Modern Training: what it means for L&D

This page provides 10 aspects of Modern Training and their implications for L&D in terms of roles and technologies. Links are provided to further section in this book which discuss them in more depth.

1- Providing Modern Training won’t automatically mean training will be more effective or more appealing.

Training still has to be a valid and appropriate response to a need. If L&D continue to become “order takers” from managers and make assumptions about the best way to provide modern training, nothing will change. First of all, L&D need to become Performance Consultants and work with managers and their teams to understand the problems and identify (a) whether some form of intervention ( training) is the right solution, and if so (b) what that would like to meet the needs of the group concerned. Note, this is not about doing a TNA (Training Needs Analysis) because that already assumes Training is the solution, Performance Improvement Consulting involves a deep analysis of the problem and a wide understanding of possible interventions. [See section on Performance Improvement Consulting.]

2 – Curate rather than create

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, there’s a lot of Web content available that is valid and appropriate. Curation might involve:

  1. Daily curation of Web resources
  2. Curation of a set of resources on a topic
  3. Ongoing curation of scheduled events and activities.

Curation is about finding the gems on the Web, and providing them in the most appropriate way. Curation is a skill but there are good tools and platforms to help curate relevant resources.  Other some might take on the role of Curators, curation might also be a collaboration activity with others.  [For more about curation, see Curate resources and learning opportunities)

3 – Move from courses to resources

If you do want to create some content, then consider the creation of flexible resources that can be used for multiple purposes – on demand learning, reference, etc – rather than large-scale online courses. Resources that can be personalisable, ie used in the way that best suits the individual, not as prescribed by the designer. This approach is more inline with the ways that people learn for themselves on the Web. Resource Designers will be able to create short, appealing pieces of content in a variety of formats: text, graphics, audio and video using a range of content development tools rather than e-learning tools. [See chapter: Create modern  resources].

4 – Daily micro-learning is a current trend

Short pieces of content delivered daily is seen as a refreshing way of delivering a continuous flow of bite-sized training content. This might be in the form of a daily tip or a sequential task or activity. But don’t jump on this trend and assume it is the solution to every problem. It is, however, an option that could be explored in a Performance Improvement Consulting activity. [See Provide daily micro-training]

5 – Facilitate collaborative workshops rather than provide classroom training

Classroom training has had a bad press. It is costly and people don’t like it when it is purely a broadcast event. So remove the broadcast content, make it available well in advance, and instead create a collaborative workshop where participants work together applying their knowledge to real-world problems. Workshops like this require skilled Facilitators rather than Trainers – that is “Guides on the Side” rather than “Sages on the Stage”. [See chapter Offer modern approaches to classroom training]

6 – Guide online social learning experiences

Alternatively host an online workshop (in your social collaboration platform where the focus is on semi-structured discussion and collaboration or set up Learning Communities for ongoing conversations. [See chapter: Facilitate modern social learning experiences]

7 – Coordinate informal social learning events

There are plenty of other opportunities to support sharing of knowledge and experiences, discussion and collaboration, whether it be online events (like Live Chats) or face-to-face events (like Lunch ‘n’ Learns).  L&D has a role as Event Organisers or Event Coordinators. [See chapter Offer modern approaches to classroom training]

8 – Immersive learning technologies open up new experiential learning options

Learning by doing is how people mostly learn how to do their jobs, but often they need to practise tasks and activities, and sometimes in safe environments. New immersive technologies (like Virtual and Augmented Reality) provide new ways of experiencing tasks that are otherwise too costly or unsafe to replicate.  [See Support experiential learning]

9 – Learning campaigns are a form of modern blended learning

Learning campaigns address the fact that traditional training programmes are ineffective largely because they are time-bound events that focus on learning a lot in very little time. Learning campaigns take place over an extended period of time and provide a mix of resources that are sequenced to be released throughout the campaign rather than all at once. Learning Campaign Managers can design and run meaningful campaigns. [See chapter Run modern learning campaigns]

10 – Consider if you really need an LMS

Content should be freely available on organisational platforms (intranets, team platforms etc) so that it is embedded in the workflow rather than hidden away in a LMS. Tracking can be light-touch, e.g. counting accesses only. After all there is no need to monitor completions unless this is required for compliance and regulatory purposes. For more on this see page: Do you need an LMS in the modern workplace?


How many of these things are you already doing?

> Modern Learning: What it means for L&D

Last updated: July 30, 2019 at 9:36 am