PESE Model – The Framework to Design a Scalable Remote Learning Solution

The legendary basketball player, Michael Jordan once said, “I want people to understand, gambling is not a bad thing if you do it within the framework of what it’s meant to be, which is fun and entertaining.” Pretty riveting depiction of framework. In the context of learning and development, the key role of a framework would be to enable CLOs to help businesses meet desired objectives through intervention of learning programs.

Today, we’ll be looking at a framework which Harbinger has designed to help L&D leaders navigate through the new normal of remote work and remote learning. The framework is called the PESE Model. It stands for prepare, engage, support, & evaluate. At a high level, this framework breaks down the successful implementation process of remote learning solutions into four distinct phases. In this blog, we would be looking at these four phases from a bird’s eye view. And in the subsequent, blogs we would peel the layers for each of these four phases, one at a time.


Prepare is the starting point, this is where we lay the foundation of success of the learning program.

To start with, it is important for us to agree upon the specific business challenge that we are solving and there should be a consensus amongst all stakeholders on this. The second point is knowing your audience – who are they, where are they, and how are they. Then you have to define the type of learning modalities that you want to use to implement your learning program – do you want to have a virtual instructor-led session, do you want to include game-based assessments or have SME videos. At this stage, it is also important to understand and define the role that you want technology to play, assess if you have the relevant technology in house or you would want some additional support to implement your remote learning program successfully. And last but not the least, clearly identify what role your virtual instructors need to play, assess where they are with their current skills in terms of facilitating virtual sessions and if they require any upskilling or reskilling.



Now, we move onto the second pillar of the framework, which is engage. In the times when remote work is becoming the new normal, keeping employees and learners engaged is key.

While implementing remote learning, there are three distinct stages at which we need to take care of learner engagement. Those three stages are pre-event, during the event and post the event. For e.g., let us consider the event as a virtual instructor-led session, in that case some engagement points which we could think of for different stages are:

  1. Creating a teaser animation video on the topic of the session for pre-event engagement. This can generate curiosity and motivate the audience to participate in the session.
  2. During the event, we can have group activities for learners where they can participate. Sleek and modern visual design is also a great hook to ensure engagement from the learners during the event.
  3. Post event is an important piece in the entire engagement cycle. This is where we should have a reasonable focus. Couple of engagement points for our learners during this phase could be nudging with supplementary learning material for reinforcement or providing support tools like job aids.



The third pillar of our framework is about supporting your learners. This support is required throughout the life cycle of remote learning; it is more about continuous learning.

The key is to integrate the required support in the flow of remote work. We can consider options like having an AI-enabled virtual coach integrated in an office productivity tool like slack or Microsoft teams to support your learners post the event.



And lastly, we come to the evaluate stage. It is imperative to evaluate the results of the remote learning program against the success parameters that were set. And based on the findings, if there is a need to make course corrections in the program we should do that and then re-launch the program.

So that’s the remote learning framework, Prepare – Engage – Support – Evaluate.

It would be interesting to know your thoughts on this framework. Please comment below or drop us a line at


Foundational Beliefs for L&D Leaders for Implementing Remote Learning

In my last blog, I spoke about how remote learning is strongly emerging as a positive intervention in the post pandemic situation. While we would all agree to the fact that the need for remote learning has been established, what we have to be sensitive about is the adoption rate. We, as L&D leaders and stakeholders, need to have some foundational beliefs, before we embark on a journey of implementing remote learning.

There are 5 key things which I would like to highlight:

  1. Learner engagement is a key priority.

With the evolution of the workplace, the role of L&D leaders is also evolving. One of the key jobs that we have on our hands is to keep our remote workforce engaged by bringing learning in the flow of their remote work. We need to proactively listen-in to the experiences of the learners and chart out a strategy accordingly. If we ever wanted to add agility in our playbook, the time is now.

  1. Remote learning isn’t the same as eLearning.

The speed at which some organizations across the globe have tried to move all their content digital, is certainly debatable. We must be mindful of such rapid shifts when we strategize our remote learning programs. The learning needs to be structured in a way that it does not overwhelm learners. There needs to be a fine balance between synchronous and asynchronous learning.

  1. Remote Learning is not the same as delivering an instructor-led training session on zoom or webex.

A live virtual instructor-led session is different than an in-person classroom session. Right from the presentation, group activities, to engagement points, everything is customized depending on the mode of delivery. And above all, the way the instructor needs to deliver the entire leaning experience is different in both the modalities.

  1. Remote learning is about exploring new options.

L&D leaders and practitioners need to be open to experiment and organize learning differently, away from the traditional mold. Flexibility and patience are some skills that all stakeholders need to display when we go about implementation of remote learning. Do not fret if you don’t get everything right at the first place. It might be an unknown territory for quite a few of us.

  1. Remote learning entails empathy.

We, as L&D stakeholders, need to show empathy towards the new normal. We need to be sensitive about sociological conditions of our learners and try to address some of them through our remote learning design strategy.

These foundational beliefs will eventually guide us around putting together a framework to implement remote learning. In our next blog, we’ll be looking at one such framework. I would love to know how you are strategizing remote learning in your organization. Comment below or drop a note at

Emergence of Remote Learning

The Definition

Remote learning is any kind of learning that happens outside of a traditional classroom because the learner and facilitator are separated by distance and/or time. Remote learning can be real-time or flexibility timed, in other words it could be synchronous or asynchronous.And the role of technology can vary;  the primary reason for variance in technology is that we cannot assume that every remote learner has got access to equivalent technology infrastructure.

The History

Remote learning is not an entirely new concept. We can equate quite a few attributes of remote learning to distance education. In the late 1800s, at the University of Chicago, the first major distance education program in the United States was established, in which the teacher and learner were at different locations. One of the pioneers of distance learning, William Rainey Harper was of the idea that many would benefit by taking up the first two years of college in their hometowns. This led to the founding of American community colleges. But it was never a smooth sailing; the adoption for distance learning took some time and efforts. In fact, it was said that distance education was designed to provide educational opportunities to those who were not among the elite could not afford full-time residence at an educational institution. It was looked down on as an inferior alternative to traditional education.

However, the need to provide equal access to educational and learning opportunities has always been a part of our society’s democratic ideals. Things kept progressing, the adoption rate kept increasing and then the COVID-19 curve ball hit all of us. Ironical as it may sound, it gave us all an opportunity to iron out any shortcomings of distance learning models, and implement it as remote learning.

The Current Context

Today, COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way people work, learn, and teach around the globe. To mitigate the risk of virus and keep people healthy and in turn engaged, organizations and educational institutions are willing to trade off in-person interactions in favor of remote work or virtual events.

In the case of remote work, organizations and educational institutions are keenly observing and studying the effects of the pandemic situation on productivity, efficiency, work quality, customer satisfaction and more. And with a possibility of downturn in economy, at least in some business segments, this might well turn out to be a double whammy. A recent article from Harvard Business Review has in fact flagged that the current pandemic situation will lead to a significantly changed world. And what is more important is that we need to be prepared for the changed world.

This is where remote learning starts to emerge as a major contributor towards balancing things.  Helping us successfully navigate through the current situation, achieving collective goals, and at the same time helping us to be prepared for the new normal, remote learning is taking an increasingly central role in shaping up a better world.