Effective Learning in the Digital Age

In my last post, I discussed how companies can successfully make the shift from virtual learning to digital learning, and how they can go about creating this new learning experience for their employees. My colleague Dr. Régis Chassé has been leading our research within Capgemini University about learning in the digital age. He shares his thoughts on effective learning in the digital age.

digital age learningWhat are the main success factors in digital learning?

“There are several. First of all, businesses need to help their people develop the skills and attitudes necessary for self-directed, lifelong learning. This starts with organizations ensuring that their workforce is digitally fluent. It means that employees know how and when they can leverage digital resources, and how they can learn effectively in the digital age.

In addition, learning design must promote ‘inquiry, exploring and doing’ so that the individual of the digital age is equipped to be a continuous and autonomous learner. Many companies are now offering technology-based self-guided tutorials and content repositories that allow users to find the “nuggets” of information that will help them perform specific activities and tasks, and solve problems as they arise. I also believe that learning needs to be ubiquitous, just-in-time and in context.”

How do companies provide learning that’s ‘ubiquitous, just-in-time and in context’?

“Essentially, it’s making the shift from instructor-centric curricula towards learner-centric searches. This shift has sometimes been characterised as changing from “pushing” (training to employees) to “pulling” (employees taking resources as and when they need them). In fact, a recent study has shown that more than 70% of employees are now using web searches to learn what they need to find just-in-time immediate answers to their unexpected problems. This means that, instead of someone attending a three-day course (push), their learning is unbundled and the employee just picks what they need to solve their problem (pull).

In addition, companies need to allow individuals to access this learning within their own context (location and activity), whenever and wherever they need it, rather than being restricted to the employer’s workplace. They need to make learning ubiquitous and available 24/7. This means that employees are now taking charge of the learning themselves.”

The clear message that’s coming through is that learning needs to be empowering, personalized and self-directed. Employees are expected to play a leading role in deciding what, when and how they learn. A culture of self-directed learning is strongly emerging with individuals directing themselves towards which learning to take, or which micro-credentials to get.

So what does all of this mean for learning professionals?

“As learning professionals, we have to move away from a ‘one size fits all’ to a ‘one size fits one’ learning experience. We also need to move away from massification and virtualization, as we need learners to be able to take control. When they are in control, they can choose exactly what, how and when they learn. Developments in digital technology have enabled this to happen.”

What mechanisms have you put in place in your organization for learners to take more control of their learning? Leave your comments below.

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