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A Conversation with JetBlue Airways About Learning Measurement

Learning MeasurementWe had the pleasure of interviewing Teri Schmidt, Manager of Assessment, Measurement, & Evaluation at JetBlue Airways, to learn from her about the organization’s learning measurement and analytics strategy.  This blog excerpts portions of that interview.

Members of CEB Learning & Development Leadership Council can read the full interview by downloading the Q4 2014 issue of our Learning Quarterly magazine from their members-only website, www.ldr.executiveboard.com; non-members can learn more at cebglobal.com

CEB: “What do you see as the value of learning measurement at JetBlue Airways?”

Ms. Schmidt: “Learning measurement is critically important to JetBlue because we operate in an environment where the majority of our training is technical and regulated. Our crews must perform effectively, so the ability to know as soon as possible where there are opportunities for improvement in training is very important.

“That said, as we have progressed on our learning measurement journey, we have contributed increasingly more value.

“When we started this journey in 2004, we were focused on collecting data at the end of courses to evaluate the quality of the course. Over time we have added more rigor to our processes and are focused on using performance data.

“For example, it is incredibly valuable to the business if we can connect how an employee responds to a question on a survey at the end of a course with future performance.”

CEB: “…the importance of using learning data for decisions: can you give a few examples of what this looks like?”

Ms. Schmidt: “The first most straightforward example is that managers of [JetBlue University] instructors can use the course data to improve and develop instructor performance.

“Beyond that, we work with teams to clarify and specify the types of decisions they need to make and whether those decisions are ongoing or ad hoc. We then develop a research question and identify what data is required to answer that question.”

CEB: “What types of investments are being made to support the future vision for learning measurement?”

Ms. Schmidt: “The best example of investment is that we have a dedicated team focused on learning and analytics.

“We have gone from a team of three to a team of seven. This growth was achieved not by adding headcount but by centralizing analysts that used to be embedded in individual colleges in JetBlue University.

“As we build up that team and get everyone onboard with a unified vision, I am excited to see how we can use different and more advanced analysis to support the decision making. 

 

Check CEB Blogs again soon for another blog highlighting a key feature in the latest Learning Quarterly—step-by-step guidance on improving your coaching strategy for the new work environment.

And if you haven’t already, look back at this blog that overviewed our newest insights around learning measurement, also included in the Q4 2014 magazine.

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