the same time, we greatly improved the quality of the assessments. We expanded the number of questions, added simulation and scenario question types, and implemented question randomization and the use of question pools. As a result, our new certification assessments are not easy to pass!
Our Learning & Performance team will continue to release new eLearning modules, refine and improve our certification assessments, and look for ways to better support the on-the-job performance of the Open Platform Community.
To learn more about all the Milestone eLearning, instructor-led workshops, and certification assessments, see our Learning & Performance Catalog.
Adapted from the full article by Greg Willmarth, Director of Learning & Performance, Milestone Systems