Exponential changes in warehousing and transport technology demand that training keeps pace to ensure that we have an super competent workforce, one that delivers exceptional results while using minimal resources.
This article discusses how a winning blend of training technology and experiential learning can achieve this.
An evolution of a powerful learning methodology
The creators of today’s corporate learning environments have a huge advantage- their world needs to be as flexible as the business environments in which they operate. The days of learners ploughing through pages and pages of boring, online text are long over. That was Online Learning 1.0.
We are now in Online Learning 3.0, which is designed to create irresistible, sustained engagement for the learner through challenging, thought provoking learning experiences. It’s like a good novel that you just can't put down and consists of some really exciting elements:
- Integrated learning experiences combining workbased experience and assessment with the ability to switch seamlessly through a number of different online media;
- Interactivity, both in content and assessments;
- Engagement tools including things like gamification and mobile device learning;
- Incorporation of external materials from a wide range of sources;
- Competency based (learning by doing): online experiences which closely simulate real life and in which assessment takes place more on the job than in the exam room;
- Socially enabled programmes through which human involvement through online debate, collaboration, coaching and mentoring are integral elements of the learning experience;
- Curriculum which is aligned to life- long learning principles and fit-for-role learning solutions;
- The use of data to analyse learner behaviour and effect continuous improvement, to personalise programmes and ensure that they are infinitely adaptive to changes in the environment.
Online Learning 3.0 is driven by learner management systems which have the ability to bring together all learning and development interventions and report on them in formats which are useful to both learners and management.
Is it worth it?
The increasing power of computation (More’s Law), the changes which this technology is bringing to the market (one example: shopping malls are dying, so what will this do to warehousing and transport?) and the unprecedented changes in climate which we are experiencing are all bringing us into a world which was simply inconceivable at the turn of the century.
For any business to thrive in this kind of world requires high levels of human competency and flexibility. This can only be brought about by embracing the technologies and concepts which make up Online Learning 3.0.
This is however a journey, not an event. It is possible to implement a plan in which each step has immediate impact.
The pathway to Online Learning
1. Strategy determines structureHow does the business want to position itself in the future? What competencies will be required to achieve that goal? Which of those competencies do we have and how are we going build the rest?
2. Think like a marketer
What would make for a “wow” learner experience for every one of our programmes, taking into account how millennials and the others in the target market actually learn?
3. Embrace technology strategically
Features like games, virtual tours or any of these innovations serve no purpose unless they answer the question “What must the learner be able to do on completing this programme?
4. Baby steps
Choose low hanging fruit – those programmes in which participation is like watching paint dry (usually compliance type courses)- start piloting improvements on them as the start of the strategy implementation. Select applications which have least cost and greatest impact.
5. Don’t be afraid of data
Data is the most important tool for continuous improvement and for calculating returns on investment- incorporate it.
What strategies are you implementing to adapt to the creative destruction which is happening in your industry?
How is your company’s current experience with online learning?
Do you feel that implementing a strategy like Online Learning 3 will produce the desired returns in terms of increased staff adaptability, productivity, retention, and improved profits?