In the past, I’ve discussed how online learning technologies can help federal agencies maintain high-quality training in the face of budget cuts and travel mandates.  This continues to be a topic of interest for those of us who work at the intersection of technology and government, especially as the Obama Administration encourages federal agencies to implement mobility, cloud computing, and other IT innovations.

I recently discussed these developments along with my colleague Rajeev Arora, the Vice President of Marketing Strategy for Blackboard Collaborate, as part of an interview with cyberFEDS.  Rajeev noted early on that the professional development experience can be incredibly engaging even without face-to-face instruction.  With today’s digital platforms, interactive learning can now occur online, even on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet PCs.  This level of early-stage engagement is highly important for federal agencies, which see average attrition rates of about 30% among new employees each year.

Enhance Training with Blackboard Collaborate

Rajeev and I then discussed several key reasons why Blackboard Collaborate is an ideal platform for delivering the engaging online learning that federal agencies need.  Collaborate goes beyond traditional web conferencing to deliver effective and engaging online training through capabilities such as voice-recorded webinars, video sharing, instant messaging, and other types of real-time interaction.  We also emphasized some of the most effective engagement tools Collaborate offers, virtual breakout groups and two-way video chats between instructors and learners.

Increase Engagement and Decrease Attrition

With these capabilities, Collaborate provides federal agencies with the tools necessary to deliver highly-relevant content that keeps learners on-task, with the goal of decreasing attrition and improving knowledge retention and productivity.  Fostering this level of online engagement is especially important when recruiting younger employees.  Studies have shown that recent college graduates prioritize online capabilities and mobile device freedom when selecting their first jobs, making it more important than ever for agencies to offer training that appeals to the next generation of federal employees. Rajeev and I later highlighted the ways in which Blackboard Collaborate fits within the Obama Administration’s goals for enhancing technology within the federal government.  As I noted during the interview, “The administration has a big push for a lot of services to go to the cloud.  It feels good for Blackboard to partner with agencies and develop a more efficient, leaner platform.”

Do you want to learn more about leveraging Blackboard Collaborate for cost-effective, engaging professional development?  Contact us for a copy of our full interview with cyberFEDS to learn about the ways Collaborate could enhance training in your agency!

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