Over the recent years, the biggest change in the learning industry is digitisation. Making learning content available online is easy, cost effective and has great benefits. As a learning professional, more and more of my clients and partners move towards electronic learning – not as a complete replacement, but as a strong supplement – sometimes stronger than I expected.
What is fascinating for me, is that some of the foundational criteria organisations use to select their learning provider, seem to be completely overhauled or not important when it comes to the excitement of digital learning. It sometimes feels as if the push for “digital” is stronger than the actual need or relevance for the organisation. Last year, another of my clients revealed their move to online video-learning to replace most of their classroom learning offering in the organisation. Their #1 criteria for learning has always been interaction, which is widely non-existant in video-learning platforms. Not surprised by this move, we’ve started to create a set of guidelines and actions to drive better outcomes for them from digital learning.
For those out there who want to get more out of your digital learning platform, here are some tips we’ve collected and tested over the years and found to be helpful. The risk with these platforms is that users play around too much and lose focus of what they wanted to find/learn in the first place. With so much great content available, stay focused!
1) Setup and offer Learning Communities in the organisation. While it is easier to long in from their desks at the time they like, learners can get more out of courses if they have the opportunity to get together for a coffee and share their learning on a particular topic. Foster such communities in your organisation.
2) Distribute subject matter expertise in the company. While learners enjoy their digital course, create go-to-roles in the organisation, experts on certain subjects that can answer questions and further challenge the learner. Formal or informal, such go-to-people help with the implementation and can give useful tips from their experience.
3) Integrate managers to help create a learning culture. Learning culture starts from a mindset, not a toolkit! When managers help and encourage team members to develop themselves, have meaningful conversations about the learning content and how it can be applied to success in the team, people are more likely to use what they’ve learned and become more confident in their learning ability.
4) Curate learning content. Work with functions in the organisation to develop powerful learning paths using the content provided. Most online platforms allow administrators to create learning journeys or at least a sequence or list of modules to take. Functional managers then can follow-up and track their team’s change and results related to their learning.
5) Schedule learning times. Just because it’s digital and mobile-enabled, learning does not have to take place outside of work. As leaders, free up your team members during the time they choose to learn or together set scheduled learning times.
As always, please share your thoughts and comments below. What has worked for you and what challenges have you overcome?