Dialectic, an e-learning design company based in Guelph, Ontario, has received $115,000 in funding from the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program to create the next iteration of its mobile-first microlearning platform, Learning Snippets. The funding comes after Dialectic’s success in a diversity and inclusion (D&I) pilot project with the law firms Gowling WLG and BLG.
Jayme Gianola (right), a business intelligence specialist at Gowling WLG and member of the LGBTQ+ community, was empowered by the pilot project, ”I have been advocating for myself more than ever before. If I was in an organization where I and everyone around me was doing snippets, I would be more inclined to advocate for myself.”
Of the employees who participated in the initial launch of Learning Snippets, 100 percent say their knowledge of D&I increased, and 94 percent say they are better able to handle D&I situations. One-day D&I training, while helpful for building awareness, does not drive measurable change within organizations. Learning Snippets model real-life scenarios—this lets users practice complex skills in a simulated, safe environment, allowing them to get instant feedback and make mistakes with the intent to change, learn, and grow. This mental rehearsal is essential for the development of new skills that can be utilized immediately.
“With the Black Lives Matter movement in full swing and Pride Month having just passed, there’s a lot of talk about action. But, even if we’re motivated as individuals to make a difference, where do we start? It can be really overwhelming,” says Barb Adams, Director of Research at Dialectic. “It’s up to organizations to be catalysts of change by not only making statements, but also taking action. Providing their employees with Learning Snippets helps people to ramp up their efforts quickly, while signaling the organizations’ commitment to diversity.”
The current platform is a subscription-based service offering fast and effective learning without requiring a big time commitment. Users receive the snippets directly to their inbox, which take about two minutes to complete. Spaced learning fits perfectly into the schedules of business professionals and is also backed up by science: spaced learning routinely delivers better learning outcomes than traditional training and standard e-learning. The funding will allow the Dialectic team to to build a platform and mobile app to more efficiently create and scale the training.
“We started with D&I Snippets because of our team’s wealth of knowledge and education in the D&I space. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and doctor of experimental social psychology, we want to make it easy for organizations to prioritize D&I, and to help them offer programs to allow their employees explore their biases and provide the necessary tools to overcome them,” says Adams.
To do its part in mitigating racial bias, Dialectic is offering three free Anti-Black Racism at Work Learning Snippets to employers and business professionals who are ready to move from awareness to action.