Cybersecurity: a new way of talking about it with Phosforea!

Cybersecurity: a new way of talking about it with Phosforea!

Phosforea is the cybersecurity training solution of the Scassi group. This training organisation created the very first mobile-ready cybersecurity app in 2019 to educate employees and make them the best defenders of their companies.

1) Why did you choose Teach on Mars for your digital learning programme?

In 2018, Phosforea started thinking about how to make its cybersecurity training campaigns more effective, as this is an area where genuine engagement from employees is vital. The concept of mobile learning emerged as one of the keys to enhancing the training offer. This mode of learning is part of a more general mix, consisting of e-learning and face-to-face modules as well as communication components (displays, etc.), enabling a diversification of the channels used to raise awareness.

Mobile learning is strategic for us. We want to anticipate the trend in the market, with adoption of the mobile format still at a relatively early stage,” explains Laëtitia Maynard, Operations Director. The team was looking for a supplier who could develop the infrastructure (a mobile learning app), but was keen to stay in control of content as a major element of our added value. “We also needed a French partner or one hosting data in France to reassure our customers who are mainly large industrial, insurance, banking and healthcare companies,” adds Laëtitia.

The Phosforea application mainly targets chief information security officers (or CISOs) in large SMEs and CAC 40 companies who need to educate their employees on the threats posed by cyber malware. “The aim is to allow companies to leverage their human capital and to protect themselves against cyberattacks where digital risks are present (editor’s note: viruses, phishing, etc.). The mobile medium is a great way of popularising cybersecurity because individuals don’t necessarily feel affected by it and tend to think of it as an issue for technicians. But every employee in a company is a link in its security chain. If an employee reacts to a threat in the wrong way, it can have serious consequences. So it’s a critical issue for companies,” explains Laëtitia.

2) How did your deployment go? What user feedback have you had?

Phosforea is the first player on the market to offer an educational app on cybersecurity. The project was launched in late 2018 and deployment was started in the spring of 2019. “Teach on Mars allowed us to work fast, to achieve a shorter time to market, and therefore to stay ahead of the competition. The speed of our deployment meant that we have now established a leadership position in cybersecurity training. We worked really hard on the creation of content. The Teach on Mars team warned us that it would require considerable educational engineering work to devise content specifically for a mobile learning format, and not to simply transpose our existing e-learning content. We felt really well supported in that area,” says Laëtitia.

Phosforea currently offers a dozen themes, divided into two awareness levels. The first 5 mobile learning modules each include 3 to 4 activities with a total duration of 5 minutes, and are devoted to exploring and understanding cybersecurity best practices (exploring cyberspace, using messaging systems, transporting data, using roaming solutions and safe surfing). A second series of 5 modules will be deployed in 2020.

3) What was the most exciting part about bringing the project to fruition?

The launch of the app was very fast, with less than 4 months between placing the order and deployment at the end of April 2019. “Project management and support from the Teach on Mars teams were both well thought-out. The methodology and tracking tool worked superbly well and allowed for real efficiency. This resulted in rapid implementation and execution, with real convergence achieved in terms of pacing and turnaround times between our two organisations. Both teams were responsive and flexible, allowing for excellent agility,” explains Laëtitia.
The Phosforea team particularly appreciated the overall simplicity of the tool, the features of the dashboard, the ease of integrating content in a new language and versioning performance.

4) What are the next steps for your project?

While Laëtitia considers her project to still be in its launch stage, she’s not short of ambitious ideas for 2020. These include:

  • accelerating launches with new industrial customers
  • continuing deployment on a global scale (launch of the application in China is underway for one of our customers)
  • developing more content on cybersecurity topics (data localisation, clean desk, password, social engineering and workstation management are just some of the new topics in the pipeline)

in order to ultimately ensure that the company continues to be a leading provider of cybersecurity training!

5) What advice would you give to a project manager starting out on a programme?

Laëtitia’s advice for a successful mobile learning project:

  • make sure the team has a project manager dedicated to the mobile learning project in order to coordinate learning engineers and graphic designers
  • plan for:
    • any obstacles to the mobile format so you can promote the mobile channel as an effective training channel
    • learning engineering and message design work for a target that will be learning in a mobile format
  • include your end users from the start of the project: “we involved our final target in the project design and did a beta test with certain customers”
  • set up a communication campaign to promote the application and educate customers.

6) Describe your project in three key words

The app is “simple, intuitive and engaging” according to Laëtitia. “The approach is innovative and effective, with gamified and entertaining content,” explains Paco Cervantes, Project Manager at Phosforea. Gamification is one of the keys to success in facilitating learner engagement and allows users to respond appropriately when faced with cybersecurity threats.

Watch the video of Laëtitia Maynard and Paco Cervantes explaining the details of their mobile app.

The big bang of learning with Chloé Academy

The big bang of learning with Chloé Academy

A French fashion house founded in 1952, the Chloé brand is part of the prestigious Richemont Group specialising in luxury goods.

Logo Chloé

1) Why did you choose Teach on Mars for your digital learning programme?

The project is a central component of a wider transformation of our whole approach to learning within the fashion house: this includes launching the Chloé Academy, overhauling the LMS, setting up a training community, updating the catalogue and so on. The launch of the application has allowed us to be much more consistent and to standardise our dialogue with all targets: initially stylists in our own stores, and at a later date the wholesale side of the business (multi-brand resellers), as well as the personnel in our various offices around the world, so around 1200 people in total.

The principle of a native application such as Teach on Mars allows the company to offer an elegant and personalised mobile-first experience to these widely dispersed groups. “The application means that we can reconnect everyone with the product and with the creative department, regardless of the employee’s geographical location, whether it’s China, the USA or France. The app has allowed us to fully standardise our offering in all local languages. The news feed in the app also allows us to communicate more naturally with our population of stylists,” explains Jules Robert-Le Hérissé, Head of International HR Development at Chloé.

The themes of the training courses have initially focused on products (to support the launch of handbags and ready-to-wear collections), followed by a second phase devoted to digital topics (to accompany deployment of the CRM strategy). A new project on feedback will be started shortly, with an application dedicated to this theme and face-to-face training sessions. The Chloé Academy application will then offer tips & tricks to encourage behavioural changes in certain HR and management practices, including concise and functional appropriation modules.

However, what makes this learning approach really revolutionary is the business orientation of the solution. “We love how easy the dashboards are to use and how they track data. The dashboards and KPIs are living proof of the relevance of the application, and of what we’ve created in terms of a learning approach,” says Jules.

 

2) How did you roll out the system? What feedback have you had from users?

There’s no big secret to this, you have to get out on the ground. We organised a series of roadshows:

  • A pre-roadshow in Japan with a near-final version of the application in order to get feedback which allowed us to make “the final adjustments before the global big bang which led to pretty crazy KPIs right from the very first weeks!
  • A second roadshow in China, Hong Kong and Europe including a visit to around twenty retail outlets, once again with the aim of collecting valuable feedback from users: “we operated by iteration, in accordance with the “test & learn” principle,” explains Jules.
  • A third roadshow is planned for the United States this autumn and will include deployment of the application to the wholesale business.

In each country and shop visited, the application has always proved highly successful, securing an impressive retention rate.

boutique app

 


The great strength of Teach on Mars is its excellent agility. The solution allows superb integration of learner needs.” Jules Robert-Le Hérissé.

3) What was the best bit about putting the project into practice?

“We fell in love with Veronica, our project manager! No, but on a more serious note: Teach on Mars offers a really solid and sequential methodology with the Gantt chart making it easy to identify next steps. In terms of the tool itself, the dashboard function is highly practical for performing all statistical tracking, it’s very quick to release and highly visual unlike our own LMS. Once the tool and back office for design of content have been mastered, everything happens very quickly. In the end, we decided to use the design templates (Editor’s note: Excel spreadsheet) and not the authoring tool, even though we were initially a bit afraid of the Excel route,” enthuses Jules.

 

4) What advice would you give to a project manager starting up their own programme?

Jules recommends setting up a fairly broad-based steering committee with end-users introduced early in the process to ensure that the “theoretical work is in line with the reality on the ground.”
The pre-roadshow is also a great idea because it allows the launch of a “teaser for the application. Even though in the end we made only minimal adjustments between V0 and V1, our stakeholders felt incredibly engaged and immediately downloaded the app as soon as it was officially launched.”
A point of vigilance that will surprise no one: make sure your internal IT department is on board so they can resolve any open questions, prepare interfaces and technical points requiring approval during the project.

5) What are you particularly proud of?

We won the “2019 Digital HR Team Trophy” awarded for the cross-functional aspect of the project, which combines a blended learning model consisting of a dedicated and innovative application coupled with face-to-face training. This total and wide-ranging approach to the project was especially appreciated, thanks to the Teach on Mars tool and its amazing KPIs. This has been a powerful lever for internal communication, especially in relation to senior managers: “this award is recognition that we’re the best players in the industry when it comes to training!” says Jules.

6) Your project in three key words?

  • Transformation: it’s a programme that supports the more general transformation of the fashion house and our retail business.
  • Speed: the ground we’ve covered in just one year is spectacular.
  • Engagement: penetration, retention and completion rates have never been so good!

Encouraging VINCI Energies employees to train with “Click & Learn!”

Encouraging VINCI Energies employees to train with “Click & Learn!”

Boosting employee skillsets

Connection, performance, energy efficiency and data: in a constantly changing world, VINCI Energies is accelerating the rollout of new technologies to support its customers in their digital transformation and energy transition processes. To meet current and future challenges related to technological and organisational changes, companies need to think ahead and adopt agile models.

The VINCI Energies strapline, “Powered by your energy”, is particularly appropriate when it comes to learning: the engagement of company employees has reached new levels thanks to an innovative HR policy, and in particular the “Click & Learn!” mobile learning app.

Digitisation of training was initiated by the VINCI Energies Executive Committee to meet a dual challenge: help employees adapt to a new digital culture and improve the learning experience in a context of rapid external growth.

A new digital learning format to serve the Group

The aim of the VINCI Energies Academy is to transmit the people skills, culture and DNA specific to the Group. It delivers around 15% of the training courses offered each year in the Group, through face-to-face or e-learning, and in a wide variety of fields covering all areas of expertise and job descriptions. Learning also takes place through in-house institutes supported by VINCI Energies brands which offer commercial training courses based around their primary business activity. At the same time, a programme to create academies around the world is being rolled out to help disseminate the culture of VINCI Energies.

The mobile learning system created aims to diversify the digital learning offer in the Group. “We want to add a new string to the VINCI Energies learning bow by expanding the training formats available,” explains Alexandra Pansier, EdTech Solutions Manager in the VINCI Energies Academy. This system is targeting all employees in the 1800 companies that make up VINCI Energies. As the app is linked to the staff directory, all employees with a business email address have access to “Click&Learn!”.

The “Click&Learn!” solution

The mobile training system, which is based on the “Click&Learn!” app, is part of a blended learning approach. It combines synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities in order to improve efficiency. “The aim is to spread learning through use of digital technologies, with synchronous training opportunities and of course the introduction of digital formats with SCORM-type e-learning, as well as mobile learning. To do this, you need collaborative tools. Several digital modalities can act as multiple strings to add to the classroom medium,” continues Alexandra.

The application is designed to be a group tool. It was launched in February 2017 in France, and the first launches outside France were gradually introduced from August 2017.

Some of the content available in the app has been developed in-house by the Academy. This includes, for example, onboarding courses for new employees and the “Quartz Découverte” management system, available in several languages. Other courses are designed directly by local entities in specific countries, such as Brazil and Belgium, which are very active in the local production of content.

The “Click & Learn!” solution can be run on any device: iOS and Android smartphones and tablets as well as PCs with the Web App. Its flexibility mitigates possible regulatory constraints in certain countries, which could have hindered the tool’s rollout. Its multi-channel format will improve adoption levels,” says Alexandra. “Mobile learning works very well with short training capsules. The “Toolbox” can be used at any time to check and review key concepts, for instance before an employee’s next customer meeting,” she explains.

application vinci energies

Results that speak for themselves

The “fun and entertaining” app is inspiring learners in 90 countries:

  • 15 training courses available, two of which are mandatory for VINCI Energies employees,
  • 121 minutes of training on average per learner since launch,
  • 68% completion of training rate and 94% retention rate for learners, who say they are very interested in the content,
  • A significant increase in the number of people trained via mobile learning compared with the face-to-face version (e.g.: +33% on “Quartz Découverte”),
  • Optimisation of training costs, including an improvement in the “costs / learning benefits” ratio for learners, by avoiding the need for whole-day attendance and travel costs.

The answer to a business challenge

  • The “Click & Learn!” app can be used to facilitate the “cultural change” that goes hand-in-hand with improvement of the learning experience, and it also embodies the concept of “just in time” by offering the right information at the right time. “Employees now have training opportunities right in their pockets. They know where to find the information when they need it,” explains Alexandra.
  • The Teach on Mars solution is perfectly suited to groups with international operations and a decentralised organisation. Its flexibility allows both the Group Academy to offer a training strategy and tools to individual countries, while local entities can deploy the systems independently within their area of operation. “The solution provides a great response to a real business challenge when faced with the issue of rapid external growth and the need for fast onboarding of new employees. Its implementation is simple and instantaneous, even on the other side of the world. Easy management of languages is highly practical for companies with international operations.”
  • The “Click & Learn!” app helps convey a modern Group image to employees of recently acquired companies. “This promotes the employer brand and creates a sense of pride because we’re updating the conventional view our employees might have of training.”

Three key factors for success

  • “An easy-to-use back office, fast content availability and accessibility for all employees have facilitated onboarding and adoption of the tool. For example, Belgium and Brazil have immediately understood its potential.
  • Championing by ambassadors to help promote the application – whether the local academy or a local HR contact – is essential for successful rollout in each country. Support for individual countries is therefore fundamental.
  • The training courses are devised by international working groups, which facilitates local adoption.

Article published in Digital Learning Book 2019 by IL&DI.

Quizzes drive the professional development of HR staff at SNCF

Quizzes drive the professional development of HR staff at SNCF

The SNCF Group is one of the world’s leading providers of passenger transport and freight logistics. It offers a complete range of mobility solutions through its six business lines (including SNCF Réseau (railway infrastructure) and SNCF Gares & Connexions (station and connection solutions)). SNCF is continuing to implement its digital transformation strategy to better serve the 14 million passengers it transports each day in France and around the world. The Human Resources Department of the public rail group teamed up with Teach on Mars to set up the “HR Quiz” project, a quiz platform for its 6000 employees working in HR.

An original approach to mobile learning

When it comes to original projects, the SNCF solution is definitely up there! It makes very specific use of the Teach on Mars platform to deliver entertaining quiz activities that allow employees to understand HR rules and regulations. Although not a classic learning path leading to certification, quizzes can certainly play an important educational role.

Quizzes as learning stimuli

For Michel Barbier, HR Innovation Manager at SNCF, HR regulations and fun ways of learning aren’t a contradiction in terms – quite the opposite! “I came up with the idea that people can also learn while having fun, as they generally like doing quizzes. Topics such as HR regulations and the French labour code, which might seem dry and unappealing, can be taught using alternative methods, hence the idea of the quiz platform,” explains Michel.

Application de formation SNCF

An assessment tool designed to promote cultural appropriation

While self-assessment is a great introduction to the acquisition of new skills, the goal of the platform is to encourage the professional development of the entire HR sector. The aim is to help HR staff improve their skills and employability. “The real benefit of the quiz format is that it encourages people to explore new topics and improve their understanding of them.”

The length of training isn’t everything!

The SNCF team wanted to exploit the Teach on Mars solution using an MCQ (multiple-choice question) format. Each quiz lasts 1 minute and consists of 5 questions. Each question is answered in varying degrees of detail, to provide regulatory reference points and comments. “The quiz is a fast and fun solution that doesn’t require 15 to 20 minutes of free time. You can do a quiz for a minute while waiting for your bus or train, or you can do as many as you want,” explains Michel. The quiz platform is both independent and integrated into a more general HR system. The other learning formats offered in-house (face-to-face training, e-learning programmes, tutorials and COOCs) are more formal and take longer, resulting in the risk of non-completion for online solutions.

Three quiz levels to meet the needs of a diverse population

Quizzes with enough questions on the same topic are structured into three levels (beginner, advanced and expert) to engage a maximum number of users and incorporate a sense of progression. “We have separated the questions out so that learners feel they are making progress. You have to start out as a “beginner”, then you move to “advanced”, and sometimes when it comes to the “expert” questions, you realise that you don’t know all the answers even though it’s your job. This encourages you to then deepen your understanding of certain topics via a COOC, a specific e-learning course or face-to-face training,” explains Michel. The quiz has been designed for the 6000 employees who operate at different levels in HR:

  • local (HR managers, training coordinators, employment managers, etc.),
  • regional (HR experts who support local staff),
  • central (corporate HRD personnel who develop HR strategy, implement new regulations and interpret case law, etc.).

A thematic approach replicating different staff categories

The 700 questions currently available are based on 7 themes: administrative management (remuneration, leave, etc.), utilisation management, labour relations (trade-union rights and disciplinary powers, right to strike, etc.), employment and career paths, diversity, training, and a more cross-disciplinary theme on the implementation of French rail reform. This classification into 7 groups corresponds to the different HR professions at SNCF (training managers, HR planning managers and labour relations managers, change management, etc.)..

An intuitive and successful UX

“I have to say that it’s simple, seamless, intuitive and very easy on the eye, whether on PC or smartphone. There’s no need for an instruction manual to do a quiz or use the Teach on Mars solution. In all the projects we develop at the HR Innovation Centre, we always look for the simplest and most intuitive UX for our users. Take-up of the solution went incredibly well and users have appropriated the platform without any problems. We have managed the UX issue really well,” says Michel. As a result, the platform sees high and regular levels of user participation.

Quiz RH SNCF

Results that speak for themselves!

Deployment of the solution was accompanied by a multichannel communication plan (in-house social media, email, internal press, in-house newsletter, chat applications, etc.) to recruit as many users as possible. After nine months in use, the results are conclusive:

  • 400 to 500 quizzes are done on average each week, with peaks of up to 1000 connections when a new quiz is released,
  • more standardised knowledge of HR operational themes,
  • the unanimous approval of users. More than just a quiz platform, the solution is a highly successful learning tool, creating a fun experience shared by more than 2000 users!

The challenge for 2019 is to raise awareness among HR employees who aren’t yet using the platform, and to enhance it with new quizzes on the latest statutory provisions and case law. “We need to keep working on further enhancements to make its success sustainable,” concludes Michel.

Three key factors for a successful mobile learning project according to Michel Barbier, HR Innovation Manager at SNCF:

  • Accurately analyse your targets and their needs upstream of the project in order to give them an appropriate solution: “it’s the best guarantee of success – what’s known as “the voice of the customer” in operational excellence!”.
  • Exploit multiple dissemination and communication channels to promote the solution.
  • Offer varied content and upgrade it regularly.
The RIMOWA R-cademy is clear for take-off!

The RIMOWA R-cademy is clear for take-off!

Luxury luggage brand launches exciting new mobile learning app to enhance training experience of its sales teams.

Last November 6 saw the launch of R-cademy, the brand new mobile learning app created by RIMOWA, one of the latest clients to deploy a Teach on Mars solution for the first time. A global leader in the luxury luggage market for generations, RIMOWA is bringing its training strategy and offer bang up to date with the introduction of this ultra-modern, ultra-connected learning environment.

The company was created in 1898 in Cologne, Germany and has a long and rich heritage of craftsmanship and innovation. It introduced metal suitcases to the world in 1937, and added the iconic grooves that are still the brand’s visual signature today in the 1950s. Since 2016, RIMOWA has been part of the LVMH Group, and so joins a long list of LVMH houses that are already offering a mobile learning experience to their teams thanks to Teach on Mars.

application mobile learning rimowa

Led by RIMOWA Chief Client Officer Lisa Heidemanns, the project to build the app, design and create the launch content, develop the deployment strategy and launch the initiative worldwide took less than four months from start to finish. The whole process, carried out to tight deadlines with limited resources, was a great example of creativity, energy and collaboration between the RIMOWA and Teach on Mars teams. And the decision to create engagement and a “wow effect” by revealing the new app to the global RIMOWA community at a special event coinciding with the worldwide leadership seminar attended by around forty General Managers – and the CEO – is a definite best practice.

In next month’s Newsletter we will present a full ‘Making Of” business case that will take you behind the scenes of what it took to get this ambitious project up and running.
Watch this space!

 

AV training from Africa to Europe with LAFAAAC

AV training from Africa to Europe with LAFAAAC

Since its creation in 2017, LAFAAAC (L’Académie Franco-Anglophone des Arts Audiovisuels et du Cinéma (French/English-speaking Academy of Audiovisual and Cinematic Arts)) has been reshaping vocational training in the audiovisual and cinematic professions to reach, support and empower more learners both in the developed and developing worlds. More generally, the LAFAAAC mission focuses on improving the expertise of professionals and the organisation of the audiovisual industry, especially in Africa. To meet the training needs of this continent, where the move to digital is in full swing, LAFAAAC offers a disruptive approach, firstly by proposing an innovative training offer that can be accessed anywhere and anytime, and secondly by placing individuals, their skills and concrete practices right back at the centre of the learning process.

Logo LAFAAAC

An original project beyond conventional professional and geographical boundaries

LAFAAAC was founded after a meeting between Olivier Pascal (CEO), François Catala (Director of Learning and Institutional Relations) and Julien Bœuf (Director of Content & Partnerships), who wanted to both fill the training gap in the audiovisual sector in Africa, and provide a disruptive and inclusive offer based on online experience. The company aims to offer online training courses for all technical and artistic roles involved in producing any kind of audiovisual work (from writing to post-production, through to make-up and lighting).

LAFAAAC is distinctive because it’s targeting not only the training needs of an entire sector, but also a market that will develop in an unusual South-North direction, in other words, starting with French- and English-speaking Africa, and then expanding to other developing countries as well as Western ones. The scope of the project is vast compared to most conventional universities, which more typically target particular professions or employees in a given a company.

A broad market, with a wide variety of learners

The populations aimed at the African market are highly fragmented but can be easily reached through an online offer. The geographical target is broad as it includes French-speaking and English-speaking sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to Kenya, via Nigeria and Rwanda! The project will start in Benin in 2019, as part of the launch of the smart city Sèmè City. LAFAAAC estimates that there at least 2 million potential learners in the region, almost half of them in Nigeria alone. Obtaining reliable figures on the number of professionals on the continent is not straightforward, however, as they often are involved in several activities on an informal basis.

Developed countries also contain a wide variety of different profiles. In the French market alone, LAFAAAC is targeting more than 300,000 learners. They belong to both the public and private sectors, some are freelance with intermittent contract work in the entertainment industry, while others are employees of large integrated groups (television channels, public broadcasting organisations which employ more than 20,000 people, and companies in the cinema business such as Pathé, Gaumont, etc.).

Needs are therefore hugely diverse. “Some people may be interested in professional retraining, for example a cabinetmaker or electrician who wants to work as a stage designer for a TV show or as an electrician on a set. And for others who are more traditionally trained, they’re keen to learn about the skills and basic knowledge required for a given profession, or they may want to develop those much talked-about “soft skills” and behavioural attributes that are so important in an industry where interpersonal relations are key. We therefore have to offer a wide range of job-related, technical and corporate learning programs to cover initial and ongoing training needs that will improve learner skills and job flexibility,” explains François Catala. The courses are clearly aimed at improving the employability of learners and making them operational on the labour market in the shortest time possible.

application lafaaac

Strong African interest in audiovisual training and an offer ripe for improvement

Consumption of audiovisual content is high in Africa, but the volume of high-quality local production is still relatively limited, although already hugely successful. This makes for huge interest in jobs in the film, production and storytelling industries. These needs are further increased by the widespread transition to digital terrestrial television (DTT) and the desire of African populations and public authorities to create their own audiovisual landscape. However, the training offer for jobs in these industries is fragmentary, often incomplete (in terms of content or geographical coverage), and not yet fully available in online formats.

Mobile learning to overcome the constraints of the African market

Il est indispensable d’adresser le marché africain via le mobile, où le taux d’équipement de la population en smartphones est très élevé et celui des PC relativement faible. Il est également nécessaire de pouvoir proposer des contenus de formation accessibles hors connexion, pour permettre aux apprenants de continuer à apprendre en dehors des centres urbains.

The only way to address the African market is via mobile learning as smartphone ownership is very high but the popularity of PCs remains relatively limited. Learning content should also be accessible offline so that learners can continue to study outside urban centres.

Mobile learning was therefore a natural choice for the LAFAAAC team. After benchmarking different players in the sector, they approached Arthur Choukroun, founder and trainer at Skillsday (whose mobile learning partner is Teach on Mars), to deploy its training course in a blended format via their app. According to François Catala, “Skillsday offered us very useful support when designing our pilots, genuine kindness and real added value in terms of instructional engineering. The Teach on Mars solution, which Skillsday makes wide use of, offers a pleasing and user-friendly experience. It’s perfectly adapted to the African market.

The “flipped classroom” model applied to mobile learning

LAFAAAC combines mobile learning with tutorials, virtual classes and online coaching, but also includes face-to-face practical workshops, in keeping with the principles of the flipped classroom. “Theory, contextualization of knowledge and job-specific training are all delivered online, so that learners can go at their own pace and decide where and when they want to learn on their mobile device. The theory can be accompanied by practical exercises that are done independently but under supervision, mostly in virtual classes. The face-to-face sessions are exclusively devoted to professional skills and putting them into practice in a group setting with a trainer,” explains François Catala.

Designing the offer has involved the creation of new and influential partnerships. The first is based on a strong connection with one of France’s major players in training in the media, attracted by the international credentials and agility of LAFAAAC. Another important partnership involves the design of a global platform for audiovisual professions which is interconnected with Teach on Mars and will carry all of the LAFAAAC learning offer and be co-developed with a school known for its web and digital expertise. Finally, “we are of course developing local partnerships in Africa, with professionals, broadcasters and existing organisations to expand our face-to-face offering, mainly through training of trainers“.

LAFAAAC has designed a pilot learning program on film make-up. It includes theoretical explanations, videos illustrating professional practice, and gamification and appropriation activities. The end result is a high-quality course. According to François, “use of different media such as video, sound, computer graphics, motion design and text will grab the attention of learners and keep them engaged.

activites et cours app lafaaac

Virtuous constraint of brevity to benefit learners

Teach on Mars has an inherent “virtuous constraint” in the words of François Catala. “You have to be sufficiently short and snappy to stay within the constraints of the card format. Yes, it’s restrictive but it forces you to be precise and use words sparingly to convey the key messages and meet the learning goal. So in the end it’s virtuous for both learners and instructional engineers.

A promising start, with good prospects for future development

The young company completed a first funding round in early 2018 and is aiming to raise more substantial capital in late 2018 / early 2019. It was recently awarded a contract from an African government to deliver around twenty training courses by the spring of 2019, and expressions of interest have been received from several French- and English-speaking countries. It plans to expand its training offer with many other courses on the audiovisual professions and to continue closely adapting these courses to learner needs.

Editorial note: the Martians wish the LAFAAAC team the best of luck with their ambitious project and hope it proves a stellar success!