Lessons from across the pond

lessons_from_across_the_pond

Hubble Studios recently took a trip across the pond to attend the Learning Technologies conference in London. The aim? To find out just what the more established European digital learning market has been up to, and see whether any of their new approaches could be adapted to fit the South African context.

So what were the key outcomes you should know about?

1. From e- to digital

More and more we are seeing companies shift away from framing online training as ‘e-learning’ to rather using the term ‘digital’ learning. But is that just semantics? Or does it really make a difference?

At Hubble Studios, we put a lot of emphasis on the importance of having a broader learning campaign to support a learning programme. These campaigns are largely driven by change management principles, with the aim of easing the learner into the programme by offering effective communication, feedback and support at all stages of the learning journey. This lines up well with the shift to digital learning ? the idea that it’s not always just about your great e-learning package, sometimes it’s the welcome email that outlined the learning objectives, or the orientation video message from your CEO, or the interactive PDF you sent as a follow up that allowed learners to quickly reference the key take-aways from the training. All these things add up to the full learner experience, and by framing your initiative as a digital learning programme, helps to keep that in mind.

2. Mobile is King

Bring your own device (B.Y.O.D) and the growing prevalence of mobile apps are seen as significant drivers of the market. The ultimate aim is to have a learning solution that is so easy to use, that learners are able to find only the information that they need, as soon as they need it. This idea of ‘learning at the speed of need’ promotes the understanding that learners today, in the age of the internet with immediate access to information, do not need to know how to do everything, they just need to know how to find out.

3. It takes a village

At Hubble Studios, we always tell our clients that learning does not happen in a vacuum (unlike the Hubble Telescope, which does in fact operate in a vacuum), and that while it’s great to put your courses online, your programmes will only be truly effective if you have stakeholder buy-in from the start.

This means making sure that your managers and team leaders know what their team members are going to be learning on the course, and what will be expected of them both in terms of time commitments and deliverables. Equally important, is to make sure managers know to follow up with learners after the course is complete, to ask what they learnt, how they think it could be implemented in their role, and how they think the company would be able to measure success.

Providing this kind of support to managers before kick-off will not only improve manager buy-in for the programme as a whole, but has also been shown to improve content retention amongst learners, as they are encouraged by someone they look up to, to think practically about how the training could be applied to their role.