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ZKA significantly reduces its further training costs with e-learning

How the German Customs Investigation Bureau (ZKA) transitioned most of its INZOLL classroom training to web-based training (WBTs).

The customer

Based in Cologne, the German Customs Investigation Bureau (Zollkriminalamt, ZKA) has developed an internal information system, INZOLL, which is already used by 5,200 customs officials and other employees. Attached to the Federal Ministry of Finance, ZKA is the central agency responsible for customs investigations and for providing news and information to customs service management across Germany. In particular, it is ZKA’s responsibility to coordinate and direct investigations. In order to do this, the ZKA must gather all the necessary information, evaluate it, and forward it to other customs offices. ZKA developed the INZOLL software to control this complicated knowledge management operation.

The challenge

INZOLL contains the LIFE system, which provides the user with both a help function and a multimedia self-learning software for induction in INZOLL. In order to make customs officials confident in INZOLL, ZKA still runs five-day presence trainings for the target group in “Processing and Area Management”. There are also one-day courses for officials charged with investigating cash movements and for users who are limited to read only access. ZKA wanted to build on this by enabling its employees to learn and deepen their knowledge of INZOLL with web-based trainings.

The solution

At first, the e-learnings presented an extension of the existing presence trainings, repeating their content. In a next step the training had to cover extensions to INZOLL, communicating their content to employees via e-learnings.

The implementation

The ZKA commissioned tts to create web-based trainings that would be embedded in the LIFE learning and help system, in order to supplement the presence training program. In the first instance, the trainings would comprise 1,080 minutes and were created with tt knowledge force. They were based on the established didactic concepts and approach used in the presence training. The structure of the learning modules however remains open: training can be built as standalone modules or alternatively they can also provide access to common content. It is also possible to link individual chapters through interactive usage.

A module breaks down into the areas of “Problems under Discussion and Orientation” where the user gets an overview of the chapter, and “Information and Usage” where the content is communicated and explained and the user can do exercises. Furthermore, in the section on “Transferring” it is possible to make a direct link to activities in practice. To ensure that the learning content is subsequently used properly, the individual chapters all contain exercises of varying scope and difficulty.

The objective is to ensure that the employees learn INZOLL applications thoroughly with the web-based trainings, while deepening their existing knowledge. The trainings have to be setup in such a way that they are suitable both for untrained users and for users who are already proficient with INZOLL. Thus, the e-learnings are firstly an extension of the presence training, repeating the content. But they also keep users up to date with the latest developments of the INZOLL system.

The benefits

ZKA would like to use e-learning to greatly reduce the time needed for continuous education in the LIFE learning and help center. It would also like to replace presence training with web-based trainings. Previously, the further development of INZOLL had always necessitated time-consuming follow-up trainings, and ZKA sees WBT as an opportunity to reduce this burden.

Very often, there is a considerably large interval between training and actual use of the software, which means the user must once again be inducted through new or specific functions. tts solves this problem: with the e-learnings each employee can customize the training according to his or her individual requirements. ZKA also expects the availability of web-based trainings to make the use of INZOLL much easier, which will therefore increase its acceptance and utilization. As well as relieving the admin time burden and improving data quality, the solution from tts also enables ZKA to drive down the costs of further education and training while benefitting from comprehensive documentation.