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Lance Noland

Self Employed Writer

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Don’t undervalue learning paths in training


If you're involved the corporate world, you are familiar with all the personal development and training required to stay relevant and progress up the ladder. For a long time, corporate training looked like a classroom. It involved books, worksheets, maybe a powerpoint or two, and a teacher or trainer front and center.

Many companies are still using this route to provide education and training to employees despite years of evidence that this was not the most effective way for employees to learn. In fact, only about 10% of what someone reads is retained, a fact that speaks to the volume of money lost in training that employees will soon forget.

In the world of the internet, learning has taken on a whole new life. Information is available on your device from just about anywhere in the world and on any subject you could imagine. What research knows about learning is that information broken down into smaller “chunks” of knowledge allows a learner to process information quickly without taxing long term memory, and the internet is ready to provide.

Companies concerned about information loss can keep in mind the social nature of learning, as well as the concept of “chunking.” Chunking is the practice of giving meaning to separate pieces of information, an acronym for example. Learning management systems (LMS) can provide the social component of learning by tracking, evaluating, and reporting e-learning courses or training programs, but these systems can only do so much.

That’s where learning paths come in.

A learning path is an online, carefully sequenced learning route that people can follow in order to learn in a logical progression and in digestible chunks. The learners are in control of their own paths and how fast or slow to progress. Information is presented as the learner gains mastery of prerequisites. This way, information is retained easier and more naturally, cutting down on the need for periodic retraining.

Learning paths have a lot of benefits for the learner as well. When a learner is in control of the pace, it’s far more likely that the target information will be understood and applied to whatever circumstances prompted the training. Self-paced courses offer the employee the chance to master the information, to correct mistakes quickly and efficiently, and to progress in a way that is comfortable, yet challenging. These separate tasks are different for every person and are difficult to replicate in a traditional classroom setting.

Students are more likely to be engaged in the material when they are in control as well. When students are interested, they are, again, more likely to gain mastery of the target material, and less likely to forget quickly after the training is over.

Businesses should remember that employee training and information retention correlate directly to business revenue. Employees that are highly engaged with their work, and that can easily learn new aspects of the business become innovators and provide businesses with a continual supply of fresh ideas and eager workers.

These learning paths prevent costly information loss and are a worthwhile investment for business training. With cloud-based computing, it’s easy for businesses to deliver custom elearning solutions that are tailored to employee interests, are self-paced, and target information in those digestible chunks so vital for information retention.

Elearning can also help businesses control the manner in which the courses are delivered, so that employees have access to certain information only after other tasks are mastered. They are also given information tailored to their particular learning paths to prevent information overload.

Business that want their employees to be experts in their fields, up to date with protocols and business trends, and fruitful workers would do well to pay attention to the idea of learning paths.

Author Profile Picture
Lance Noland

Self Employed Writer

Read more from Lance Noland

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