When the UK's Royal Mail realised that those people who were managing and administering its mail centre staff throughout the country needed to understand both the principles and practicalities of manpower planning as well as operate their existing manpower planning system, it commissioned the global e-learning producer, Tata Interactive Systems (TIS), to produce some relevant e-learning materials.
TIS’s Rohit Sharma explained: “We decided to introduce the concept of manpower planning through game-based learning – a concept that is relatively new to e-learning, although in its non-electronic form, learning from playing games is probably as old as humankind itself.
“The game that we developed finds each learner as the manager of a football team. The learner has to select his/her team to play against a team managed by the computer.
“However, the learners have to take account of players becoming injured, receiving yellow or red cards during the game and even forgetting to turn up for the kick-off!” he said. “Among other things, the game teaches the learners to make contingency plans - which is a key concept in manpower planning.”
Having mastered the football management game, learners apply their new knowledge and skills to Royal Mail’s computer-based manpower planning tool within a controlled environment. If they make any errors, they receive ‘yellow’ or ‘red’ cards and, at the end of the programme, they receive a computer-generated assessment test.
The game based learning materials, which went ‘live’ some nine months ago, are attracting a growing number of users among the Royal Mail’s mail centre managers and administrators. In July alone, some 342 users completed the programme – although it could be that they were experiencing ‘withdrawal symptoms’ at the end of this year’s World Cup.
About Tata Interactive Systems (TIS)
Tata Interactive Systems (TIS), a global leader in e-learning, is a part of the $22bn Tata Group. Truly international, TIS has a presence across the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Japan, India, and mainland Europe. TIS offers corporations, universities, schools, publishers, and government institutions a diversified and innovative bouquet of learning and training solutions including Simulation-based Learning Objects (SimBLs™), Story-based Learning Objects (StoBLs™), courseware and curriculum design, special-needs education, assessments, electronic performance support systems (EPSS), mobile learning, along with other corporate training and consultancy services. Our multi-disciplinary expertise and 16 years’ experience across domains helps us design e-learning programmes that are unique to clients’ requirements and specifically crafted to boost knowledge retention and application.
Apart from holding ISO 9001 certification, TIS is the only e-learning organisation in the world to be assessed at Level 5 in both the SEI-CMM and P-CMM frameworks. TIS’s quest for excellence is reflected in numerous prestigious industry awards, including a Silver Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award 2005 and 2004, APEX Award of Excellence in 2005 and 2006, BETT Awards in 2004 and 2006, and two Business World–NID Design Excellence awards.
About the Tata Group
The Tata Group, established in 1904 by the great visionary Jamsetji Tata, is one of India’s largest and most trusted business houses. The group pioneered the industrial revolution in India by founding the first steel plant, power plant and chain of luxury hotels, to name but a few.
The Group employs more than 220,000 people in 93 companies across diversified industry sectors including steel, automobiles, cement, telecom and IT. Generating revenues to the tune of $22 billion per year – some three per cent of India’s total GDP – it is recognised as a leader in several industry segments such as such as steel, power, software exports and chemicals. It is also the parent company to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Asia’s largest software producer.
Further information from:
Alan Samuel, Tata Interactive Systems, 00 44 (0) 20 7905 0156