Reimagining the Learning Experience: Beyond the Classroom

by | Aug 30, 2018 | Blog | 0 comments

Video production: Andrew Kennedy Lewis

In a global company with more than 300,000 employees, creating a social learning platform was necessary, says Samantha Zarrini, senior product manager at General Electric. The company reimagined learning by scaling the content and making it easily accessible to learners.

Read the full transcript of Zarrini’s interview below:

GE began its path of reimagining learning back in 2014. We had an older learning management system and a small learning portal that marketed some of our in-classroom experiences and some of our vendor content. We knew at the time that we needed to go digital. For a company that has greater than 300,000 employees, we were only able to get about 45,000 people into classrooms per year and we knew that wasn’t enough.

What was important to us was that we could get learning to people all across the globe. We are present in over 180 countries, so we wanted to be able to get them that vendor content – really high-quality courses, books, articles, podcasts. When we thought to reimagine learning, our thought process came down to – how do we extend that campus experience and take that online? How do we build something that is addictive, that is fun to use, that is a community? Because what we heard from our learners is that they love going to class because they get to build a network. So how do we create a social learning platform that pulls and pushes and keeps people coming back for more?

So we began our path with small, little experiments. Small MVPs of learning websites that were based on topics and we put it in front of learners every day. We started to learn people do like things that are podcasts, people do like books and articles and they will consume it. You just have to supply it in a way that’s easy for them to access and easy for them to navigate.

Ashley St. John is Chief Learning Officer’s managing editor. To comment, email