6 Sure-Fire Signs You Have Created An Informal Learning Strategy

Understanding the distinction between formal and informal learning has never been more important. While formal training experiences are easy to understand and embrace from an organizational perspective, they also only account for 10% of your workforce’s overall knowledge intake. Informal learning experiences make up the remaining 90%, but they’re often untameable beasts that organizations struggle to capture and control. So, have you created an informal learning strategy?

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Social Is Sexy: 11 Reasons Why You Need An Informal Learning Strategy

Believe it or not, today’s best learning experiences aren’t happening in the classroom. They’re happening out there in the world, as individuals take new information on board in a variety of different contexts. At this very moment in time, somebody is learning that standing on a garden rake leads to a great deal of pain. And they learned this without opening a single workbook. That’s the magic of informal learning.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Managers Can Support – Not Create – Social Learning Communities

Eigentlich steht schon alles im Titel des Beitrags. Aber da Communities auf vielen Wunschlisten stehen, sei es hier noch einmal festgehalten. Manager können Rahmenbedingungen schaffen, unterstützen, aber sie sollten Mitarbeitende nicht verpflichten, einer Community beizutreten. Denn Freiwilligkeit ist ein zentrales Element von Communities (denn sonst sprechen wir über Teams, Arbeitsgruppen oder Projekte). Doch was zeichnet eine Community eigentlich aus? Eine Idee, geteilte Werte, Vertrauen und die Bereitschaft der Mitglieder, ihre Erfahrungen zu teilen, werden erwähnt.

Das klingt alles wiederum sehr klar und einfach. Aber die häufige Suche nach wirklich „funktionierenden“ Communities – und „Funktionieren“ meint hier vor allem das, was zwischen zwei regelmäßigen Treffen passiert – zeigt, dass das Stichwort viel Diskussionsstoff bietet. Der Artikel spricht beispielsweise das Phänomen der „Lurker“, also der nur beobachtenden Teilnehmer, an.
Pamela Hogle, Learning Solutions Magazine, 16. November 2017

eLearning Trends And Predictions For 2017

As you plan further investment on training in 2017 and are on the look out for ways to enhance employee performance, read on and check out my list of eLearning trends and predictions for 2017 for cues on what may work for you!

2017: eLearning Trends And Predictions

Organizations around the world are looking for some foresight, and it’s prediction time. I’ve got a few, but here’s a little disclaimer – I have no crystal ball, no tarot cards.

  • My list of eLearning trends and predictions is based on my observations of how ideas evolved into trends in the last few years and ideas that are simmering today with all the ingredients to make them the hottest thing in town in the days to come.
  • I also believe that looking at eLearning trends and predictions becomes more meaningful when it provides you with inputs you can use. This was exactly my objective and this article on eLearning trends and predictions for 2017 will provide several pointers that you can use to uplift your current learning strategy (better learner engagement and other measures to create the impact businesses need to see).

And now, it’s time to look at the eLearning trends and get going with the predictions for 2017. I have banded this into 3 parts:

  • What will continue to offer value (what has worked and delivered value in the recent past).
  • Where we will see increased focus.
  • What to watch out for in 2017.

What Will Continue To Offer Value

1. mLearning Or Mobile Learning.

Over the last 5 years, adoption of mLearning or mobile learning has been on an upswing. Flexibility to offer the courses that are multi-device (they run seamlessly on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones) is the single biggest gain. The next year will see maturing of delivery that is completely responsive that is, the online course will adapt to the device it is being viewed on. There will be a wider adoption of mLearning across all training needs.

EI Design microlearning example 1

2. Microlearning And Learning Paths.

The shift from courses that need 60 minutes or more to bite sized learning that can be easily taken on the go will gain further momentum. Using multiple microlearning nuggets to create a learning path would be another related approach.

Microlearning-and-learning-paths

3. Mobile Apps For Learning.

To offer learning solutions that appeal to learners and engage them, usage of mobile apps for learning will increase. They offer additional flexibility to take the online course when learners do not have access to internet and can be used for both formal and informal learning.

Mobile Apps for learning

4. Gamification.

Predicted as the “next big thing” when it first appeared in Google Trends in Sep’10, gamification for corporate learning has finally arrived. It will continue to be a strong strategy to create high impact, immersive learning. It will also leverage on mLearning, microlearning and social learning to multiply its impact.

EI Design gamification in training

5. Videos And Interactive Videos.

Learning through videos will continue to hold its appeal. As an extension, the capability of interactive videos to flip the passivity of videos to rich, interactive experiences will see an increase and will be used for both formal training as well as performance support.

Videos and Interactive videos

6. Collaborative And Social Learning.

Today, social learning is more than a buzz and is increasingly used by forward thinking organizations to foster collaborative learning and more significantly its application on the job. While there will be a continued need for formal training that meets specific learning outcomes, there would be an increase in platforms for informal or social learning where learners can network, share, collaborate, and exchange ideas on problem-solving.

Collaborative-and-Social-Learning

7. Performance Support Tools (PSTs).

Performance Support Tools or PSTs are learning aids meant to help employees with on-the-job support at the precise moment of their need. With wider adoption of mLearning or mobile learning and varied, innovative formats of microlearning, there would be a steep increase in the use of PSTs.

Performance Support Tools (PSTs)

Where We Will See Increased Focus

1. Learning Portals.

Focused responsive portals that offer a range of assets for formal learning, Performance Support Tools, collaborative and social learning will see an increase. They will extensively use mLearning or mobile learning and learning paths that can be personalized. microlearning, gamification, and leader boards will be an integral part of these solutions. Specific analytics to assess learner engagement and performance will further increase its impact.

2. LMS (Learning Management System), LCMS (Learning Content Management System) Refresh.

These are already evolving from corporate avatar to dynamic, learner centric platforms from cloud. The shift is on control to learners as more and more learning is becoming “pull” based rather than “push” based. With features ranging from support of mLearning or mobile Learning to personalized learning paths, flexibility of social learning and enhanced learner analytics, they will be a vital tool to engage learners and assess their performance. They will increasingly feature curation with contributions from learners to keep the resources contextual and relevant to the community.

3. Measuring Learning Effectiveness Or Learnability Of Online Courses.

Learning effectiveness or learn-ability has a direct impact on learner reaction, learning, and application on the job. This year is likely to witness increased usage of frameworks that enable you to measure the effectiveness of your courses and also bring in predictive learn-ability for new development.

4. Learner Analytics.

The coming days will see an increased focus on understanding learner behavior and its analysis to assess what can impact it and align the learning experience to the performance gains that the business seeks.

Watch Out For

1. Personalized And Adaptive Learning.

The trend will be on personalization of learning rather than “one size fits all”. This will become a significant aspect of formal learning. It will provide learners with a personalized learning path based on their interaction with learning components.

2. Content Curation For Learning.

Essentially, this is the process of sorting of data on the internet and presenting it as meaningful, easy to process assets for learning. It can be used to support formal training or part of formal learning. While recommended learning paths can be established, the control will still be with the learners to customize and reconfigure the way they want to learn. The initiative will support the “creation” of content and can be used to have wider contribution from users.

3. Usage Of Virtual Reality (VR) And Augmented Reality (AR) For Learning.

While the jury is still out on the viability of this one and if this will be a force to reckon with in creation of immersive learning, I do believe that this something to watch out for. With early adoption in Health and Safety and practical training in dangerous or hazardous fields, this would also find a place for training on behavioral change. Gamification too will leverage on this for diverse training needs. Today it comes with a prohibitive cost tag but over the next 2-3 years, this will change the learning scope dramatically.

4. Wearable Technology For Corporate Learning.

This is truly a trend to watch out for as it enables several prevailing trends to move on to another dimension. On one hand, gamification will also see usage of “wearable tech” like a VR headset to make the learning experiences even more immersive. I believe that we will also see usage of smart watches to provide just-in-time learning (micro nuggets for performance support that are easily available to learners precisely at the moment of need).

Final Word

In this article, I have shared my list of eLearning trends and predictions for 2017. I am sure you will find their application to be useful in mitigating some of your current challenges as well as scaling for the future (in sync with changing expectations).

As a follow-through, I am releasing an eBook shortly that will provide examples on how several of these trends can be practically applied in your organization. Meanwhile, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net if you need any specific assistance.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/elearning-trends-and-predictions-for-2017/

6 Strategies You Can Use To Design Effective eLearning For Your Millennial Workforce

With increasing millennial workforce, organizations need to re-evaluate their existing learning strategies. In this article, I will explain 6 strategies that you can use to effectively engage and motivate your millennial workforce.

Why Do You Need A Different Learning Strategy For Your Millennial Workforce?

6-Strategies-to-design-effective-eLearning-for-your-millenial-workforce-EI-Design

Of late, there has been a lot of discussion on the need for corporates to re-evaluate their existing learning strategies so that they can meaningfully engage millennial workforce.

Is there a clear business case for this? Absolutely! The percentage of Millennials in the workplace is increasing steadily and over the next 4 years, they will be a significant part of the workforce in several leading global economies. (For instance in India, over 50% of the workforce by 2020 will be Millennials).

The fact is that this generation thinks, behaves, and learns differently, and this opens up a clear need to re-evaluate your existing learning strategies to make them appealing to this profile.

Why Is The Existing Or Traditional eLearning Not Enough To Engage The Millennial Generation?

The answer to this question lies in understanding what sets the millennial generation apart (in contrast to the Baby Boomers or Generation X who respond well to traditional eLearning).

For instance, there have been reports of folks in the academia in several parts of the world being appalled at the increasing use of the SMS language (or “textspk”) in essays, exam papers, and other stuff written by students. While literature pundits are gnashing at the idea of students murdering Shakespeare with “2 b r nt 2 b”, as Learning and Development professionals, this learner attitude can give you a whole lot of food for thought.

What it tells you is that today’s learners, mostly Millennials, don’t shy away from making their non-conformity to traditional methods obvious besides taking the quick route to gaining and sharing knowledge.

To nail this challenge, we must identify the traits of Millennials, which determine how they work, collaborate, and learn. These factors need to be then incorporated in creating the learning strategy that would engage the millennial workforce and motivate them to apply this learning on the job.

What Are The Traits Of The Millennial Workforce That Impact The Learning Strategy?

Some of the key characteristics of the millennial generation are:

    • First generation “digital natives”.
      They have grown with the internet, smartphones, and the world of social media.
    • Tech savvy.
      Goes without saying, an intrinsic understanding of technology comes naturally to them.
    • Strong multi-tasking capability.
    • Are ambitious.
    • Have short attention spans.
    • Easily distracted.
    • Need a clear and definitive goal and outcome.
    • Need recognition.
    • Need constant feedback.
    • Need flexibility.

Furthermore, their learning styles show the following notable aspects:

    • They understand the value of learning to grow at work.
    • Prefer visual aids (rich media).
    • Prefer exploration (rather than a rigid learning path).
    • Want experiential data that they can relate to easily and apply (real life scenarios).
    • Relate easily to technology and online training, and respond best to interactive and engaging multimedia formats.
    • Love working in groups (collaborate and learn).
    • Bottomline: Have a desire to learn but want this to be short and fun.

Apart from these characteristics, we also need to see the key aspects that determine the learning styles of the millennial generation. Both of these would help us in defining the required learning strategies and training Millennials effectively.

What Learning Strategies Would Engage Your Millennial Workforce?

Looking at the traits of the Millennials in the workplace and their preferred learning styles, there are 6 learning strategies that are bound to work and engage Millennials. These include:

    1. Offer responsive mLearning or mobile learning.
      Researchers say that Millennials check their smartphones 43 times a day on average. As Learning and Development professionals, there’s a huge cue you can take from this millennial demeanor. You can offer them responsive mobile learning solutions and the flexibility of device to learn (from desktop/laptop to tablets or smartphones).
    2. Use microlearning.
      As pointed out earlier, Millennials have short attention spans. You can make their life a lot easier with microlearning, that is by breaking the bigger chunks of learning into snackable bites that can be taken on the go.
    3. Extend to Social learning.
      Millennials spend 5.4 hours every day on social media. Now that tells you something. You can use this inclination towards social media that they have to your advantage with social learning: Create forums and communities of practice that facilitate collaborative learning, knowledge sharing, and curation of learner created content.
    4. Engage with gamification of learning.
      How gamification of learning boosts learner engagement? Well, the Baby Boomer population would have been more than content watching Batman and Superman do their stuff on the silver screen. The typical Millennial of today wants to be the Batman himself and bash up the bad guys with the gaming console in his hand in a bid to outdo the Superman (being played by the guy with a gaming remote sharing sofa space with him). You can tap into the competitive spirit that gamification induces and offer learning that is aligned to a learning outcome while making no compromise with the fun bit.
    5. Use videos extensively and offer learning nuggets in rich media formats.
      According to a research, 72% of the millennial population turns to video-based information hubs such as YouTube for their various infotainment needs. You can leverage on the video technology, microlearning approaches, and social learning to offer high impact learning nuggets.
    6. Offer a learning path based approach.
      Rather than an intense but discrete training program, you can use a series designed as a learning path to create a journey that helps learners learn, practice, and take remediation as required. More significantly, these assets are easily available in their workflow, on the device of their choice.

These approaches will certainly appeal to your millennial workforce, engage them, and motivate them to perform better. If you have any queries or would like to see examples of how you can use them in your organization, do contact me.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/6-strategies-you-can-use-to-design-effective-elearning-for-your-millennial-workforce/