Supporting Bloom’s Taxonomy Learning Objectives with Digital Methods

Bloom's taxonomy digital learning methods cover

Supporting Bloom’s Taxonomy Learning Objectives with Digital Methods

For several decades, Bloom’s taxonomy has belonged to many L&D professionals toolbox. While the frameworks itself are somewhat dated, they still provide good tools for structuring learning objectives. In fact, along with Kirkpatrick’s model for training evaluation, the taxonomy is perhaps the second most prevalent industry staple. While in the future we are likely to move more into performance-based learning objectives, we still continue to educate people in knowledge heavy areas where immediate performance impact is not self-evident. Hence, it pays to evaluate how we can use Bloom’s framework today in the learning space where a digital forms a large part of the delivery. Therefore, we’ll look at Bloom’s taxonomy in more detail and how to support it with digital learning methods. 

The six levels of Bloom’s taxonomy progress as follows: 

  1. Knowledge
  2. Comprehension
  3. Application
  4. Analysis
  5. Synthesis
  6. Evaluation

Delivering “Knowledge” with Digital 

For a long time, digital (or eLearning for that matter) has been a common way of delivering knowledge. However, to fulfil the knowledge part of the learning objectives according to Bloom’s taxonomy, we have to pay attention to the delivery. Firstly, it’s highly important to understand what helps learners to remember and recall knowledge. Tools and methods like spaced learning and microlearning are modern ways of structuring digital content to aid in just that. 

Ensuring “Comprehension” with knowledge checks

When developing learning, we’d naturally like the learners to grasp the concepts beyond just the factual level. Hence, it’s important to build adequate comprehension elements into digital learning experiences. While an increasing part of the comprehension analytics can be accomplished with seamless learning tracking, on many occasions it’s good to build proper assessment. Generally, you should build assessment and knowledge checks that go beyond factual recollection. Furthermore, it’s beneficial to distribute the knowledge checks within the materials and space them over time. 

Supporting “Application” with digital 

Generally, the application part of the Bloom’s taxonomy and learning equation occurs in the workplace. However, that’s not to say we shouldn’t utilise the power of digital to facilitate that application to the best of our ability. Ideally, the scope of your learning analytics would cover the relevant behavioural and performance metrics to find out whether application is actually happening. In case your data capabilities are not yet at that level, you can (besides contacting us for help!) use different techniques to try to gauge the rate of application. For instance, digital surveys and 360 evaluations provide tools to assess behaviours on both individual and organisational level. However, keep in mind that self-reported data is often full of bias! 

Facilitating the “Analysis” of knowledge

A good part of learning deals with understanding what we already know and how that related to the grand scheme of things. Naturally, you can facilitate the analysis part with various types of self-paced assignments requiring critical thinking. In the age of digital, however, you could use the power of social media tools to facilitate social learning. Modern social learning tools provide a good way for learners to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts at hand and their relationship with current workplace practices and strategy. This enables learners not only to rely on their own conceptual understanding but to learn from others’ as well. 

Providing a platform to “Synthesise” information

Building on the analysis stage, the synthesis of knowledge is highly important to bring the learning back to the workplace. With highly abstract topics (e.g. leadership, soft skills etc.), collaborative learning activities can deliver high impact. As synthesis is a lot about creating new ways of working based on the newly learnt and existing knowledge, you’ll want to focus on that. At this stage, the confines of the learning system (e.g. LMS) become too narrow, and we need to find other pathways to success. Collaboration tools (e.g. Slack) provide a good platform to not only support learning, but also to produce and share work and practical applications of the newly learnt. If you’re not yet employing collaborative platforms, user-generated content can be a meaningful way to execute some of this as well. Learners can e.g. share their experiences of different applications and learn from others. 

Enabling reflective “Evaluation” via digital platforms

The highest level of Bloom’s taxonomy is evaluation. Evaluation generally involves presenting and defending opinions based on the developed conceptual knowledge and synthesis. Similar to “Synthesis”, collaborative and social learning tools provide great mediums for facilitating the evaluation level. Learners can share their own opinions, engage with others’ and hence refine their thinking. While there’s a lot of tools for this type of delivery, a proper mindset is equally important. As an organisation, you should encourage the sharing of opinions. To do this successfully, you naturally need to acknowledge that those opinions may be critical or not aligned with the current practice. However, you should not aim to silence all the critics as it is these types of discussions that spark internal innovation in organisations. 

Are you using Bloom’s taxonomy to structure your learning objectives? Would you like to find out more about different digital methods to support the learning process? If so, just contact us here – we’re happy to share! 

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Towards a Modern Learning Culture – Enabling Digital Transformation

Modern corporate learning culture

Towards a Modern Learning Culture – Enabling Digital Transformation

With the current pace of change in the business environment, learning has become a major factor determining organisational success. While businesses – and learning and development in particular – are going through digital transformation, learning culture has emerged as an organisational success factor. Organisations that are learning at the speed of change are much more likely to survive in the hyper competitive environment. Therefore, we wanted to share some of the cornerstone elements of great learning cultures. While adoption of new technologies into the flow of learning remains important, there’s limited success to be had without a modern, agile learning culture.

A great organisational learning culture needs the whole organisation

Great learning cultures don’t emerge without buy-in and commitment from all levels of the organisation. It starts from the leadership. Signing off on projects and writing checks for the L&D team is not enough. Rather, the leadership must become actively involved in the learning processes and champion change initiatives. Furthermore, it’s important to integrate learning into the workflow and day-to-day operations. This requires commitment from the line managers. Finally, you need the employees to actually take advantage of the learning opportunities you provide to them.

But how would you go about accomplishing this? Firstly, a data-driven approach to learning should help you to link learning to performance, communicate its importance and secure commitment for learning from your leaders. Secondly, learning analytics will also help you to communicate the behavioural impact on people to line managers. If you demonstrate that you can make operations more efficient through learning, you won’t have a hard time securing commitment. Finally, you can work to ensure learning uptake by your employees through collaborative approaches. Switch traditional top-down learning design methods to more learner-centric ones. A great learning culture should attempt to provide personalised learning opportunities to each employee.

Great learning cultures embrace inclusivity and equal opportunity

If organisations want to truly engage their employees with learning, they should adopt an inclusive approach to it. By providing inclusive and equal opportunities of learning for all employees, regardless of their place in the organisational chart, you are making a big statement. Instead of treating learning as a pastime of a select few, you’re letting your people know that they’ll have all the opportunities they need to develop within the organisation.

Naturally, it’s not feasible for commercial enterprises to sit their employees in training on a free-for-all basis. However, digital learning delivery provides a great way of giving everyone equal access to learning – without jeopardising productivity. Thus, the employees who want to develop themselves can do so, at their own time and pace. A commitment to opportunities across the board goes a long way for developing a great learning culture.

Empowerment is key for all learning initiatives

If you don’t empower your employees, you’re not going to stay competitive. That applies to learning and development as well. There are two primary means for empowering your learners to succeed.

First, you need to start curating learning on your employees’ terms. All organisations engage probably engage in some sort of training needs analysis. Yet, only very few really make their employees a part of the learning process at the design stages. Failing to do that usually result in learning interventions that are of questionable relevance, and may even fail to address the real problems. Hence, we highly recommend adopting a co-creation approach to learning design. Make your employees an integral part of the process; use their expertise, subject matter and knowledge of the day-to-day jobs to design truly impactful learning experiences.

Second, the perhaps even more important factor to learning culture is making sure your employees can also apply the learning. When advising companies on learning transformation, we’ve found out this is a problem that not even many organisations are aware of. They may be producing very high quality learning experiences, but the employees may remain unsatisfied. When surveying the employees independently, we often find out they feel they don’t have reasonable means of applying the things learnt. This could be due to corporate culture, lack of line manager commitment, office politics or fear of going out of one’s comfort zone. That’s fundamentally an appalling situation, since no matter how the L&D team tries to twist it, there’s just no learning ROI.

Conclusion

Overall, the learning culture of an organisation is at the core of determining the success of learning- and digital transformation. To us, the importance of culture even exceeds that of the learning technology stacks. You may invest in all state-of-the-art tools, but if you don’t empower and engage across the organisation, you’re likely not to see much in terms of results.

Are you aware of the real barriers to learning in your organisation? Do you need advise on digital transformation of learning or nurturing a learning culture? If yes, feel free to contact us for consultation.

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Learning Content Curation vs. Design – Find What Suits You

Learning Content Curation vs Design

Learning Content Curation Vs. Design – Benefits and Pitfalls of Each Approach

The role of knowledge and information in learning and development has shifted quite dramatically in the last 10 years. Whereas knowledge once was a luxury available to the few, it has now become a free commodity available everywhere. Furthermore, with the impeccable speed of change it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep knowledge relevant and up-to-date. Hence, the old big investments into packaging of knowledge (learning content) have somewhat dried up – and for a valid reason. Organisations are sometimes struggling to justify the costs of designing learning activities from the ground up. As a result, a field of learning content curation has picked up. To clear up the ambiguities around content curation and learning design, let’s take a closer look into both.

What is learning content design? What is learning content curation?

Traditionally, the corporate approach to learning – and eLearning in particular – has been a design-led approach. The basic units, courses, are built from scratch. Learning content design generally starts with collection of subject matter, followed by scripting, storyboarding, building interactivity, visual design and technical execution, just to name a few. Overall, it’s a very tedious and resource-consuming process, but the results can be excellent if the designers are at the top of their game.

Learning content curation, on the other hand, relies on existing and readily available content. The fundamental principle is that of packaging, re-engineering and linking content to form coherent and relevant learning experience. Whereas a learning designer would build from scratch, a learning curator would compile material from sources available, with very little time spent on technical execution.

What’s the better approach then? Learning content curation or design?

As any complex problem, there’s no straight right or wrong answer to this one either. However, here’s a list of pros and cons with each approach that may help you to form an educated decision for your next project.

Learning Content Curation – PROS: 

Learning Content Curation – CONS:

  • There may not always be learning content available for your specific needs
  • Content cannot reach the same level of tailoring and customisation as with traditional design

Learning Content Design – PROS

  • Possible to deliver beautiful, tailored learning experiences
  • Better ability to address company specific issues – you control the type of content you have

Learning Content Design – CONS

  • Very time – and resource-consuming. Building learning content from scratch takes a very long time
  • Inflexibility in responding to rapid changes in the business and learning needs
  • Traditional top-down learning content design approaches have not produced good results (you may try more learner-centric design instead)

Finding a strategy that fits your learning needs

Overall, we expect a large shift towards a more curative approach to learning content in the future. The benefits of significant increase in flexibility and lower costs are too much to overrule. However, the design approach is not going to die either. If we were to build a corporate learning strategy on a clean table, we would advise our clients the following way. “Build capabilities for using a learning content curation approach for most of your learning content needs. Yet, consider using more comprehensive design processes to deliver training in high-impact areas”.

Are you curating or designing? Do you need help in shifting from a design focused strategy to a more agile curative approach? We can help you on the journey, just contact us.

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Flipping Corporate Learning – Reinforcing Behaviours & Performance

Flipped learning approach for corporates

Reinforcing Behavioural Change And Performance Using Flipped Learning In A Corporate Context

 

This article was first published on eLearning Industry, and we have modified it slightly since. You can access the original article here

One of the main challenges in corporate L&D today is sustaining behavioural change and performance. Ultimately, most learning activities are done to facilitate some sort of change. Yet, when it comes to applying the knowledge and skills learned from a blend of learning activities, the learners often feel left alone. Thus, they haven’t got enough practice, exposure or opportunities to actually start behaving in a new way. A lot of these are attributable to the tendency in the corporate L&D space to focus too heavily on knowledge delivery. When undergoing the paradigm shift from knowledge-focus to a performance-focus, adopting flipped learning in a corporate context is a good approach.

What Is Flipped Learning In A Nutshell?

Flipped learning is an approach that the education world has been adopting for the past 10+ years with great success. Initially, the approach was developed on the notion that direct instruction does not work terribly well in a group setting, while activities and ‘homework’ seemed to produce more results with the social group context. Therefore, educators started experimenting with bringing direct instruction (‘lectures’) into the individual learning space, whereas they brought practice, discussion and reflection (‘homework’) back to the classroom.

Fast forward to the corporate world in 2018, where learning has largely taken a blended and increasingly digital approach. Many organisations have all the latest tools when it comes to Learning and Development. Yet, almost equally many are struggling in translating the learning to actual changes in behaviour and improved performance. In most cases, the fundamental problem is the way companies structure learning experiences. Generally, companies choose an overly knowledge and content–focused approach over more learner-centered design. What could be a potential solution? Try flipping the learning paradigm.

How to design flipped learning experiences in a corporate context?

The overarching goal of flipped learning in a corporate context would be to deliver knowledge in a scalable way at the point of need while maximising the behavioural and performance impact through the efficient use of the “expensive resources” (face-to-face). And here’s how you could get started with a flipped learning approach.

1. It’s important to take a two-fold approach to learning “content”

 You should start by identifying what types of instructional, knowledge-focused content you have. These may include videos, presentations, storyboards, webinar recordings, manuals, documents, and handbooks. You should curate these types of content into a self-paced digital learning experience where learners can consume the knowledge at their own pace. Ultimately, you may consider using digital means for delivering all knowledge-based content and baseline subject matter.

2. You need to re-define the role of the traditional classroom

Instead of delivering knowledge, face-to-face training activities should consist of deeper discussions, simulations, group activities and practice. Naturally, you should design the activities according to the behavioural goals you want to achieve with learning. If you’re doing sales training, the behavioural objective might be to adopt a new selling approach in hopes of increasing sales by X%. In such an example, the activities might consist of sales meeting simulations, group practice pitching, workshops, and personalised coaching. Similarly, for technical training, you should use the face-to-face time to get the learners’ hands dirty and let them experience tools and methods in practice.

3. You should always continue to facilitate learning after the “classroom” sessions

Due to resource constraints and requirements for scalability and efficiency, this is where it often pays for corporates to move back to digital platforms. You can use different digital learning tools for feedback, as well as engaging in instructor-led facilitation, collaboration, and social learning. Ultimately, it’s important to engage the learners over time to keep the learning on their minds, establishing that cognitive presence. Furthermore, you should also give the learners access to performance support; resources designed to help them succeed on their jobs.

Naturally, you can expand upon this cycle, depending on the training topics and success of the learning initiatives. The important thing is to create a risk-free environment for the learners to practice, engage and experience – especially during the face-to-face sessions.

What Are The Potential Benefits Of A Flipped Learning Approach In Corporate Context?

Ok, you’ve got this far. Now let’s look at why this would actually work in the corporate context. Here are a few benefits we are seeing with a flipped learning approach:

  1. The focus is on performance
    The face-to-face activities and post-session facilitation should be all about reinforcing behavioural change and providing tools for increasing performance, which is what ultimately matters. Thus, you’re wasting less time on nice-to-know things and knowledge-not-being-applied.
  2. Increasing the scalability and efficiency of “knowledge delivery”
    By transitioning the knowledge delivery component into digital formats, you can do more with less. Learners can take the first steps of the learning journey at their convenience.
  3. Increasing efficacy and efficiency of face-to-face learning
    You’re using the expensive face-to-face training hours to support real change through practical activities, not just delivering knowledge passively. You’ll be able to deliver greater impact with potentially fewer resources.
  4. Increased learner-centricity
    In a flipped learning approach, learners are able to consume and digest knowledge at their own pace. Furthermore, the new activity-based, face-to-face sessions provide better opportunities for more personalised learning support, as trainers are not wasting their time lecturing.
  5. Encouraging active learning
    A flipped learning approach generally encourages and facilitates a more active involvement and engagement of learners, which translates to improved learning results.

All in all, flipped learning is an approach that makes a lot of sense in today’s corporate L&D. Increase in knowledge alone has little ROI if it doesn’t translate into behaviour and performance. However, flipped learning provides a way of delivering activities to support the behavioural change while retaining efficiency thanks to the blended delivery.

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How to Get Started with Just-In-Time Learning?

just-in-time learning

Implementing Just-in-time Learning – Here’s How to Get Started

Learning in the corporate context has become very time-agnostic in recent years. Due to the drastic speed of change in the technological and business environments, knowledge and skill sets are evolving faster than ever. This requires employees to constantly update their knowledge just to stay on top of the tasks at hand. With the amount of knowledge and the complexity of tasks people undertake each day, we can no longer expect to be able train them everything prior to the work. On one hand, the amount of knowledge required is cumbersome for any L&D department to administer. On the other hand, getting employees to digest it all is impossible due to the problem of cognitive overload. However, a just-in-time learning strategy provides a good alternative to support the employees. Here are some tips on putting it to practice and starting to learn on demand.

Just-in-time learning combines well with mobile

If you had to choose one medium for accessing training content to rely on continuously, that would most likely be mobile. Our mobile (smart) phones are always with us, regardless of where we are. Therefore, mobile learning provides a great medium for just-in-time learning. In fact, a lot of the behaviour has been baked into our routines already. When we need to solve problems, we turn to our mobile search engines. If that doesn’t help, we might instant message our network for help. All this is essentially learning on demand, we just don’t recognise it as such. Hence, mobile is the best platform to power us up to learn just-in-time.

Here are a few things to remember about mobile learning design.

Learning content should be quick-to-consume – insert microlearning

When delivering just-in-time learning, two factors are of great importance: the speed of accessing content and the speed of consuming it. Mobile learning helps a lot with the ease of access. But to add to that, you should make your content easily searchable as well. Providing a mobile gateway to the content is not enough if the learner cannot find the information they need quickly.

Microlearning, on the other hand, can help a lot in the speed of consuming the content. When learning at the point of need, your employees don’t have time to go through traditional long-format courses. But they do have a few minutes to watch e.g. a microlearning video on the topic. There, you should chunk your content into easily digestible, concise pieces with a single learning objective.

Here are a few tips on building effective microlearning content. 

Using social learning to address the needs the L&D department cannot

As mentioned, the amount of knowledge needed for the purposes of just-in-time learning is potentially enormous. And let’s face it, it’s highly likely that your L&D department doesn’t have the resources to respond to every need. However, embracing the natural behaviour of “phone a friend”, you could leverage social learning tools. Whenever an employee encounters a problem that there’s no documented answer to, they could ask the experts in the organisation. In an internal, public forum-like setting, all these problems and answers could be recorded. Therefore, employees facing similar problems in the future would already be able to find solutions and best practices.

Overall, just-in-time learning is a very natural way of learning things. In the VUCA world of today, it’s also required to keep in pace with the change. If there’s no structured approach in place for it, it will happen on employees’ own terms. That effectively gives away the organisation’s control and understanding of what kind of learning is happening and further needed in the workplace. Therefore, organisations should consider formulating a strategy for learning on demand. These tips  provide a good baseline for starting the process.

Are you looking to implement just-in-time learning in your organisation? We can help you formulate a structured approach and strategy for it, as well as provide tools and methods for the implementation and execution. Just drop us a note and we’ll get back to you. 

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Marketing Corporate Learning Internally – Best Practices

Marketing Corporate Learning Programs Internally

How to Excel in Marketing Corporate Learning Internally?

Nowadays, we in the corporate learning field are fighting for employees’ and stakeholders’ attention. Due to their busy schedules among various other factors, employees’ need a bit of a pull to embrace learning opportunities. This is especially true for voluntary programs. So, how do create that pull? How do we convince the learners that the programs we provide are worth participating in? This is an area in which L&D professionals should look into the field of marketing. To help you get started, we’ve compiled here some best practices on marketing your corporate learning internally.

Using key opinion leaders to spread your message

One of the current trends in marketing is the use of well-known influencers to deliver and reinforce your message. For marketing corporate learning internally, you should likewise look into your organisation. Firstly, identify the individuals who your employees perceive as key opinion leaders within their teams, units or the business as a whole. Then, engage them to help you deliver the message. It can happen with word-of-mouth, social media, or on other mediums. Once the employees see the internal influencers vouching for the learning, they are likely more inclined to partake.

Leveraging user testimonials in marketing your corporate learning

Another highly leveraged tactic is to employe user- and peer reviews of content. Recommendations from one’s own personal network constantly top the ranks for the most effective way of user (or consumer) behaviour. Therefore, it makes sense to leverage them in marketing corporate learning as well. Your learning tools or learning management systems (LMS) might already come with possibilities for user reviews and recommendations on content. If not, you could also leverage internal social media or workplace productivity tools to display ratings, testimonials and reviews. Additionally, enabling users to rate content can tremendously help the L&D team to identify the most sought-after training topics.

Engaging line managers for focused promotion efforts

Further, as more and more learning happens in the flow of work, it’s important to engage people in the daily context and environment of work as well. Engaging the line managers who oversee the people on a daily basis is a good idea. Hence, consider spending a bit of time with the line managers to make them aware of what kind of learning activities there are on offer, as well as their benefits and relevance to the team in question. Once you’ve got the line managers on your side, things happen a lot smoother, as people tend to listen to recommendations from them. However, remember that the learning activities have to be efficient. You’re effectively stealing people from the line managers and taking them away from productive work. And quite frankly, most managers don’t seem to like that. So make sure your learning is delivered as efficiently as feasible.

Communicating the learning benefits clearly

Finally, a key factor in getting all of this right is communication. If you wish to be successful in marketing corporate learning programs internally, you need to communicate well. This is especially true for communicating the benefits of the learning to your employees and stakeholders. At this point, we often advise to steer away from the learning objectives. Because no one really cares. As much time as you’ve spent honing the learning objectives, the fact is that they’re irrelevant to most of the audience. The employees are looking for “what’s in it for me”. That’s one of the questions you should be answering; how does this learning program or activity benefit them personally? How about professionally? What kind of opportunities can this learning unlock for them in the organisation?

Following these steps, you should expect an uptake in your learning participation. However, a detrimental factor to remember doing this – like any marketing – is that you must deliver on the promises. If learners don’t like the learning activities or find them meaningful, there’s little you can do. Hence, make sure that you’re doing the best you can in developing engaging learning. A learner-centric design process can help tremendously in achieving that.

If you feel like you could use help in marketing corporate learning internally, we are happy to help. We can also assist you in developing more learner-centric design processes. Just contact us to find out more. 

 

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Future of Instructor-led Training in the Digital Era

Future of Instructor-led training

Future of Instructor-led Training in the Digital Era

Instructor-led training (ILT) has been a major medium of learning delivery in corporates for a long time. However, during its long history, instructor-led training and the methodologies used have not evolved all that much. As a result, ILT is struggling with problems of sustaining results, scalability and flexibility. Furthermore, ILT is having a hard time aligning with L&D trends such as personalisation and performance-centricity. Hence, we thought it might be useful to present some tips on leveraging technology to nurture a paradigm shift towards better ILT.

How can we produce better results with ILT?

The problem with ILT is that it tends to be rather transactional. Due to financial and time constraints, corporates cannot have trainers spend several sessions focusing on learners’ individual problems. Furthermore, the learning experience is not spaced over time. Hence, new knowledge is easily forgotten, and results remain poor. To produce better results, training needs to adopt a more blended approach, which also helps with the scalability and flexibility.

A good blended learning approach can be a mix of digital learning activities and instructor-led training. Digital elements such as refreshers, discussions, microlearning and evaluations can be used to support the learning over time. With a careful structuring of learning journeys, employees come to ILT sessions already tuned in to the topic. Hence, it’s much easier for the trainer to pick up the pace and create impact. Furthermore, trainer-led facilitation can continue even after the session.

Instructor-led training 2.0 – facilitating across platforms

To sustain a behavioural change in the learners – to produce real results – requires continuity. Behavioural change doesn’t happen overnight or with a single training activity. Therefore, it’s important that we keep the engagement going. Instructor-led facilitation is a natural way of doing this. Instead of losing more productivity to the classroom, trainers should equip themselves to meet the learners across platforms.

For instance, once the ILT session has gone by, trainers can move to social media tools. Ideally, your digital learning platform comes with a social learning feature of managing discussions. If not, don’t you worry! You don’t need expensive tools to facilitate. It’s highly likely that a vast majority of your learners are already using social media and communication tools (e.g. WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook). You should tap into that by having trainers facilitate further learning across those platforms – the employees are already there! Sure, it’s not quite as sophisticated as integrated social learning tools with powerful analytics capabilities. Yet, even small things can have big impact. The important thing is that trainers are making themselves available for performance support, the ‘Pull’ type of learning.

Personalising Instructor-led training

Finally, the personalisation problem of ILT is an area in which you can go a long way with proper technological support. In learning, one size doesn’t fit all, it never has. Yet, highly structured ILT activities are aiming to do just that.  Personalised learning is all about understanding the learners’ context: what is relevant? What helps them succeed in their daily jobs? What kind of experiences and backgrounds are the learners building on?

Advanced learning data capabilities and analytics help tremendously in this regard. Trainers can zoom in on each individuals’ skills development in real-time, not forgetting non-learning experiences. This way, trainers are able to deliver learning catering to each individual’s unique needs. This helps in sustaining the paradigm shift from knowledge to performance focused learning and ultimately, better results.

Are you using technology to support your organisation on its way to the future of instructor-led training? If you think you need help, you can always schedule a free consultation with us. 

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Learning Digitalisation – 5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Learning Digitalisation

Learning Digitalisation – 5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid

More and more organisations are currently undergoing a digital transformation process for L&D or looking to digitalise their learning activities. Whether the desired outcome will be fully digital or blended learning, companies should keep in mind a number of things. As with any change, good planning and strategy makes or breaks the initiative. We decided to help you in crafting the optimal strategy for digital learning. Hence, here are 5 common pitfalls to avoid with learning digitalisation.

1. Not re-engineering learning content for digital delivery

One of the first things where organisations try to cut corners is learning content. “Powerpoints, PDFs and text based manuals have worked for a long time. Why don’t we just upload them to the learning system?” Absolutely not. These mediums may work with active facilitation in a classroom setting, but they are just abysmal for digital delivery. A lot of it doesn’t scale to different screen sizes, and none of it has any interactivity. Digital learning cannot be passive, otherwise you’ll lose out a lot on effectiveness. The 21st century content needs to be full of two-way interactivity and use mediums like animations, simulations and video.

There are no fast wins here. Interactive content development does take time. But good strategic planning will get you started on the right track. And of course there are vendors you can engage as well.

2. Restricting accessibility with archaic platforms

In 2018, the world is mobile and so is our learning. Your employees want to learn anytime, anywhere, using the short segments of downtime they have during their days. However, even a fluid mobile learning experience is not enough. Nowadays learning environments need to work coherently and in-sync across all devices and platforms. Thus, an employee could e.g. start a course at office on his desktop, continue with mobile while commuting and finish off by watching videos on a TV at home.

Mobile and cross-platform functionality is an absolute necessity today. The good news is, thanks to mobile becoming a commodity, these types of platforms can be had at competitive prices! Thus, even small organisations can feasibly look into learning digitalisation without breaking the bank.

3. Neglecting the value of data and learning analytics

Learning data collection and learning analytics will be two of the biggest things impacting L&D for the foreseeable future. Thus one of the most important questions to answer is how do we measure learning in the future?  One of the most important data specifications for the future of learning is the Experience API (xAPI). We strongly advise against committing to any learning platforms or content tools that do not support xAPI. (You may read more on the importance of xAPI here.)

Unfortunately, the way things work is that if a system is not originally built to collect or handle certain types of data, it may become virtually impossible to do so afterwards. Thus, it’s of utmost importance to do proper due diligence on the existing data capabilities and specifications.

4. Neglecting Learner User Experience

As mentioned, data capabilities are of utmost importance in learning digitalisation. However, the learning user experience is equally important. A great looking platform is not enough by itself. Engaging and interactive content is not enough by itself. Both of the aforementioned are not enough if you’re not providing true accessibility and freedom of learning. Therefore, it’s important to study and understand your learners – what are their preferences and how should their whole learning journey be facilitated as seamlessly as possible. The technologies, learning culture and practices need to be aligned.

5. “Black and White” mindset in learning digitalisation

Many companies, vendors especially, claim that learning digitalisation solves all L&D problems of the future. But of course it doesn’t. On the other hand, many trainers believe that you simply cannot facilitate certain topics digitally. History has proven both wrong many times. Hence, it’s important to understand the place, meaning and value of digital in the context of the whole L&D strategy. Furthermore, you should be liberal to experiment with different topics and different types of delivery. A carefully crafted blended learning approach can work wonders, using digital to support face-to-face and vice versa. Thus, it’s important to examine your training needs, experiment, and figure out what kind of solutions you can come up for individual topics.

Are you looking to digitalise your learning activities? If you need help with understanding systems and technology or producing engaging and interactive learning content, we are happy to help. Just contact us

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Fostering Growth Mindset with Your (Digital) Learning Strategy

Growth Mindset

Fostering Growth Mindset with Your (Digital) Learning Strategy

In today’s business, agility, resilience and the willingness to take risks defines the best and most innovative organisations. To achieve a culture embracing challenges, change and risks, organisations need to nurture a Growth Mindset in their employees. Professor Carol Dweck has done extensive research on individuals and companies, examining the performance differences between a fixed mindset and growth mindset. In short, a fixed mindset seems to be holding back change and innovation, whereas organisations with a growth mindset are able to truly embrace the rapidly changing environment.

You can read more about Carol Dweck and Fixed vs. Growth Mindset here. 

To drive the mindset change from fixed to growth, learning and development plays an important part. Everything starts from the mindset and strategy in this regard as well. Hence, here are 4 important things you should incorporate into your learning strategy to enable growth mindset.

Effort praise vs. intelligence praise

In her research, Prof. Dweck found out that people who are praised for their intelligence (“you’re so smart”) become much less prone to taking on risks and new challenges. They fear losing their status of intelligence or recognition if they don’t excel in the next challenge. On the other hand, people who have been praised for their effort (“you worked hard and did well, but could you improve further?”) are more likely to develop a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset tend to embrace all the challenges and difficulties that come their way.

Naturally, as a business, you are likely better off with people with a growth mindset. Hence, it’s important to start recognising effort instead of intelligence. This starts from the feedback culture. You should always keep the learners on their toes – remind them that there’s always room for improvement and more to learn. Encourage the top performers in any learning activity to seek out more advanced knowledge. Meanwhile, encourage the bottom performers to try again, possibly with different approaches.

Therefore, you should implement constant and continuous feedback streams across your learning – focusing on effort. Digital platforms provide great ways of providing such feedback. Furthermore, enabling constant, effort-centered feedback is very easy to implement across all digital learning content. However, no matter how you go about it, remember not to encourage effort the wrong way. You don’t want your employees to keep trying repeatedly and blindly without seeing any results. Instead, you should encourage them to seek new ways of doing things and achieving their learning goals.

Reward the learning journey instead of the end result

On a related note, organisations should also consider rewarding the effort put into learning. Often, it is easy to reward top performers who e.g. have scored the highest in a formal test. However, if the existing skill level of these people has already been high, it’s likely that very little development has happened. Hence, you may easily fall back to intelligence praise. Instead of rewarding just top performers, you should perhaps look at development on a wider level. You should ask yourself which of your employees have developed the most. They may not be the best yet, but they have likely exercised the most effort. Thus, you should recognise the effort reminding them that everything is within their reach as long as they work hard for it. This is key in developing the growth mindset.

Personalise learning opportunities

We all know that learning is a highly individual thing – people learn in different styles and have different preferences. Therefore, your L&D activities should be more learner-centric rather than company-centric. Instead of having a single, corporate-defined pathway to learning success, you should enable people to work on their strengths. Kinetic learners will likely struggle with traditional approaches, whereas highly motivated individuals may lose interest in learning formats without social elements or discovery.

Therefore, it’s important to personalise both the learning journeys as well as learning content delivery. Digital provides great opportunities for personalising learning journey’s according to individual’s skill levels, learning styles etc. Whenever someone’s struggling, encourage them to try alternative approaches, and provide supporting resources. If someone is not learning in a classroom, try experiential or digital delivery – and vice versa. This also communicates trust to your staff – they’ll know that they have an opportunity to try again if they fail initially. And that’s what growth mindset is all about.

Embrace mistakes and enable a risk-free learning environment

Finally, failure and mistakes are things that should be embraced rather than avoided in the corporate learning space. Overall, making mistakes is one of the strongest drivers of learning. Surely no employee is wilfully making mistakes and adversely affecting the business.

Enabling a risk-free learning culture is important. You should never punish employees for mistakes or imperfections. Hence, you should build all learning activities in a way that they can be re-done. If an employee scores low in assessment or doesn’t get a good review, let them try again. Especially in the realm of digital learning, repetition costs no extra. If you have areas of training which are hard to do train live in the fear of making mistakes (e.g. frontline jobs), you could consider digital learning simulations or immersions.

All in all, the best thing L&D professionals can do to foster growth mindset development is to avoid putting people in boxes. Every one of your employees has the potential to be a high performer (if not, you might revisit your hiring decisions), they just need to find their own way. And you as an employee should provide them to tools to do that.

Are you focusing your recognition on intelligence rather than effort? Would you like to find out how you can leverage digital on providing personalised learning with effort-centric recognition? Contact us to find out more.  

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