how to make learning interestingRecently Senior Learning Analyst David Wentworth interviewed Michael Rochelle (Chief Strategy Officer at Brandon Hall Group) and Dawn Poulos (VP of Marketing at Xyleme) about some of the latest developments in learning, content development, and more. In this four-part series we will share that conversation and provide answers to some of the key questions surrounding those topics.

We have embedded the podcast version, or you can read the transcript of the conversation below. 

How to Make Learning Interesting

David: What are the critical requirements for learners in today’s business environment?

Michael: Learners require just in time just for me learning which means they need to have learning that can be immediately accessed and be highly relevant to the task they are about to perform.
We call this the moment of truth in learning.

Today we need to draw the learning audience into the experience if we are going to solve the question of how to make learning interesting and attractive. We also need to offer learning in a variety of formats and modalities to reach the multigenerational learning audience found in organizations today.

Learning also needs to align with the learner’s personal and career development; today there is a premium on “what’s in it for me” learning, in other words, learners want to know that the organization is committed to providing opportunities to learn that align with their personal interests and not just the interests of the company.

Dawn: We are seeing some common themes in how to make learning interesting for the learners:

  1. Need to close skills gaps
    • Complexity is growing faster than expertise. Organizations need to give their learners the ability to get quickly up to speed through the strategic use of content.
    • That means that learners need to be able grab content they need on-the-fly, tailored to the individual and at the moment of need.
  2. Learning agility (means a couple of things)
    • People, organizations, industries can be in a great state of flux. (e.g. Oil & Gas) so learners need information at the speed of business so that time-to-competence can be reduced.
    • We also have five generations in the workforce today and they learn in drastically different ways. The way a millennial learns and accesses learning content will often be much different from a baby boomer. We all know this, yet we train all employees in the same manner.
  3. Distributed workforce (Xyleme is a great example of this)
    • In addition to the 5 generations I just mentioned, these workers are spread across cities, countries and continents and we need to effectively reach them.
    • 35% of people use their mobile phones to solve problems and as an industry, we are still very far from being able to deliver learning effectively on mobile. Users want a great experience and we aren’t giving it to them.

That wraps up our topic focused on how to make learning interesting. We’ll be publishing part two of this series about how these requirements affect content development and delivery later this week.

Learning Content Series:

David Wentworth

David Wentworth has been a senior research analyst in the human capital field since 2005 and joined the Brandon Hall Group in 2013. He has authored reports and articles on various human capital subjects with an emphasis on workforce technology. He has contributed to several reports published by ASTD, including authoring Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, and Instructional Systems Design Today and in the Future. His work has also appeared in Compensation & Benefits Review and T+D Magazine.

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