Training At Scale With BioLite Academy

April 13, 2022
Filed Under: inside_biolite team
A BioLite field agent using the BioLite Academy mobile app

BioLite’s work in Emerging Markets has always centered around strong relationships with distribution partners who, in turn, have their own last-mile agents to support sales and installation for BioLite customers. With the potential for thousands of agents to be representing BioLite across 20+ countries, the challenge arose: how do we create an engaging, consistent training experience that enables an agent in Rwanda and an agent in Kenya to feel like they were in the same exact training session? With this question in mind, we created BioLite Academy.

BioLite Academy is our self-paced, mobile-enabled learning platform launched in 2021 that quickly educates and on-boards our partners on the sales, distribution, and installation of our products. Like so much of BioLite’s work in emerging markets, it is deeply rooted in understanding the end-user and his or her environment. In building this particular solution, the end user was our agent and we needed to uncover the real-world capacity and constraints of their daily life in the field.

You Can’t Do Mobile Without Remembering Data

Our agents aren’t sitting behind a desk all day – they’re constantly on the road in remote locations and the phones in their pockets are our best chance of reaching them with useful information. That said, the connectivity to deliver that information became a major consideration in our platform and content development. With wi-fi being an unpredictable resource, we had to design a system that required very low data so costs of interacting with BioLite Academy were minimal. This directly informed how we built chapter content, utilizing refined text and imagery instead of data-consuming video, audio, or GIFs.

A BioLite field agent installs the BioLite SolarHome 620
A BioLite field agent installs the BioLite SolarHome 620

Self Guided, But With A Nudge

While designing the curriculum itself, we knew the information had to be easy to digest and retainable. We proceeded to break the content into small segments, enabling our agents to build training sessions into their personalized schedules and go at their own pace. Knowing distractions and disruptions are a part of daily life, we integrated an automatic SMS system to gently remind agents at strategic times to continue where they last left off and ultimately complete their certification.

Retention, Certification, and Validation

Each chapter requires small levels of interaction (such as scrolling and proceeding to the next screen) to ensure agents are reading all the way through. At the end of each chapter, agents are tested with a short quiz to ensure they have retained the most important information. When all coursework is finished, agents receive a certificate of completion delivered straight to their phones, now equipped with knowledge that benefits both them and their customers. With hundreds of agents now having completed BioLite Academy, BioLite is proud to report an incredibly high satisfaction rate among agents, with 98% finding the program useful. As one agent put it in his feedback, “All the information was very clear and understood. Congratulations BioLite Academy”