IoT Pods for Workplace Training

 

The Internet of Things (IoT) Pods for Workplace Training project provides an IoT solution to delivering employee training in manufacturing industry. It offers an innovative approach to facilitating work based learning, that exploits the growing capacity of mobile devices to communicate with each other. This is designed to overcome the challenge of providing task specific support for employees, just where and when it is needed at work.

The project is being led by Coleg Sir Gar, based in South West Wales and part of the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David Group. The College has a comprehensive range of academic and vocational learning programmes, including work based learning and bespoke programmes and services for business development. It will be working through established partnerships with automotive and electronics manufacturers in the region.

The core innovation in the project is in how it exploits the peer-to-peer networking capability of modern mobile devices, the ability to flexibly screen-cast to smart displays and the usability of the mobile App. Current networked collaborative learning technology systems are designed for permanent installation in traditional learning environments. The IoT Pod system has the same collaborative learning support purpose, but with complete flexibility, minimum infrastructure requirements and significantly less system cost.

The IoT training pod system can be set up quickly, wherever it is needed, anywhere in the production environment to provide an on-demand learning resource able to deliver flexible and accessible workplace learning that will significantly improve the effectiveness of training and support. Aimed at small group, collaborative, work-based learning support for small numbers of employees, the IoT Pod system can be scaled up to reach larger numbers if necessary.

Coleg Sir Gar will work with a learning design system supplier to design, build the IoT Pod system prototype, which will be trialled with the staff of the industry partners. A new IoT Pod App will provide an intuitive interface through which learners can engage in active, collaborative learning and which will facilitate communication and management of the learning process. The College will work with industry partners to identify and develop the digital learning resources required in their production environment, by understanding their specific needs and priorities. Previous work with the automotive sector suggests that Business Improvement Techniques (BIT) learning modules will be high on their list of requirements.

Through implementation with partner companies, the College plan to demonstrate the transferability of the IoT Pod system to support workplace training widely across industry sectors, including service industries. The IoT Pods for Workplace Learning project will be successful if it demonstrates that adhoc pods can be set up to effectively and efficiently deliver training and support in a range of different workplace scenarios and contexts. Success will also be judged by the ease with which the IoT Pods can be set up, their intuitive usability by employees with basic IT skills, and their cost-effectiveness.

Coleg Sir Gar hopes that this project will address the Ufi objectives to make learning in the workplace faster, easier and more cost-effective and will evaluate the project against these criteria, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of the learning itself, through learning outcomes and user surveys.