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Stuart Ford


Learning Solutions Consultant

Read more from Stuart Ford

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Is your learning in the dark ages?


 The New Year always starts with a fresh sense of optimism. Most of us have an idea of what we are looking to achieve this year in our work and personal lives - some more than others. 

For L&D departments, some will be continuing with their current programmes of learning and some will be striving to bring a modern and fresh approach to their offering to keep them out of the ‘dark ages’. In my previous blog, * Is it time to “rebrand” Learning and Development? I discussed this in more detail, and looked at whether it was time for L&D to rebrand to help teams modernise their offering.  We also published a short guide to blended learning shortly after, which include useful things to think about when implementing the change.

Blending available resources into a coherent programme is only half the battle. Engaging your learners and, importantly, keeping them engaged is still a big challenge for L&D.  

A modern workforce also adds other challenges into the mix, such as how does L&D create learning programmes suitable for up to five generations of learners with different learning styles, who may be dispersed over many locations using different devices to access the learning?

So how is L&D adapting to the modern workplace? Here are some ways you can begin adapting your offering:

  • Reduce the number of classroom courses, but still recognising that classroom continues to play a very important part in helping to develop skills and change behaviours
  • Modularising learning - make the subjects more manageable
  • Use web conferencing with internal and external facilitators
  • Curate, not create, content
  • Use Micro-Learning, such as our 5 minute time management game
  • Incorporate social learning

If reading this list makes you feel like you are stuck in the dark ages then you may have some catching up to do.

It’s not always easy, and technology may be holding you back, but the risk of not adapting your strategy to encompass modern learning methods will mean learner engagement will be low. This will mean the cost of your learning will increase through lack of return on your investments.

One of the key elements of keeping learners engaged and using the developed or curated resources is accessibility.  I have seen many organisations adopting the above approach, but what can hinder success is that learners often find themselves sent off in all directions to access and find the content, LMS’s, SharePoint sites, Web conferencing portals and more.

That’s why one of the key points to engagement is that learners are provided with a single point of access that delivers this blended learning framework at the time of need.

One of the best ways of doing this is to ensure your platform is able to pull activities from multiple sources such as an LMS, an intranet/SharePoint site, knowledge repositories, Webex (or similar), webinars, subject-matter experts, and the wider web (YouTube/Ted talks), and deploy them via one engaging interface for learners.

It doesn’t matter if your content is outstanding, if learners aren’t engaging then you will simply not get the desired results, be it performance improvement or behaviour change. Making resources and learning easily accessible can be just as important as the learning itself.


Author Profile Picture
Stuart Ford

Learning Solutions Consultant

Read more from Stuart Ford

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