Empowering the Learner
GUEST EDITOR – Krishna C. Kalva
Many organizations are on a journey to explore and react to learning transformation.
It is no surprise that cost pressures are continuously increasing across industries. The investment in employee development and the intangible return is one of the areas where cost pressure is easily applied.
Employee skill development is an ongoing effort that cannot be postponed. The goal is to identify creative, inspiring, cost-effective learning solutions blended with technology to support this development. How do organizations adapt and invest in employees in these changing times?
“Creative” is reflected in every business transaction, and it is important to identify innovative solutions to keep learners engaged. The idea is to turn around the educational methodologies by putting the learner in the driver’s seat and empowering them on what, how, when and where they learn.
Many leading organizations across industries are on a journey to explore and react to learning transformation. The demand for a traditional in-person classroom training is decreasing and shifting toward short and compelling learning experiences that are available from anywhere, anytime.
There is no denying the fact that in-person training continues to be most effective for certain topics, especially where the learning is intended to drive a skill or behavior. However, there is a growing demand to blend it with technology and keep it fun and engaging. The idea is to bring learning closer to the learner. Factors like social media and limited attention spans continue to pose a challenge, and there is a hidden opportunity if these factors are unleashed to benefit the learning experience.
The question “what’s in it for me?” needs to be clearly outlined to help the learner find relevance and retain attention. A key success factor is to define a framework consisting of digital touch points to address multiple learning patterns of the workforce. A learning pattern here could be classified into three buckets – formal, informal and moderated.
Formal learning is a required set of competencies that is assigned to the employee, such as data privacy, IT security or competencies related to the job. Moderated learning is learning items that have been procured and are free for the user to self-assign based on their own aspirations and interests. Informal learning is user-created or recommended open-source learning shared as best practices.
The learner is offered the transparency and the power to choose a pattern that best addresses their training needs. This framework is evolutionary, comprising tools and technologies, engaging content, methodologies and processes for governance that support the strategic priorities and learner needs across generations. The aim is to empower learners to take charge.
Personalization here is aimed at generating intelligence “dynamically” through user profiles, interests, interactions with technology and content. The expectation is to automatically generate content traffic for the learner using a pull and push mechanism.
As a foundation, it is crucial to form and drive a learning community and leverage it as a forum to generate insights through interactions between learners. The idea here is to help learning teams better understand the reality of the learner and take relevant actions.
Krishna C. Kalva is learning solution manager at Siemens Healthineers. Email him