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Podcast Episode

80: An Empathic, Effective Learning Journey – Erin Mariano

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June 8, 2021
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51min 41sec
80: An Empathic, Effective Learning Journey – Erin Mariano
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80: An Empathic, Effective Learning Journey – Erin Mariano
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Show Notes

Learning Designer Erin Mariano discusses a learning journey she developed for a South African logistics company, Unitrans.  In a move that she describes as a ‘game changer’ Erin donned her safety boots and fluro vest and hit the road with some drivers.  Her exposure to their work context and role, and empathy for them allowed her to design a powerful learning solution that uses simple methodologies in a creative way.  This includes storytelling and scenarios with a realistic, beautifully named character, a board game and simple physical and information resources. While the solution is now being digitalised due to COVID, the key elements remain the same.

  • The road safety epidemic in South Africa, with trucks playing a in high fatality numbers
  • Unitrans, a supply chain and logisitics company, taking it’s safety responsibilities seriously
  • The importance of accreditation for a workforce that has low recognition of skills
  • Gaining buy-in during design from scoping sessions with target audience, to iterative testing of solution elements and developing the trainers
  • The diversity of the target audience, particularly in regard to literacy and age
  • Hitting the road with some truck drivers and realising what a hard, dangerous role it is
  • Powerful use of simple methodologies, strategies and resources
  • Using storytelling based on the character Siphephile (meaning “We’re all safe”)
  • The development of a scenario-based board game with the goal of keeping Siphephile safe
  • Why Erin likes to make participants uncomfortable
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Episode 80 Transcript
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Erin Mariano LinkedIn profile
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Unitrans South Africa, the client
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VeryCoolIdeas, the agency
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Why You Need to use Story Telling For Learning, article by Connie Malamed
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Siphephile's Story
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Participants playing the Unitrans board game
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Michelle Ockers
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Michelle Ockers

An award-winning speaker, Michelle brings decades of learning and development experience as she interviews business leaders and learning professionals to uncover interesting stories, authentic conversations, and new insights.
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