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Faces of HR: How Singapore Exchange’s learning strategy leverages on technology



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Being one of the early adopters of digital learning platforms such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), see how Singapore Exchange is providing access to learning anytime, anywhere, as told by John Augustine Ong, Head of Learning & Development, Singapore Exchange.

Q How important is collaborative, social learning for achieving effective learning transfer?

According to social constructivism theory, learning is inherently social in nature. Vygotsky argues that it is impossible to separate learning from its social context and that all forms of discussion and interactive discourse help to promote learning in a way that encourages meaning-making for learners, through the active cognition and negotiation of ideas with others.

We are seeing an increasing level of interest by learning professionals across industries in exploring the use of social media and technology mediated tools for enhancing their organisation’s learning effectiveness. These technological tools provide new learning affordances that enable L&D teams to better cater to the learning needs of their organisation’s employees.

It is particularly pertinent in today’s context where organisations have a geographically dispersed employee population and where most employees are overwhelmed and distracted with too much information that they need to process. Having access to collaborative, social learning networks or platforms can accelerate the learning process.

Q What is the current approach, in your context, towards supporting employees with practical social learning through digital platforms?

As Asia’s most international and connected exchange, with an ever growing employee base across multiple locations such as Beijing, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York, Mumbai, San Francisco, Shanghai and Tokyo, going digital and leveraging on technology for learning purposes has always been part of our learning strategy. This is to ensure that all our employees are given the necessary support and have equal access to learning opportunities.

We are one of the earlier adopters of digital learning platforms such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), and we have developed a good partnership with a few market leading learning providers in this area. Through these digital learning platforms, all our employees are able to gain access to learning at their convenience anytime, anywhere.

To further enhance the social aspects of learning and promote the sharing of knowledge and information internally, we have recently expanded our digital platforms to include online team collaboration tools with social media features for work purposes.

From an end user and customer experience perspective, our learners already use social media and mobile apps in their daily private lives, thus it makes sense for them to be able to adopt similar practices in the work environment. We have seen great traction and adoption as a result.

It is important to help our learners realise that learning is not a standalone event but a continuous process that is closely integrated with the work they do.

Q It is crucial to note that L&D function has evolved from being a trainer of the organisation to that of an enabler of a learning culture. Would you agree that enabling your employees to train, perhaps, is a great way to improve their curiosity to learn?

As custodians of the learning culture, L&D’s role has evolved from being a mere provider of training solutions towards that of a business partner, focusing on building the right capabilities and creating a positive learning environment to support our organisations’ growth and business strategy.

It is important to help our learners realise that learning is not a standalone event but a continuous process that is closely integrated with the work they do.

Providing our employees with greater access and opportunities to learn and apply what they have learned at work would go a long way towards inculcating a more positive learning culture.

Q What do you want delegates to get out of your session during the Learning & Development Asia 2019?

It is easy and tempting to be swept up by the latest technological trend and lose track of the underlying andragogy involved in the learning process.

I would like to help our audience focus on the 3Ps of collaborative and social learning, where it is really about the purpose, platform and people, and being able to immediately relate and apply it back at their work environment. I look forward to sharing and exchanging ideas with our audience during the session.


Catch John Augustine Ong’s session at #LearningDevelopmentAsia this 17-18 September 2019 as he delves into how the L&D function is being transformed into a strategic business unit by linking learning to business objectives. 

Visit the event website to check out the stellar speaker list and reserve your seatOr you can simply email our friendly colleagues at renamelt@humanresourcesonline.net and ryanc@humanresourcesonline.net to find out more.



Less than a month to Learning & Development Asia. Speakers from Axiata, BHP Billiton Shared Services, Fave, HRDF, Samsung confirmed to speak with more than 120 attendees.
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