In my previous post, I looked at how professional skills are acquired after many hours of background research and practice. Which often requires hours upon hours of learning delivery. But let’s focus on what Corporate Executives are demanding of their workforce. They have hired the new employee, assuming that those hours have been logged and the primary skills have been acquired…for the most part. Now you are on the payroll. They need to provide you with JIT/JET education for the pressing business needs…..new products, new services, new alerts, new processes, new opportunities, etc. If they can do this successfully, and better than their competition, my business will be differentiated going forward. With everyone competing for everything, everywhere, all the time, organizations must adapt their rapid learning strategies. Rapid is not only about how fast you get the information out, but more importantly, how fast does your employee/customer learn, implement, and change their behavior to address the new business need. How fast are your new employees oriented and approaching 80% effectiveness? How do we shrink your orientation results from 8 weeks to 4 weeks? How fast does your retail reps address customer concerns over new product launches. Post-launch, how fast do you alter/improve your training when the field tells you that the new training modules are not addressing the issues/challenges arising with the customers? 24 hours? 1 week? More? I would suggest you start making these kinds of commitments to your internal business partners to ensure that the training function is accountable for truncating the learning cycle down and creating an UBER-competitive asset for the organization.
Rapid eLearning – Let’s stop talking only about authoring. Let’s get our internal learning teams to start talking about total cost of ownership; speed of collaboration; access to learning by multiple stakeholders in parallel processes prior to course launch; speed of learning design. Today, a blended rapid learning strategy involves eLearning, discussion forums, blogs, video-casts, audio-casts, mentor availability and so much more. This all needs to happen with systems and governance. If it does, we can actually measure the results and focus on continuous improvement.
Spend your money wisely. Rapid learning is about systems, processes, a governance model, and instructional technique. The authoring tool is just an ‘enabler’. It is more of a paradigm SHIFT in learning versus a discussion about a particular medium or tool.
For eLearning, find out what the learner group needs now, deliver it rapidly in an educational and fun way, and determine when the learning modules have outlived their usefulness. Store all of the learning assets centrally, maintain version control, seek collaboration with as many relevant subject matter experts as possible and continuously improve. You can do all of this and fast. Reducing costs and improving learning delivery. Find the right systems and put the processes in place.
“Learning at the speed of change” is a reference to the fact that change is the only constant and the speed of change is increasing. The speed with which an organization learns collectively and individually will determine their fate in the coming years. Information overload is only going to get worse for everyone. We need to find a way to ensure that our focus in learning is on two things: quality of communications and our ability to extract value from massive amounts of information. Learning is not so much about pouring massive amounts of information into our brains all at once. It is about optimizing our social/professional networks and accessing new information JIT/JET – Just-in-time/Just-enough.
A Google search on the keywords “rapid eLearning” will offer up all kinds of forums and vendors discussing the relative merits of authoring software. Corporations have been discussing the JIT/JET approach to learning for decades. Why? Because, if it is done effectively, it provides for the best training ROI. It has been discussed and debated over and over at corporate education industry events for years. Yet, very few organizations can boast that an effective rapid learning strategy exists. Microsoft has decided to implement Microsoft Academy Mobile as an answers to their global sales training challenges. “Crowd source” the best learning content and make it available in a media rich social networking infrastructure. It is real-time sharing of client solutions, overcoming challenges, new products bundles, etc. Effectively, rapid learning in a JIT/JET model. Whether it is canned elearning, traditional classroom, virtual classrooms, discussion board, life experience and so on, most of us learn best if the learning happens when we are most ready for it, and in manageable bite-sized morsels, or ‘coursels’ as some industry folks are calling it.
Does your learning strategy incorporate enough focus on innovative tactics for training people JIT/JET? I often find that many academics frown at the simplicity of concept. Yet the Gen Y’ers are demanding only a JIT/JET learning strategy and have very little patience for the information dump that occurs in sessions that last much longer than 20 minutes. They want to know, what they need to know, as they recognize the need to know it. Get it?
In my next post I’ll explore the practice of rapid eLearning and how, properly implemented, it can revolutionize how virtual learning is delivered.
Let’s continue our discussion on including eLearning into the learning strategy of an organization for the first time. We have already covered the learning management system as well as the instructional design process. Let’s shift our focus to the development process. Similar questions arise here, in house or contract the work out? Again, really depends on several factors. For example, how much eLearning will be developed within a given year? If there aren’t high volumes of courses being developed then contracting out may be an attractive option.
If you were to hire developers in house the next decision would be which authoring tool should be used or should you choose a rapid eLearning tool. At this point there should be an evaluation process and all your specification should be well documented before hand to help you out in this process.
It’s fair to say at this stage there are potentially two key decisions to be made. Who should be involved with the decision making process? Thoughts?