In 2018, SNCF Réseau accelerated the digitization of its initial training courses for traffic operators. The objective: to deploy a blended learning approach to optimize training with the Domoscio learning reinforcement solution at the heart of the system. Two years later, focus on the impact of this system and its scalability.
Promoting memorization to increase the impact of training
Being a traffic operator – or rail switcher – at SNCF requires highly technical job skills. This is why SNCF offers its new recruits a complete initial training course (several weeks), exclusively face-to-face, during which employees are trained on the knowledge and skills they will then be able to put into practice in the field, on topics such as safety, signals, railway track work, etc.
As this training is essential for the exercise of the traffic operator profession, it concludes with a final exam that allows employees to work if they pass: if they do not pass the exam, their probationary period is over and the SNCF has to recruit new staff, which takes up time and resources. In addition, with a heavy workload during training, the risk of forgetting is considerable.
The challenge for SNCF is twofold: on the one hand, to increase training success by ensuring that each trainee arrives at the exam as well prepared as possible; on the other hand, to guarantee the application of what has been learned once in the field by improving the sustainable reinforcement of knowledge and skills. In 2018, SNCF Réseau has decided to go digital to meet these challenges.
Blended learning from every angle
Although a large part of the concepts must be learned in class with a trainer, the objective was to more integrate digital technology into the employees’ path to increase the impact of the training, both in the short and long term. To achieve this, the trainers used a variety of tools to design and post tutorial videos, to monitor the employees’ skills development and to guarantee the learning reinforcement.
At the heart of this system is the application MemoCircul’, deployed by Domoscio and based on its Lock reinforcement solution. Accessible to employees from a web platform and a mobile application, to adapt to the uses of each person, MemoCircul’ complements the face-to-face course to:
- Accompany learners during the few weeks of training, by soliciting them on the key notions learned. When a key notion is addressed in the training room, the learner receives a reminder of this notion a few days later, in the form of a quiz, to check whether it has been memorized: he answers on the web or on his smartphone. If the answer is correct, the next reminder will be sent about a week later; if the answer is wrong, the next reminder will be sent earlier. In this way, MemoCircul’ notifies the learners and sends them personalized reminders – both in terms of subject and frequency – on each of the notions learned throughout the course: Domoscio Lock’s Artificial Intelligence uses the results of each learner to measure their strengths and weaknesses, estimate their forgetting curve (or memorization capacity) and individualize the reinforcement. This individualization offers an optimized support (reminders are very punctual) and engaging one, since it avoids the frustration of working on notions that have already been acquired.
- Provide trainers with reporting on the learning process. The data generated by the learners on MémoCircul’ is transferred to dashboards to give visibility to the trainer. By connecting to the platform, he can see which notions are globally the best memorized and, at the opposite, those on which the learners have difficulties, in order to adapt the sessions. On the other hand, he has access to the details per learner to identify those who need help and to plan adapted actions with them, either physically or remotely.
What results in the short and medium term?
By supporting learners and trainers, MémoCircul’ offers a blended learning system to help employees succeed. From the very first deployment, SNCF Réseau observed a 35% increase of success in the final exam – allowing employees to practice – whereas employees had spent an average time of only 29 minutes on MémoCircul’ over the two months of learning, a result made possible thanks to the use of AI to adapt the reinforcement to each employee’s cognitive profile.
And the interest of the system is also perceived in the longer term since once the exam has been passed, the employee arrives in the field and continues to benefit from reminders from MémoCircul’ to facilitate the development of skills and their practical application. The equivalent of a digital and intelligent coach capable of pushing the right reminder shot at the right time for the employee to perform as well as possible. And employees are playing the game: three months after their first use of our reinforcement solution, 76% of employees are still active on MémoCircul’ and continue to answer their quizzes.
A success deployed on a large scale
After a conclusive experiment in 2018, SNCF Réseau has naturally maintained the use of MemoCircul’ and has even deployed it in other learning courses. In terms of platform administration, it is now the trainers and experts who have taken control of the Domoscio authoring tool and who are designing new consolidation modules for traffic operators on their own. Recently, all of the quiz feedback has even been updated to support employees in the strengthening of the concepts and to offer them a better user experience.