More Than Just a Job: What Inspires our Lead Learning Strategist

“It’s so much more than just a job. I am always inspired by my work and my team.”

– Hanna Esa, Department Lead, Digital Learning Strategy

In seeking to better understand Three Learning’s workplace culture, our intern Shao Hao interviewed Ms. Hanna Esa, the head of the Digital Learning Strategy department. In this article, we gain a glimpse into Hanna’s experience at Three Learning, what inspires her and the qualities that she looks for in the people who wish to join her team.

How long have you been with Three Learning?

Hanna: “I’ve been with Three Learning since 11 June 2007, so that would be about 11 years.”

Describe your experience working at Three Learning.

Hanna: “It hasn’t been easy, but I enjoy the challenge as it helps me grow. My work is very multifaceted as there are many processes that go on behind-the-scenes in creating an effective and engaging learning solution. Our 3LDS process, for example, places emphasis on having a solid body of content before we even attempt to treat it with online activities and visual elements. Additionally, every project is interesting in its own way. For example, we did a project for a naval organisation, where we filmed video lessons on a boat in open waters!  On a daily basis, I get to engage with a range of persons and personalities, such as our clients who are from government agencies as well as corporate companies, my own team (Learning Strategists), as well as team members from partnering departments (graphic design and programming), and I feel enriched by the perspectives they offer.”

What inspires you when you come to work?

Hanna: “I view my work as more than just a job. It is so much more. I am inspired by my team’s commitment, dedication and creativity. I love the moments where I get to interact with my team to think of unpredictable ideas based on what each of us has seen or heard. I find the creative process to be very satisfying. So, that’s during the project implementation phase. At project approval, I rejoice when we receive favourable feedback from our clients. These are affirmations of our hard work and they mean a lot to me because we dedicate our best efforts in each project, and we feel truly appreciated when we receive such feedback.”


Why do you feel that your job is important?

Hanna: “At the receiving end of each e-learning course is a learner, and my aim is that he/she is more skilled and is able to perform better at work and subsequently, improve his/her livelihood, as a result of taking up that e-learning course. This is my primary motivation to push myself or my team in offering the best possible learning solution, given the predetermined scope of the project.”

Would you describe yourself as a workaholic?

Hanna: (Laughs) “Yes, fortunately or unfortunately, I would. I take a lot of pride in my work and I always deliver my best efforts to our clients. I have, however, been trying to cultivate a better work-life balance in recent years.”

“I started working in Three Learning at a relatively young age, and I had more energy at that time. As the company was considerably new back then, we were still in the midst of establishing and putting in place proper processes for the development of our e-learning courseware, and this meant frequent staying back or staying up.”

“But now that the processes are more established, I rarely bring my work home. I try to maintain a healthy work-life balance and spend more time with my family, and I’m thankful that Three Learning is supportive of that.”

What are your thoughts about Three Learning’s workplace culture?

Hanna: “As with any company, there are the positives and negatives. As for the positives, I would say my team does not work in silos, meaning, we share the load and work as a team to get our jobs done. We treat one another with mutual respect, which I believe is a very basic but important quality to have at the workplace. There is also a healthy level of noise in the office – it is not uncommon to hear sudden buzzes of creative critiques, opinions, ideas and even jokes randomly shared with one another.”

“That being said, I think that certain aspects of our workplace culture can do with more improvement. For one, there can be greater empathy between the different departments. As our courseware developmental process is linearly carried out by different specialists, it can become rather segmented. As such, there is a tendency to overlook the challenges that another department is facing, especially when deadlines are tight. We could definitely do with more empathy for one another.”

What are 3 things you like most about working here?

Hanna: “The team, the place, and the flexibility. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I am inspired by my team’s commitment and dedication to our projects. I’ve never liked working in the CBD as I find the environment pretty stressful. I like our office’s location at Bukit Merah as the old neighbourhood has a special charm and quaintness that makes it a go-to place even on Monday mornings. I also enjoy the flexibility of working from home, a privilege that comes with the prerequisite of a track record of successful projects and satisfied clients, as well as unquestionable work ethic.”

What kind of people are you looking to have on your team?

Hanna: “Someone looking to become a Learning Strategist would typically ask – do I need a certification in instructional design (ID) to work with you? My answer would be – no, I won’t need any special ID qualification. However, depending on how you view it, my expectations could be simpler or more complex.”

“If I can put it simply, a potential team member who meets these 4 ‘basic’ requirements will be successful as a Digital Learning Strategist. He/she must:

(1) like to learn – read: is able to apply what he/she learns fast, is resilient in taking hard knocks

(2) like to teach – read: is always exploring new ways to communicate new knowledge effectively

(3) like to write – read: flawless grammar and a sound range of vocabulary in English

(4) have a sharp eye for detail – read: pick up errors fast.”

“So these are just basic requirements to joining the team. If I were to stretch it further, someone who is looking to take up Learning Strategy as his/her career needs to be equally analytical (left-brained) and creative (right-brained), as our work, really, is multi-faceted. He/she would also need to be very skilled in organisation and planning and impeccable people skills, be it in working with clients or team members.”

What is one thing you would say to your team to inspire and motivate them?

Hanna: “Never underestimate the impact you make to every learner that you create a courseware for. Even though our work arrangement dictates that we do not get direct contact with our learners, our work does impact their lives in ways we are not really able to fathom.”

Written by: Shao Hao, 3L Intern


Delving Deep: Three Learning’s Mission, Vision and Core Values

At the core of every organisation is an overarching Mission, Vision and set of Core Values that define and chart the forward journey towards greater heights. Without these important guideposts, it is easy to feel lost and adrift, just like a ship out in the ocean without a destination or a compass. In this article, we explore and delve deep into Three Learning’s Mission, Vision and Core Values.


3L Mission

“To provide organisations with effective and engaging e-Learning solutions that enable them to implement their e-learning strategy, so as to create, retain and leverage their intellectual capital.”

This Mission Statement is Three Learning’s raison d’etre and one that continually guides us through our projects and our work. We believe that continued learning is applicable to all sectors, and we strive to assist our clients achieve their training objectives by providing effective and engaging e-learning solutions.

With technological advancements continually reshaping the ways in which businesses carry out their operations, we endeavour to leverage on the latest technologies to enhance workplace training and education. These include developments such as our Three Learning Development System (3LDS), engaging gamification strategies, and our upcoming learning portal Koollab.


3L Vision

“By 2020, help 500 organisations attain high Return of Investment for their e-learning dollars, measured in terms of learners achieving the required learning outcomes.”

Three Learning is always open to working with new organisations to assist them in achieving their training objectives. We strive to make a positive impact on our clients and help them attain a high return on their e-learning investment, which can be quantified in terms of the level of learners’ knowledge retention, improvement and the attainment of new skills. We do this by developing training coursewares for our clients, providing learning management system (LMS) services that cater to various training needs, as well as consultancy services to help organisations better train their people.

Having a Vision provides us with a tangible target to strive for, and our team is working hard to turn it into a reality!


3L Core Values: Integrity, Passion, Innovation

Core values are the important principles of an organisation that form the foundations upon which its people perform work and conduct themselves. At Three Learning, the core values that govern our work ethic are: Integrity, Passion and Innovation.

Integrity stands for not only honesty, righteousness and morality, but also wholeness, completion and cohesion. Our company believes in working as a team to complete our projects and produce the most comprehensive services for our clients. Integrity is key in both Three Learning’s internal operations and client relations.

To have Passion means to have excitement, enthusiasm and zest for one’s vocation. Here at Three Learning, we take pride in our work and we show up each day with a renewed sense of eagerness and gusto. Our team firmly believes that our Mission of delivering top quality e-learning services to our clients contributes to maximising their intellectual capital, and commits to this purpose passionately.

Innovation is key to staying ahead of our competitors and helping our clients achieve their learning objectives with the latest technologies and most advanced platforms available. Our team is always thinking of novel and creative ways to better serve our clients. A key example of 3L’s innovative spirit is in our instructional design process that repackages conventionally “dry” content into attention-grabbing scenarios that are directly relatable and relevant to learners.

Three Learning’s core values underlie how we perform our work, how we interact with each other, and the strategies we employ to fulfill our Mission. We are continually looking for better ways to work with greater integrity, passion and innovation – to ultimately serve our clients better.

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3 Great Reasons for E-Learning

3 Great Reasons for E-Learning

Farewell to full-time classroom training, and hello to e-learning! Before you start a ‘relationship’ with e-learning, you need to know why you want to. Here are 3 great reasons for this new decision and the journey ahead.

1.       Effective learning

Beyond a one-time exam, it can be more effective when learners are immersed in the process of learning activities. The learning process our organisation adopts is the LRCR model – Learn, Reinforce, Confidence-building, and Retention. 

Article (3 great reasons...) #1

The ‘Learn’ stage is only the tip of the iceberg. Learners can internalise knowledge through reinforcement activities, as well as confidence-building activities. At the same time, mnemonics and diagrammatical summaries are just some ways to further increase knowledge retention.

 2.       Ongoing access to learning resources

Are you losing ‘control’ in learning?

Article (3 great reasons...) #2

Have you ever attended a classroom training, only to lose your notes by careless accidents of forgetting to save your work? To make it worse, sometimes you can’t seem to remember what you had learnt in the classroom training session! If this is your constant worry, e-learning may be your cup of tea when it comes to learning because this doesn’t ever happen with e-learning!

E-learning allows learners to revisit the course or particular topics within the course, when they want to refresh their memory on what they had gone through previously. Ongoing access to online content and resources, and course re-visitation, is a benefit e-learning offers to learners, which a typical classroom training session lacks.

Re-visitation can be done when learners use a Table of Contents or Menu function which allows them to skip across course pages by selecting the specific page they want to re-visit. Learners need not worry about their notes being lost, because an e-learning course can automatically save and update on the pages a learner has completed and allow him (or her) to resume from where he (or she) had earlier left off in a separate sitting. 

3.       Freedom to take risks with a safety net

In business, we always say we need to take calculated risks. But how many of us truly dare to take the risks we should be taking? In a real-life setting, real risks could mean real profits, but it engenders potential real losses as well. Yet, we don’t learn when we don’t try. So how will people learn if they are afraid to venture out and take calculated risks at work?

Virtual scenarios or simulations! Today, the learning and development sector has progressed beyond real-life settings towards virtual scenarios or simulations with the innovation of modern technologies. These can be in the form of an immersive scenario replicating a real-life business situation, where learners who choose to go ahead with the calculated risks but fail the virtual challenge have a safety net – no real losses and the flexibility to try again. 

Article (3 great reasons...) #3

This safety net encourages people to take risks and learn from their experiences. At the same time, it can simulate a real-life context, and make learning more applicable to real-world situations. So don’t be afraid, because e-learning now gives you the freedom to take risks with a safety net.