July 08, 2015

“Online Education Is Extremely Cost-Effective”

Rostelekom organizes distance learning for 140,000 employees in different locations. Nikita Cherkasenko, the Head of the Department for Staff Evaluation, Training and Development told us about training in Rostelecom, his experience of using Eduson and company’s plans on corporate education development.


"Rostelekom uses various learning formats, including distance learning. In 2014, more than 35,000 company employees were using e-learning. In total, they took more than 99,000 courses".

Why do we use e-learning?

The first and main advantage of distance learning is that it is uniquely cost-effective. You are unlikely to find a better method of teaching tens of thousands of staff across the country at this price.

The second advantage is that you have the opportunity to disseminate knowledge concurrently, rather than successively. The second option, with our staff of 140,000 people, would be stretched out for many years.

However, to solve some issues it is simply physically impossible to be limited to distance learning training. Face to face formats are still needed.

Customized Learning Tracks

individual tracks

The distance learning system in Rostelekom puts significant emphasis on course-simulators for specific purposes in specific information systems. When we started using Eduson, we found that there was a demand among staff to use individual training tracks, which were often not confined to their professional areas of activity.

We receive requests to create individual and group sequential course, where our internal teaching material would be used in addition to Eduson’s courses. These requests often come from specialists working in the retail sector. Eduson has created a lot of useful and interesting courses for them.

It is interesting that the most active participants in the training are our technical specialists. On the one hand, this is logical; the technical side of the company is the largest. Moreover, working in the technical side of the company needs a great deal of instruction and training. However, when we looked at the statistics from the courses taken with Eduson, we saw that the technical specialists studied the basic business courses more actively than staff members from other areas. This was quite an unexpected result for us.

Employee Engagement


Firstly, at Rostelekom, Eduson’s courses are studied voluntarily. Therefore, interest in learning from amongst those are registered automatically is much higher than in programmes where it is mandatory for employees to attend. The more motivation, the greater the staff’s involvement is.

Secondly, Eduson’s courses are more popular than our internal online or face-to-face learning, due to the convenience of the technology. There is no need to be distracted from your daily work. You can devote as much time to the training as you want, whenever you want, from any place that takes your fancy.

The statistics show a high level of involvement; from amongst our staff who were entered into the system, many stayed for a long time and studied for more than one course. I think that this is a good indicator.

Evaluating Effectiveness


In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the training, we usually use the feedback questionnaire once a particular programme has ended. We also have a regular procedure of assessing competences, which allows you to track the effectiveness of all the programs which were put into the annual staff training and development programme.

For target indicators, we have not yet learned how to measure and distinguish the effects of the training as KPIs (key performance indicators). We try in each particular programme to come up with a way of evaluating the effectiveness of any trial period or at the time it was launched, and we then monitor the performance indicators of the company as a whole.

Personal Experience

best courses

Out of Eduson’s five formats, the most convenient ones for me were the video courses. They do not require constant attention to what is happening on the screen. It is the best option for me, as I looked at most of the materials in the car on the way home.

I took all of Isaac Adizes’s courses with great pleasure. I liked the series of materials about preparing presentations especially when processing numerical data. Another course I remember well was on how to deal with problem employees, as it was very accessible.

Plans and Innovations

In 2015, we plan to develop and introduce more than 300 distance learning courses in six main areas of learning. They include courses on products, business processes and customer service, etc.

In addition, we plan to continue working with Eduson. We believe it is important for those employees who have the chance to regularly use distance learning to have access to the service, as this is tens of thousands of people.

From a methodological perspective, we plan to revise the current way in which distance learning courses are created as a whole. I would like to gradually move from ordering very expensive and a large amount of courses from an external provider, to create a culture where business departments develop multimedia content. This means that we want our departments to prepare distance courses to any new internal regulatory document (IRD), to succinctly explain to anyone who wishes, how and what to do. We have already found associates in the company who share our desire to facilitate this familiarity with IRD, and so we are taking our first steps in this direction with them.

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