Microlearning Approach

A Holistic Program Based upon Performance Support

Joachim BehringerStuttgart (GER), December 2017 - Wissen erLEBEN ("Experience Knowledge") is Allianz Life Insurance’s slogan for the new form of learning and information search the company has developed in cooperation with the "inside Business Group". It is addressed toward several thousand Allianz internal staff members and field representatives, as well as sales partners and banks. The project offers them the opportunity to tap into available expertise that is necessary for successful, demand-oriented customer consultation independently, efficiently, and sustainably. 

Despite the project’s size and the enormous amount of information involved, its focus is the individual learners and their personal learning requirements. Joachim Behringer, Head of Allianz Life Insurance’s Training and Continuing Education Division explained, “Our central concern was both to offer a comprehensive range of training courses and to satisfy the individual needs of our organization’s internal clients - while ensuring that all project components are always up to date and meet genuine needs. Technically speaking, everything has to function on every platform, browser, and terminal device - and, of course, be efficient and as economical as possible. I’m happy to report we have achieved this with Wissen erLEBEN and the help of the inside Business Group.

For example, Wissen erLEBEN learners are offered two structures to access information, one oriented towards sales and the other toward professional practice. Through the former, the "provision-oriented" portal, information can be accessed based upon the range of sales-related activities. The latter employs a "topic-oriented" approach, organizing information into various specialized subject areas.

Wissen erLEBEN also gives comprehensive consideration to learners’ desires. The range of possibilities includes learning new information, expanding knowledge on a topic already learned, practicing a subject already learned, assessing and checking knowledge levels, looking up information, and using or applying something already learned in practice. Depending on the goal indicated by the learner, different media are made available.

Information is also categorized according to the learner’s current knowledge level, which renders the process of learning and seeking information more effective and ensures that activities are based on real needs. A distinction is made among three "qualification levels": basis, further development, and consolidation. Various media are available for each, according to their professional and didactic appropriateness.

Besides the qualification level, the media mix provided also depends on the learner’s end device. For example, if Wissen erLEBEN is being accessed from a smartphone, only suitable media or reference material is offered.

In addition to the "managed" access options, learners also have a superordinate search function, a record of the media they’ve already accessed, and update info. This allows quick and direct access to necessary knowledge, particularly in the context of their specific job (termed “performance support”).

Wissen erLEBEN is based on the microlearning approach, primarily consisting of small learning units that can be worked on one at a time or combined with others that are related in the context of the learner’s job (workplace learning). Despite the large amount of knowledge available and the broad range of the target groups (specialists, sales representatives, office staff, etc.) the information is imparted to the individual learners according to their personal needs.

Joachim Behringer will speak (in German) about "Wissen erLEBEN - Allianz Life Insurance’s New Modality for Learning and Information Search" at the LEARNTEC Convention, 01 February 2018, 14.30 to 15.15.