With the conference at Olympia getting underway this week at Olympia, London, we asked one of our experienced Learning & Development Consultants, Peter Reed, to give a run-down of the key things to consider when looking at various new and improved ways of engaging your learners.
Getting the right learning technology
Learning technology has the potential to radically improve your organisation’s performance, so getting the best solution is important. Getting the best from learning technology does not mean buying the most capable system you can afford. And the perceived training, or educational requirement is often not the best place to start the learning technology procurement process either. To get the best from learning technology you need to understand how you learners are going to learn.
How they are really going to learn
Learning technology promises the possibility of learning anytime, anywhere, but when was the last time that you spent your own time learning something for work? Something that you were not interested in and did not offer an immediate and positive return?
If you are the individual that answers yes to this question, then well done, but can you say that your colleagues are cut from the same cloth? If the answer to this second question is no, and it probably was, then you need to think about how you can create the most effective learning experience to deliver the operational effect that you want.
Placing the learner at the centre of your learning technology acquisition decision, rather than considering them as an end user, is the most effect way to get best from your learning technology.
So what does this mean in practice?
It means think about the learner, the learning and the learning space and buying or developing what you need to do the job. We will consider the learning space in the next blog, but for now the focus is on the learner.
Firstly why does the learner want to do this training? Not why does the organisation need them to do this, or what does the learner need to do. What will get the learner to engage?
Secondly, have you communicated the need to the learner? Learning is often part of a change programme and there should be an organisational change management plan that informs the learner what is coming and telling them why the change (the learning) is important. The learner should be looking forward to the learning experience!
Having whetted the learner’s appetite you now need to think how the learning can be presented and how the technology can help.
Points to consider
As a rule of thumb simple knowledge transfer (facts) can be done in bit size chunks, pretty much anywhere. So it’s not unreasonable to expect learners to do this on the train or bus, less likely in the car, or at home.
Skills though, including new processes, need practise. Gamification of processes may make the acquisition of these skills more interesting (all learning should strive to be interesting), but to get people to engage with a new invoicing system at home is still a bit of a stretch.
Changing attitudes, customer engagement and care, understanding and treating colleagues fairly, is an aspect of learning that needs to be internalise and may require internal bias to be addressed. This can be done by the use of technology, but is probably better addressed by effective facilitation and human interaction.
A Knowledge, Skills and Attitude (KSA) Analysis as part of your training needs analysis is vital to support your learning technology purchasing decision.
Written by Peter Reed, Learning and Development Consultant
If you require any help with your future training requirements don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by contacting us on info@explosivelearningsolutions or by calling us on 01235 861805 and we will be happy to talk through your requirement.
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