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Running head: CASE STUDY: LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AT PEARSON

Sherma Lawrie
DETT 621 Section, 9040
October 18, 2015
Case Study: Learning and Development at Pearson

CASE STUDY: LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AT PEARSON

Introduction
According to Rosenberg (2006) learning adds value to many organizations today and can
address both the individual and the organizations needs and issues such as globalization,
consistency, employee weaknesses, skills and performance. E-learning, which is learning that is
conducted via technology is tremendously growing and is becoming the preferred method for
training and learning within organizations in hopes of developing their employees knowledge
and skills. It is the organizations responsibility to ensure that their current training programs are
created and updated to meet both their new and existing employees needs and to also ensure that
their training programs remain competitive in todays market. The company, chosen for a case
study is Pearson. Pearson is considered to be the worlds leading learning company, (Pearson
Education, 2015d, para.1) and was in the top ten e-learning content development companies in
2013, whose focus is to help learners of all ages make progress in their lives ((Pearson
Education, 2015d, para.1; E-learning Industry, 2015).
The origins of Pearson go back as far as 1724 when Thomas Longman founded
Longman (Pearson PLC, 2015c, para.1). Pearson was actually founded in 1844 in Yorkshire in
the North of England, by Samuel Pearson as S. Pearson and Son as one of the worlds largest
building contractors at the time; however, today they focus solely on education. Learning and
Development (L&D) is vital to any organization and the companys growth is dependent on
continuous learning, professional development, and skill enhancement from their employees.
Each organization is at a different stage of L&D. Stage 0 is no formal training, Stage 1 is ad hoc,
sporadic training, Stage 2 is consistent L&D events, Stage 3 is institutionalized L&D and Stage 4
is enterprise learning (Stages of Learning and Development Capability/Maturity, 2013). This

CASE STUDY: LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AT PEARSON

paper will discuss Pearsons level of L&D maturity and how well these activities support the
organizations mission and operation.
Definition of Stages
Stage 0
This stage means the organization has no formal or consistent L&D activities (Stages of
Learning and Development Capability/Maturity, 2013).
Stage 1
This stage means sporadic L&D activities does occur (Stages of Learning and
Development Capability/Maturity, 2013).
Stage 2
At this stage the organization has technological capabilities and people who are team
oriented and can support the L&D activities. These individuals also handle staff and management
inquiries or recommendations (Stages of Learning and Development Capability/Maturity, 2013).
Stage 3
Stage 3 consists of an organization that has established a L&D policy and planning
through effective communication, systematic assessment and practice aligned to meet business
needs and objectives that are stable. To meet stage three the company should have a process in
place to facilitate technology selection necessary for the L&D activities (Stages of Learning and
Development Capability/Maturity, 2013).
Stage 4
This stage consists of L&D being a part of the organizations DNA. Enterprise learning
exists and is used by management to determine the type of L&D needed within the organization
and aligns well with the companys goals and mission statement. Business and project

CASE STUDY: LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AT PEARSON

management is important and leaners use innovation and resources to learn and solve problems.
The organization has a culture targeted to meet learners needs and provide flexibility in learning.
A systemic approach is used to measure and track learning initiatives according to business goals
(Stages of Learning and Development Capability/Maturity, 2013).
Pearsons Mission/Vision/Goal
Pearson has a mission to help people make more of their lives through learning
(Pearson PLC, 2015a, para.1) and to meet their highest learning potential that is personal,
affordable and effective and has 40, 000 employees in more than 70 countries (Pearson
Education, 2015d, para.2). They provide numerous learning products and services to
institutions, governments, and directly to individual learners (Pearson Education, 2015d,
para.2). Pearson is also committed to having a holistic approach towards education by using
research to understand what sort of learning works best, while continuously working with
people and other organizations to develop ideas and to measure the outcomes of their products
(Pearson PLC, 2015a, para.4).
Stages of L&D Capability/Maturity
To determine Pearsons stages of L&D capability and maturity, the following aspects of
the organization will be examined below:
Tools and Technology
Pearson uses a wide range of technological tools and integration to provide learners of
various age groups the ability to apply computer and technology skills to learning and problem
solving. These include the Ambassador College Bookstore that provides book fulfillment
services to colleges and universities and Biometric Signature ID that provides solutions to reduce
identity theft and fraud (Pearson Education Inc., 2015). Blackboard Collaborate, which offers

CASE STUDY: LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AT PEARSON

learners an education-focused platform for synchronous and collaborative learning, ConnectYard


which is used as a social engagement platform and Course Smart, offers educational institutions
access to the worlds largest repository of digital course materials at a fraction of the cost of
print (up to 60% savings) (Pearson Education Inc., 2015, para.5).
Other tools and technology usage include Design Science, which develops software to be
used by educators, scientists and other professionals (Pearson Education Inc., 2015).
EvaluationKit, which serves as an online course evaluation and software for K12 and high
education institutions (Pearson Education Inc., 2015). Foliotek, which handles standard based
assessment and data collection via electronic portfolios and are designed to meet organizations,
portfolio administrators and students needs (Pearson Education Inc., 2015,). Other top of the art
tools that consists of Genius SIS, which serves as a Student Information System, designed
specifically for online institutions and offers flexibility to a configurable registration system, In
The Telling, which serves as a media production studio that transforms the online instruction to
an interactive course experience and Link Systems International, which allows learners access to
an online tutoring service that is student-friendly and affordable (Pearson Education Inc., 2015).
Additional technological tools offered at Pearson include Medicore and Newrow that
serve as an online video learning, conferencing and collaboration platform that enhances
interaction for instructors and students (Pearson Education Inc., 2015). Panopto that captures and
records every lecture in the classroom and is stored in a secure video library and made available
to the students on demand and Pathbrite that is a Portfolio for Educators and offers an easy to
use and intuitive way for students to collect, track and showcase a lifetime of learning and
achievement that can be easily evaluated by faculty and future employers (Pearson Education
Inc., 2015, para. 15).

CASE STUDY: LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AT PEARSON

Respondus, which provides learners access to ExamGuard and its customized browser,
locks down the testing environment in Pearson Learning Studio, SmarterServices organizes and
analyzes data that gives people empowerment in making smarter decisions, Smart Sparrow
serves as an Adaptive E-Learning Platform, Top Hat which serves as a homework tool and
learners can gain access to this platform from their mobile devices, VoiceThread that provides
learners with a cloud based communications platform and YouSeeU that also provides an
asynchronous environment and online videos used for student engaging activities such as oral
communication assessment, spontaneous response Q&A, speeches and presentations, and
asynchronous video discussion (Pearson Education Inc., 2015, para. 22).
Pearson uses an extensive list of technologies in support of L&D and plans to continue to
provide outstanding technology integration opportunities to help enhance learners skills and
needs in higher education, workforce training, and profession development and company growth.
They are one step ahead of their competitors because they see the value of learner support in
workplace training and also realizes this is the key to their success and meeting their company
goals.
Analytics
Pearson has a workforce education programs that partners with other higher education
institutions across the globe to create quality workforce training opportunities to help improve
students, local communities and institutions outcomes (Pearson Education, 2015d, para. 1).
They have over 70 self- paced and instructor-led online courses, and at Pearson Workforce
Education, their goal is to help job-seekers improve their skill-sets and training credentials with
instructor led or self-paced, online courses so that they may enter, or re-enter, or advance in the
workforce as qualified employees (Pearson Education, 2013, para. 1).

CASE STUDY: LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AT PEARSON

According to Pearson Education (2013), over the years, there has been an economy shift
from a manufacturing economy to an information society which has placed a huge pressure
workforce to improve skills (para.2). Statistics shows that presently in the United States, there
are four million job openings and approximately 14 million reported as unemployed (Pearson
Education, 2013, para. 3) Fifty-three percent of surveyed employers say their companies face
challenges in recruiting employees with the necessary skills and training, 77% of employees
believe continuing education as very important for career success and 88% of employers
believe education is critical to ensuring workers have the competencies necessary to advance
(Pearson Education, 2013, para. 3).
According to Kizlik, (2012) measurement is referred to as the process by which attributes
of a physical object is determined and evaluation is showing or promoting the value and
worthiness of something. At Pearson, training is measured and evaluated but an assessment is
conducted. Pearson realizes testing is a vital role in preparing todays learners. Their assessment
and solution services are designed to help customers in areas such as healthcare, human
resources workforce training and talent management (Pearson Education, 2015b, para. 1) and
they also help with networking and mentoring opportunities. These areas are measured in to
order to make improvements and to ensure employee and learner success (Pearson Education,
2015b).
The assessment and solutions services team focus on areas such as clinical assessment,
talent assessment, English language testing and assessment for IT, government, academic and
professional (Pearson Education, 2015b). For example, the clinical assessment they offer, comes
with more than 80 years of experience in the assessment field, and Pearsons Clinical
Assessment group, (Pearson Education, 2015b, para.3) and offers products and services that are

CASE STUDY: LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AT PEARSON

innovate for psychologists, occupational therapists and related professionals. Other customers
served include schools, preschoolers through university level and people in the clinical setting
such as hospitals, corrections, and clinics.
Kirkpatrick, Kirkpatrick, and Kirkpatrick (2015) offer a four level training evaluation
model that help to analyze training effectiveness, which include reaction, learning, behavior, and
results. According to Pearsons professional success stories, learners and organizations are
benefiting from partnerships that meet professional development and training needs (Pearson
Education, 2015d, para.1). One success story for example, advancing online education in
restaurant facilities management discusses how the Restaurant Facility Management Association
partnered with Pearson because of their impressive credentials, teamwork, communication skills
and enthusiasm for the project (Pearson Education, 2015a, para 2). Their employees welcomed
the reaction to this partnership and training model and it added value for their members. The new
online courses increased the success rate of their certification program and members were
equipped with resources to strive in excellence in professional skills development and expertise
in the restaurant industry (Pearson Education, 2015a, para 6). Learning and development is also
of significant importance to Pearsons financial goals.
Competencies
Pearson uses competency based learning and approach for training and supporting current
and future employees. They invest in their employees professional and personal development
and encourage a strong learning culture for learners, both internally and externally through
assessments, informal learning programs, prior learning, and online mentoring opportunities.
Through their training programs, competency is a quality Pearson believes is desirable for their
employees to have. Arneson, Rothwell, and Naughton (2013) discuss six foundational

CASE STUDY: LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT AT PEARSON

competencies that include business skills, global mindset, industry knowledge, interpersonal
skills, personal skills, and technology literacy. Pearson strives to achieve these competencies as a
company and to instill these competencies in their employees and partners. In addition, the areas
of expertise that they strive to enhance are change management, performance management,
instructional design, training delivery, learning technologies, evaluating learning impact,
managing learning programs, integrated talent management, coaching, and knowledge
management (ATD, 2015).
Jobs and Roles
Since 88% of employers believe that education is necessary to ensure workers have the
competencies to advance, Pearson strives to decrease the barriers and to get this job done through
effective workforce training, online learning, and development (Pearson Education, 2013).
Pearson aims to develop competency skills such as teamwork, communication, responsibility,
leadership, decision-making, results driven and problem solving skills (Pearson Education, 2013)
There is a great need for people with these skills within their company and across the globe.
Future
Learning and development at Pearson is influenced by the flexible workplace
opportunities, a wide range of content, technology and services. Pearson promotes the need for
innovative learning solutions that make measurable on efficiency, effectiveness and
profitability (Pearson, 2015a, para.3). According to a brochure called, A learning culture at
work: Training and professional development from the worlds leading company (Pearson,
2015a), Pearson continues to offer engaging, cutting edge training and development such as:

Customized courseware to increase learning and impact of training.


Fresh solutions for on-ground, blended, and online learning environments.

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Personalized workforce education programs that build the skills of current and future

employees.
A custom professional development library drawing from Pearsons wealth of content.
Professional development that scales nationally and internationally.
Continuing education and certification opportunities for partners, sponsors, and members
Conclusion
After conducting an extensive research and case study, Pearson is at Stage 4 of the

learning and development capability based on their current L &D program, and extensive list of
technology, learner support and competencies. L & D is a part of Pearsons DNA because they
focus solely on education, they have been around for decades and they continue to grow in
population. They provide flexible learner opportunities to help develop knowledge and skills in
their learning environments and have a holistic approach towards education. They prioritize
using research as a method to understand what kind of learning works best for their current
learner population and continues to work on developing ideas to help measure the outcomes of
their products and what they need to remain competitive in todays market.

References
The Association for Talent Development. (ATD) (2015). The ATD competency model. Retrieved

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from https://www.td.org/Certification/Competency-Model
Arneson, J., Rothwell, W.J., & Naughton, J. (2013). ASTD competency study. Alexandra. VA:
ASTD Press
E-Learning Industry. (2015). Top ten e-learning content development companies for 2013. Elearning industry. Retrieved from http://elearningindustry.com/top-10-elearning-contentdevelopment-companies
Kizlik, B. (2012). Measurement, assessment, and evaluation in education. ADPRIMA. Retrieved
from www.adprima.com/measurement.htm
Kirkpatrick, D.L, Kirkpatrick, J.D., & Kirkpatrick, W.K. (2015). Kirkpatricks four-level
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https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/kirkpatrick.htm
Pearson Education. (2013). Workforce Education: Breakthrough to the power of partnership in
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http://www.pearsonlearningsolutions.com/pearson-learning-studio/technologyintegrations.php
Pearson Education. (2015a). Advancing online education in restaurant facilities management.
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Pearson Education. (2015b). Assessment. Pearson. Retrieved from
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from the worlds leading company. Pearson. Retrieved from


http://www.pearsoned.com/professional/
Pearson Education. (2015d). Pearson workforce education. Pearson. Retrieved from
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