How to Train 40,000 2018 FIFA World Cup Volunteers to Be the Best in the World
July, 2018
In 2018, Russia hosted the FIFA World Cup, which FIFA President Gianni Infantino called "the best in history." The volunteers, whose training included training through Skill Cup, made a significant contribution to such a high assessment.
In a short time, it was necessary to select the best of the best and prepare them for events from scratch. "Serial" volunteers are rare in the FIFA World Cup, and one cannot count on a large number of professionals.

To understand the importance of the role of a volunteer at the World Cup, it is enough to list their tasks. Volunteers helped in the work of:
1. ticket offices at stadiums and ticket centers;
2. points of public catering;
3. medical services;
4. "hot lines" and information points;
5. media centers and media relations;
6. greeted guests and helped with navigating guests at airports and train stations;
7. organize the accommodation of guests;
8. create a general atmosphere of hospitality and introduce guests to their cities.

A task


Volunteer training via smartphone
Immersion in the history of the Championship and its values.
Helps the volunteer
All material is divided into small parts, allowing you to study complex topics in parts.
Does not distract from work
In case of difficulties, you can always open the application and find the answer to the desired question.
Always at hand
Mobile adaptation in Skill Cup does not scare you with a complicated interface and looks more like familiar applications.
Familiar and comfortable
During adaptation, the newcomer does not feel lonely - he can fight a duel and see other new employees respond.
In the company of other volunteers
A volunteer learns new material on the way to work, over coffee, between cases.
From anywhere
More than 5,000 volunteers were selected to serve the 2017 Confederations Cup and more than 35,000 volunteers to work in the framework of the FIFA World Cup. Without large-scale and serious preparation, no one can cope with such a set of versatile responsibilities.

training volunteers based on Skill Cup

We received 177,000 applications from over 120 countries, from which we had to select the number we needed. But then the volunteers still needed to be trained, because they had to work in more than 20 functional areas.

According to FIFA requirements, training had to be accessible and innovative, so the blended learning format became the ideal format, that is, combining face-to-face training and self-study on smartphones.
Tatiana Gomzyakova
Volunteer Director of the 2018 FIFA World Cup
To organize distance learning for tens of thousands of volunteers, an IT solution was required that, on the one hand, would contain a large amount of interactive educational content in Russian and English, and on the other hand, it would work smoothly outside of training centers, and ideally would be available to volunteers in any place and anytime on their smartphones.

For mobile learning, it was necessary to create original content about the history of football, philosophy and values of the Championship, as well as volunteer competencies, health and safety, rules for communicating with players, interaction with the media and others, and present it in an accessible and effective form.
The training scheme, developed by Skill Cup methodologists for the World Championship volunteers, was based on the concept of microlearning - this means that the array of necessary information was decomposed into small semantic blocks, rewritten in the most accessible form and visualized with infographics and animation. Short training sessions of 5-10 minutes ensured low user fatigue, and the use of gamification provided various game mechanics that help users learn more easily and strive to gain new ones - additional engagement and retention.

Microlearning and gamification

According to the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, we don't remember 80% of what we learned in the last month. Regular mastering of small volumes of educational content and active use of already assimilated information is much more useful for memorization than simple repetition. Microlearning does not overwhelm learners with unnecessary facts and is especially attractive to millennials with their clip thinking.
Roman Mandrick
Co-founder & CEO of Skill Cup
For the volunteers themselves, the learning process looked very simple, almost like reading a feed on any popular social network. The volunteer opened the application with educational materials, chose the one he needed and leafed through it, studying the content. Each material is designed for 3-10 minutes to make the material easier to learn and remember. It could contain infographics, rare archival photographs, video or animation clips with a story about a phenomenon or with an explanation of procedures. If the material or its reading implied a knowledge test, then the volunteer could go through it right in the application, without using third-party services or sites.
How was the training organized?


After the event, volunteers evaluate the organizers on more than 10 parameters, and out of the maximum 10 points, we received 9.4 in terms of satisfaction. This is a very good result. On average, volunteers spent more than three hours on the mobile learning platform. This is a very good result. Nobody has done it on such a scale as it was done in our country.

We received the highest marks both from the fans, because our volunteers did not just smile, but really helped, even in difficult situations, focusing on the move, and from FIFA. Organizing committees of other championships are already interested in our experience.
Tatiana Gomzyakova
Volunteer Director of the 2018 FIFA World Cup
According to the statistics obtained by the organizing committee of the World Championship, during the work of the project, more than 500 thousand successful passages of various modules of the volunteer course were registered. The World Cup experience can be easily transferred to employee training. Dozens of large companies are already successfully using mobile learning, increasing staff productivity and improving KPIs.