Written by Josh Cardoz, Principal Learning Strategist at SwissVBS. The original essay appears in Training Industry and can be accessed here.
Let’s face it: Learning is tough. It’s messy. It’s effortful. And of course, it takes time. As learning professionals, we all know these truths, but the realities of our organizations and our learners often dictate otherwise. We focus on one-off “events” (e.g. online courses, ILT, bloated PowerPoint decks, etc.) in the hopes that something will stick and transfer of learning will occur, but everyone familiar with the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve knows just how much is retained in the days and weeks after those events. The need for journey-based learning is an imperative for organizations looking to secure better training ROI. Of course, these habits are difficult to break, so here are five ways you can start moving the needle toward journey-based learning within your organization.
Think back to your first day on the job. What was your most memorable moment? Was it learning about the mission statement of your organization? Or various semi-interesting factoids? Or was it the first friendly face you met? Or the first time you felt safe and empowered on the job?
In my experience, organizations dedicate countless hours and resources to onboarding, but so often miss the mark. Are we really getting the ROI we need, for both the business and the new employee? This is a considerable challenge for most of us as we transition to a learning culture that meets the needs of the Modern Learner. Onboarding needs to be a highly personal, user-driven journey, not a one-off organizational event. So how is this done?
As we celebrate this year’s Brandon Hall award for onboarding for our work with Continental, it’s been nice to reflect back on what made it so successful.
A compelling narrator? An iconic learning brand? Fast pace? Humor? Striking visuals?
Maybe a little bit of all those things.
When you're a full-service learning design & production agency, you get all kinds of requests:
"Do you do games?"
"Can you include some CGI?" (We are not a hollywood studio.)
"Can you fix our LMS?" (A personal favorite of mine.)
But one that's becoming increasingly popular is, "Can you do individualized learning paths?"
Individualized learning has always been the dream. The only things that have ever gotten in the way of achieving this have been budget, time and resources (so, basically everything). But with the growing maturity of technology fused into everything we do, this dream is alive and kicking. Yes, we "do" individualized learning paths. We call it Dynamic Learning and it is revolutionizing the way our customers are thinking about learning, in the most unexpected ways.
Yesterday, the Harvard Business Review published an interesting article on “How Learning and Development are Becoming More Agile” where a particular quote caught my eye:
The future of learning is three ‘justs’: just enough, just-in-time, and just-for-me.” It means that training is going to have to be just as agile as the workforce — where speed, flexibility, and innovation are key. It means that more learning will happen in teams, and on platforms where training can be delivered any time, any place, at the user’s convenience.
Topics: Mobile Learning
We live in an age of lists. Social media, news cycles, blogs - everything is presented to us now in the "Top 10 ways to do X." By design, it's a great way to catch your attention and a highly consumable way to access information. So whenever I look at the "Top eLearning trends for 20XX" I often think: Is this real? or just click bait?
When reading those type of articles, I always think: What's the point?
If I'm leading an L&D unit within my organization, I'm not interested in this year's trend. Trends work for the tiny tweaks you make to your overall learning culture, but when you have to build a 5-year L&D strategy for your org and have to think about long term infrastructure investments (hardware, software, resources), being trendy doesn't make the cut, but being right - in terms of knowing where the ideas around L&D are moving - does.
Accurately measuring ROI in L&D is the golden egg in our industry. It's what everybody wants, but what nobody has been able to achieve. In part, that's because learning is never the only thing that contributes to performance (and what is?). That makes isolating its effects incredibly challenging.
At the same time, organizations, whether internally or externally, are always looking to prove that what they are doing works. So how do we find that golden egg without destroying the goose that laid it?
Topics: Performance Analytics
So you want to go mobile, but don’t know where to start. Most people start by thinking: “We need an app.”
We hear this a lot from our customers where, over the last 6-12 months, someone has tapped their shoulder, telling them they need to go mobile.
Ok. Sure. An app would be important. But then what?
How much does your organization invest in training per year? If you were to break down your budget allocation, how much of it would you say is spent in pre-learning and typical training content (e.g. workshops, eLearning)? And what about post-learning? How far does your post-learning extend? Is your post-learning tied more to your prior learning moment or your upcoming performance moment(s)? Chances are you, like most L&D functions, focus on typical training content, with perhaps a bit more attached on either end through pre- and post- learning support. But is this an efficient model for learning?