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When your employees are actively engaged in their Nanodegree programs, they are much more likely to complete the program, graduate on-time, and apply their newly-acquired skills to drive impactful business outcomes for your enterprise. Here are some ways your organization can empower your learners during their learning journeys:
1. Use a “Buddy” System
To get your learners excited and involved with the material, you should encourage them to find a study buddy. Having someone else to lean on will ease the anxiety that they’ll be isolated in their learning journey. In addition, you can schedule feedback sessions regularly to understand their challenges and successes. If necessary, these sessions are also a good opportunity to course-correct and help your learners get back on track.
2. Build a Learning Community
You and your leaders should demonstrate how your organization embraces lifelong learning and upskilling. Set up monthly or quarterly events where learners can share their experience, talk about their projects, and showcase their skills attainment. The broader organization can then get more appreciation for the hard work your learners are putting into the Nanodegree programs.
3. Gamify the Learning Journey
Create a leaderboard that tracks your learners’ engagement in their Nanodegree programs. This way, you can publicly celebrate learners’ achievements when they reach a milestone, such as completing all the quizzes in a course, passing a project, or graduating from the program. A little friendly competition will challenge your learners to strive for their best and intensify their engagement.
In addition, when work demands are temporarily distracting learners from their learning goals, knowing that they’ll be acknowledged for taking small steps such as watching videos and completing quizzes will motivate them to put in their best effort and get back on track.
4. Involve Line Managers
As the direct supervisors of the learners, line managers are extremely valuable in the learning journey and will be the first to benefit when learners attain new skills. As such, you should also involve line managers in your organization’s Udacity program.
Line managers can empower their employees to prioritize learning while maintaining transparency over learner progress, goals, and outcomes. They can provide study time during business hours, help their employees find study partners within their cohort, create an action plan that ties learning outcomes to job tasks, and incorporate achievements into professional development goals, such as new responsibilities, role pivots, or promotions.
5. Host a Guest Speaker Series
Invite your organization’s subject matter experts or Nanodegree program alumni to share how they are implementing the skills your employees are currently learning in their Nanodegree programs. What new technical skills did they gain? How did they apply these skills in their day-to-day jobs? What new projects were they able to take on? What was the overall impact on the team? Learning from your subject matter experts and alumni will inspire your learners to think about how they can leverage the skills they’re building with every course to take on more impactful projects in their roles.
6. Set Up an Internal Mentor Program
Although Udacity provides resources for learners to receive technical help with their Nanodegree program content, internal mentors can help serve as the conduits that translate Udacity learning and put a company-specific spin on training.
Internal mentors can provide learners with the encouragement and enthusiasm to progress through the Nanodegree programs, as well as the context needed to put the learning to work faster by leveraging your company’s processes and tools. Not only can they answer questions and participate in cohort meetings, they can also teach learners how to transfer their new skills to the business and maximize your return-on-investment.
Setting your employees up for success in their learning journeys will help them acquire skills efficiently and effectively. Your employees will then be able to leverage their expertise to help your organization accelerate innovation and drive your business forward.
Click here to learn more about Udacity’s enterprise offerings.