Event report: Certified by Drillster 2022

Blog / News | 28-10-22

October 6, 2022, Certified by Drillster took place, our annual event for customers, partners, colleagues and other friends of Drillster. The goal is to learn and inspire. The location was the ‘Island of Maurik’. A beautiful venue by the water. It was a nice late summer’s day, which came in handy for the powerboat. More on that later.
Keep reading to get a comprehensive event report (click here for the report in Dutch). Don’t feel like reading? Then watch this aftermovie:

Smartphone focus

Drillster’s own Marco van Sterkenburg and Arnoud Schmitz started the official program. Marco talked about a number of developments that have taken place in recent years. One important – and worrisome – development is the lack of focus. We have become so accustomed to the constant impulses of our smartphones that we can barely manage to fully concentrate on a task for just half a minute (!). Not a minute goes by or you get a ntext message, a push notification with breaking news, an email, an offer from your favorite store, and so on. And when that doesn’t happen, you still feel the need to constantly check your phone. This constant urge poses a threat to learning.

That same phone is the cause of the ‘Google Effect on Memorization”. A theory by Dr. Betsy Sparrow that states that people learn less information by heart, but remember where they can find it quickly: on their phone. So this constant access to information makes us remember less. And that is precisely why we need to learn smarter and more efficiently. After all, there is plenty of knowledge and expertise that you can’t just look up, but that you absolutely must know by heart in order to be able to apply it immediately. In case of an emergency for example. Marco concluded his talk with the following advice for maintaining focus, and successful learning and memorization:

  1. Define a clear goal
  2. Which should be meaningful,
  3. Challenging, without becoming impossible,
  4. And interactive (not passive).

Customer stories

Three customers joined on stage: David Mooijaart from HSAprogram, Bob Hoogstede from KLM and Miguel Breithor from Univé. One by one they told about their experiences with Drillster. How do they use Drillster? What goes well? And especially: what goes less well? After all, we have come together to learn from each other.

  • Bob Hoogstede (KLM) talked about his experiences with the learning tool. He uses the ‘Flip the Classroom’ principle in which he uses drills to create a basic level of knowledge with students. “The ‘live’ classroom training sessions are then used mainly for practical exercises. This makes on-site training days more effective.” Bob also told how the rollout could be better at times. “The first time drills were rolled out, there was a lot of focus on communication and education about the tool. That was well received. The second time was for a new target group during a lockdown. There was little communication about what was coming. It caused quite a bit of resistance and misunderstanding.” From now on, KLM will always pay serious attention to communication with end-users. In the near future, in addition to drills on theoretical knowledge, they will also create drills for practical applications. Before these drills will be distributed to the (new) target group, they will be evaluated and improved by experienced end-users.
  • David Mooijaart (HSAprogram) explained how he uses Drillster as a learning game for knowledge anchoring. He created a commercial development program for sales professionals, and his trainees’ enjoyment of the program is important. “As one of the three pillars in the development program, Drillster is used to increase trainees’ knowledge before we all get together for a group session.” David finds that he now gets in-depth questions about applying the theory, rather than questions about the theory itself, as before. “This saves a lot of time, and at the end of the course, trainees have learned better and remembered more.” 
  • Miguel Breithor (Univé) talked about Univé’s organizational structure. “The insurance company consists of eight regional Univé offices (RUs), each of which has its own goals and can make its own decisions. The claims department started learning with Drillster and it’s used gratefully.” Miguel and his colleagues still need to get more support throughout the other RUs. “Fortunately, the other RUs are starting to realize the added value of the learning tool more and more. We are already interacting a lot with stakeholders (trainers and team leaders) from other departments. These stakeholders later become ambassadors who can promote and activate Drillster regionally.”

Rollout on a roll

Clients find that learning programs accompanied with clear and motivating communication at launch are more successful than when there was less (or no) focus on communication. It’s important to explain exactly what the new way of learning is and why it is useful. Experience shows that acceptance and adoption are very high when the rollout is well orchestrated. Marco and Arnoud gave examples of EPHEC, VodafoneZiggo and KLM Cargo. These companies came up with fun ways to introduce Drillster to employees, such as cupcakes, paper airplanes, webinars, and a Drillster stand on-site. These examples can also be found in the Internal Communication Toolkit that Drillster developed to help customers get started with the rollout phase. 

All Certified visitors have received an email containing the toolkit. Would you also like to receive the toolkit? Then email info@drillster.com, and we’ll send it to you.

Certified certificate

After the customer stories and many interesting questions from the audience, we moved on to the next topic: the Certified by Drillster certificate. A stamp of approval for all instructional drill designers who demonstrate mastery of the 10 Drill Design Principles and thereby create good drill content. Good learning content is extremely important for the learning effect and the success of the total learning program. To better assist instructional designers personally, we offer all clients a one-on-one drill review with our own Drill Designers. During the review, you can ask questions and get tips and tricks for possible improvements. You will then receive the ‘Certified by Drillster’ certificate. 

5000 drills

A number of designers have already completed the drill review. Among them is someone we wanted to pay special attention to. Antoinette van Duijn, Project Leader Digital Learning Resources at Staal & Roeland Publishing, has owned a Drillster account for over eight years and has worked on over 5000 (!) drills. As an enthusiastic Drillster user from the very beginning and highly engaged customer, she often shares feedback with us about the app, the drill player, and the drill editor. This helps us improve our products. Because we appreciate it so much, as an honorary drill designer, Antoinette received the first certificate of the year live during the event.

Would you also like to schedule a drill review and become Certified by Drillster? All you have to do is send an email to info@drillster.com and we’ll schedule an appointment with you. Of course, if you work with multiple drill designers within your company, we can do the review together.


After the ‘official’ part, all that remained for the visitors was to eat, drink and network. While enjoying a delicious barbeque, people were chatting away. One of the highlights of the day turned out to be the ‘Rib Powerboat’. A boat that raced over the water at 80 kilometers per hour. Throughout the evening, two boats sailed around so that all the guests could hop on. A cool experience that will definitely stick.

We learned a lot, got inspired, ate well, and survived the powerboat ride. We would like to thank everyone who attended for a great day. Hopefully, we’ll see you next time!