New content and learning experiences for the digital age
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New content and learning experiences for the digital age

Learning

New content and learning experiences for the digital age

May 08, 2017 Enga Jens

Our growing preference for instant information, 24/7, has profound implications for the modern workplace – especially for those tasked with educating today’s workforce.

Traditional forms of structured learning simply don’t engage contemporary employees. Think:

  • Classroom-based study:
  • Densely printed material:
  • Lengthy, ponderous online courses:
  • Earnest Power Point presentations:
  • Stuffy videos.

Times are changing so rapidly that many Learning & Development (L&D) departments, tasked with fitting out their employees for this high-stamina, digital world, are left scratching their heads.

In a telling Deloitte study – ‘Global Human Capital Trends 2016: The New Organisation – Different by Design’ - 66% of L&D professionals were found to be struggling to engage their workforce in L&D programs.

Without an engaged workforce, businesses will struggle to meet their strategic objectives.

The solution lies in creating a culture of learning based on smart contemporary content. As more employees access the system, the company begins to maximise the return on its investment.
 

The contemporary learner is different

In a fast-changing world where innovation and excellence are prized, it’s startling to hear that the attention span of the average human is in steady decline.

A 2015 Microsoft Canada study confirms the effect on the brain of today’s burgeoning digital distractions – multiple media streams, instant news feeds and compelling social media platforms.

Since 2000, when the mobile revolution kicked in, our attention span has been sliding from 12 seconds to the current eight, Microsoft reports.

Yet our brains are adapting to competing demands by doing more with less, research reveals.

Our ability to encode information to memory more efficiently in short bursts has improved over the same period, as we find new ways of working, learning and processing information.

This explains the discrepancy of so much innovation sloshing around in a world of shrinking attention spans.

We are working and processing information in new, more agile and flexible ways -requiring new forms of learning to help us thrive in a time-starved, information-saturated world.
 

The power of content in a changing workplace

As consumers in 2017, our impulses are constantly triggered by media sound bites and marketing grabs. Information is fragmenting and multiplying at a rapid rate, reaching us via an expanding variety of mediums.

Millennials, aged 18 to 34 - the most comfortable of all age groups with this incredible diversity - are now filtering into management and bringing the highest level of digital expertise with them.

They demand shorter and more collaborative forms of learning, relying less on traditional meetings and more on looser projects and working groups – using agile, responsive digital platforms and content that is available on mobile devices to develop and grow.

But it’s not only Millennials who benefit from modern learning programs. The digital revolution is touching Australians of all ages.

As shown in the Australian Government Communications report, Australians’ digital lives:

  • Nearly 50% of employed Australians use the internet to work away from the office.
  • 68% of online Australians now use three or more devices to access the internet.

 

What does a modern learning program include?

No longer just about training and education, modern L&D demands the curation of quality content and the provision of genuinely engaging learning experiences for all employees.

L&D is now tasked with:

  • Creating an organic learning culture covering the entire organisation.
  • Placing employees in charge of their own learning process.
  • Encouraging staff to take responsibility for self-directed learning experiences.
  • Switching from development programs ‘imposed’ on individuals to digital platforms which encourage individuals to develop themselves.
  • Providing an ongoing, constantly evolving learning process rather than relying on a series of one-off learning events.

The three key components of innovative L&D

With 91% of employees keen to learn at their own pace and 82% knowing what learning they require, today’s content-based learning needs to be:

  1. Flexible: Content available to learners when, where and how they choose.
  2. Learner centred: Learners take responsibility for diagnosing their own skill gap and choosing appropriate content to address it.
  3. Short: Designed for short attention spans, delivering bite-sized, 3-10 minute chunks of engaging content.

Content in action

A glimpse of content provision on the job shows how contemporary learning is targeted, punchy – and fun.
 

Skill Pill.

Innovative Skill Pill encourages engagement and stimulates curiosity. Using animated training, collaborative platforms, short videos and quizzes, content is available at the touch of a button – from any device, wherever you happen to be, whenever you want.
 

TED

Cornerstone has uniquely teamed with TED to provide curated playlists geared toward specific business areas or industries. This allows learning and sharing of innovative ideas across organisations.

Condensing top global expertise into a transformative learning tool, TED talks deliver powerful, immediate, first-person stories to spark innovation and growth in your company.

So, pack the power point and projectors away. Embark on the learning journey with your employees, and watch them grow.

Informal, social and micro forms of learning present the fastest route to innovation - for companies willing to embrace them.

About Enga Jens
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