The Swedish Armed Forces, with 17,000 personnel, is one of the country’s largest public organisations. Although it is the government-funded defence organisation for Sweden, it also has units based abroad. Sweden has national service for men and so the training scope covers a range of needs from recruits to regular training and further development of permanent staff. Training has always been very important to the Swedish Armed Forces so when it reorganised three years ago to create a more modern organisation with smaller units spread across the country, the need for a learning strategy alongside coherent use of modern tools for creating eLearning came even more into focus. A new unit called ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning) was created and the group is now responsible for creating learning guidelines for the entire organisation, assessing and implementing learning tools and assisting units in their day-to-day learning work. One of the group’s first tasks was to find an authoring tool that could be used across the organisation.
“One of our objectives therefore was to ensure we had one authoring tool that could easily integrate with our LMS”
Before deciding on which tool to use Kristina and her colleagues scanned the market, met suppliers, took part in demonstrations and eventually, a year ago, they decided on Lectora from Trivantis. “Prior to using Lectora we had a large number of different production tools in the organisation,” explains Kristina Sonemyr-Wollentz, Production Coordinator in the ADL unit. “This created an incoherent look and feel and was very difficult to manage on a day-to-day basis, especially as the need for eLearning was increasing. One of our objectives therefore was to ensure we had one authoring tool that could easily integrate with our LMS.”
“What impressed us most with Lectora compared with other solutions was how it could easily be used by both novices and more advanced users,” says Kristina. “The threshold for the organisation to get started using Lectora was really low. The menus are easily recognisable and handling objects through drag and drop is simple. We also liked the ability to integrate PowerPoint into the modules.”
Since starting to use Lectora approximately ten learning modules have been produced and another ten are under creation. Some have been produced externally, still in the Lectora format, so they can be easily accessible and updatable via the Learning Management System (LMS). There are several in-house productions under way aimed at increasing delegate knowledge before they attend face-to-face courses. Ensuring all participants are starting from the same place means that the face-to-face training becomes much more effective. One example is the online module ‘The science of war.’
Storyboarding, scriptwriting and production are handled by ADL representatives embedded locally in the various units across the country, with support from the central unit. The advantage is that most of the content experts are based locally so this makes for effective and accurate content production. At the same time, thanks to Lectora, this decentralised organisation has unified online learning which is easily accessible via the LMS.
“They have been very fast and responsive”
Kristina is also very positive about the support they have received from the Trivantis support team: “Every time we have been in touch with Trivantis they have been very fast and responsive, and this means a lot to us.”
eLearning is increasing in the Swedish Armed Forces. Kristina can see Lectora being used for a number of training needs, for example in technical areas, where, she believes, animation in Flash and other multimedia tools would be useful ways of getting knowledge across.