Workforce Performance Operations

Director's Corner

Since our formal inception in January, 2012, many of you have been asking who the WPO team is and what makes us different from other organizational training departments. It may be helpful to think about WPO as the learning infrastructure group. We create and deploy tools, technologies, and techniques that support staff training departments in the rapid delivery of high-quality training to their learners. We’re not owners or subject matter experts of particular training content in the way that Nursing Education, Perioperative Education, System Support Services, Financial Education, or VMG training departments are. Our mission is to introduce evidence-based best practices in the areas of course development methods, learning measurement tools, technology-driven training, and overall instructional design/delivery processes. We help trainers ensure that critical content reaches our staff in the most efficient and effective ways.

This year, our efforts to support our primary mission include the following initiatives:

  • Improve learning technologies and instructional delivery options  

We’ve begun this work with our introduction of the Launch.Pad rapid course development and evaluation tool and the freeform collaboration tool. Many of you are aware that Absorb, our new LMS, will be implemented on July 1st.  The new LMS offers multiple upgrades and new functionality including Learning Record Storage (LRS) which will eventually give us the ability to track staff learning that occurs outside of the LMS. (Please see the next article in our newsletter for more information.) Also, later this year, we’ll be introducing a desktop video course development tool to help educators easily create short video training segments to incorporate into courses or share through other means.

  • Develop a multi-level training measurement platform

Our Launch.Pad course evaluation tool makes it quick and easy to add a learner reaction evaluation to any course. Unlike standard end-of-class evaluations that focus primarily on the performance of the trainer and the appeal of the class delivery method, Launch.Pad’s evaluation assesses the likelihood that learned skills will be successfully transferred to the workplace after class. Evaluation questions are used to determine:

  • Does the learner perceive that course content was valuable and relevant to required job responsibilities?
  • Is the learner confident that he or she will be able to apply the learned skills after leaving the classroom?
  • Does the learner believe that his or her work environment is set up to support the use of newly-learned skills?

We are building tools and working with multiple departments to customize evaluation and reporting programs that help stakeholders achieve any and all of these evaluation goals:

  • Assure training activities are aligned with organizational goals
  • Provide formative feedback on individual classes so educators can continually  improve course content and delivery methods
  • Proactively identify potential issues related to the successful transfer of learned knowledge and skills into the workplace
  • Serve as an ongoing needs analysis, identifying critical gaps in skill and knowledge
  • Introduce best practices in delivery of organization-wide training initiatives

Our goal is to introduce instructional standards and best practices into training initiatives across multiple business or clinical units. The goal of standardizing organizational training delivery is to ensure that every learner is given the same content or taught the same skills in the same order no matter who is teaching or how training is delivered. This approach helps ensure standardized, measurable, and comparable performance outcomes across the organization.

  • Pursue consultative partnerships in the support of workforce skill optimization

This effort is based on an established field of study known as Human Performance Technology (HPT). HPT offers powerful tools and perspectives for assuring that our employees can fully utilize their newly-learned skills when they return to their work environment. (Please read the article on HPT included in this newsletter for more information.)

  • Support educator development

Our goal is to help our organizational educators fully utilize the new developments and products mentioned above. We are dedicated to providing training and support services in all of these new areas.  

WPO also manages and facilitates the Vanderbilt Leadership Academy (VLA), an eight-month, enterprise-wide executive leadership development program sponsored by Chancellor Zeppos and Traci Nordberg. VLA offers opportunities for our executive leaders to explore best practices in the areas of institutional strategy and organizational leadership. 

Please reach out to me directly to discuss ways in which WPO may be able to add additional value and support to your projects and goals.



Laura Levy, MA, CPT
Director, Workforce Performance Operations
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
3401 West End, Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37232-2505
Tel: 615.343.3862
Fax: 615.343.1397
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