By Alex Kerwin, Senior Learning & Performance Specialist, PSI
Development workers are lifelong learners. They have to be, given how quickly their field changes. Whether stationed at headquarters, in the field or in remote areas, mid-career classroom learning is often impossible. Time and logistical challenges are two main reasons why development staff often miss out on any benefits that come with new techniques and best practices.
PSI has always been committed to ensuring its employees learn and grow, and giving them the tools to do it. For a long time, this has meant taking an e-learning course. Since its launch in 2009, PSI’s online platform, PSI University (PSI U), garnered over 14,000 course completions by close to 3,700 staffers.
While it’s been around for close to 20 years, e-learning continues to be a valuable resource. But at a time when a nearly infinite amount of information is just a few clicks away, it became clear that PSI U needs to match the way we learn and consume information.
Think about where you look for answers when you’re presented with a question you can’t answer, or a problem you can’t solve. The first place most of us usually look is Google. Rapidly evolving mobile technology has made it almost second nature to reach for your smartphone and search for answer anytime, anywhere.
If Google fails, there is always the old fashion way – asking people you know and trust. Sometimes that’s a friend and more often than not, it’s that colleague who seems to know everything.
This is the basis for PSI’s new online learning platform, PSI U Powered by Degreed. A sort of “Google for learning,” Degreed has a catalog of 250,000 courses and over 3 million articles, videos, books, podcasts, webinars and other learning content from 1,300 sources. And users searching for content in their library, won’t have to sift through endless results from questionable sources. Degreed’s content team vets everything, and users have the option to flag items as untrustworthy or inaccurate.
The new PSI U is also going to help PSI strengthen global capacity. In the past, headquarters supplied all of PSI U’s content. That left one of our most valuable resources untapped – our people, particularly in the countries where we work. Remember that colleague you always reach out to who seems to know everything? PSI U is going to allow them, and anyone on PSI U to find, curate and recommend learning content in just a few clicks.
With close to 6,000 staff from all over the network already using this great resource, we can’t wait to see what the next eight years holds for PSI U.