With digitalization, businesses are transforming fast. Fast transformation requires the ability to learn quickly, efficiently, and on the go. Much emphasis is currently on customer experience, but some principals can and must be used when building learning into an experience. As a result, we get visible outcomes: more efficient working methods, committed employees, and happier customers.
The Learning Experience is basically how we feel when we learn. All is connected to each other from the point when the learner logs in to the point when they are finalizing their studies. The digital learning needs to be in line with the traditional one. In short: The key is to provide the right content, at the right time, and to the right people - principles very familiar to the customer experience experts.
Four step process of creating effective learning experiences
1. Analyze. Know the audience (learners), who they are, and what their needs are (= motivation triggers). You should also know how and when the learners like to study and which tools that they use. We all know that the role of mobile phones as a daily information search tool is growing, which is why mobile access should be possible. If learners are active in the morning, why not push the new learning content into the morning hours when they are starting their day?
When the learning need is a compliance related issue, it should be presented so that it feels interesting and appealing. The question is how to know how to do this? One can try naming the content boldly with humor. Technology can help us to get data from learners' learning process. With a learning experience platform you can see which content learners find interesting, when they are studying, how long at a time, what is being shared, and what is discussed.
2. Plan and build. When learners' interests and learning habits are known, then it's time for planning and building content into a journey. Learning experts should have a deep discussion with business strategy decisions makers to know that the vision the company is heading to in order to ensure that the needed skills and capabilities are available or under development.
Do a rough plan in which you absorb the needs into a journey or a path. Plan the steps of learning so that the learner's working memory won't get overcrowded and can do its work. With a red tail you make it a clear and easy to follow the journey. Remember also to define the goals that need to be met so that you can follow learning effectiveness. Plan your content so that it has pictures, videos, questions, tasks and, for example, group assignments in addition to text. Build on positive feelings and have areas for encouragement.
3. Enhance interaction and collaboration. Ensure that the learners are given thumbs up for matters that support learning goals. You can, for example, give your learners badges and certificates. We all know how nice it feels to get some recognition for our efforts. A digital learning experience platform can provide certain social elements, such as liking, commenting, and sharing information. However, the certificates that are provided after completing certain learning goals, offer a gamification-kind of feel and reward, whereas co-workers social reactions provide a different kind of joy.
Learners should also have the possibility to create learning content to each other. They speak the same professional language, and information coming from a peer can have a much deeper impact than information coming from authority. Support collaboration and sharing of new material that supports the journey you have created. Ensure the learning journey is active.
4. Aim for improvement and commitment. Have the hunger to get the number of learners to grow by them wanting to come back. So have a learning experience platform in use that allows you to monitor what happens inside your learning environment. Think of your learning environment like your own house. Make people come there to stay. Make it a digital learning platform, which people use because they want to use it.
Analyze your results and the learning impact. Take the time and look at the data to get insight. Did you meet your goals? If not, analyze the data collected from studies and try to understand why. Were some parts of your content left untouched or a test retried over and over again? What was the study time per student and are there any differences you can identify. To get a more holistic view, you can link your observations to business metrics to see the impact of learning. Did the content (for example product training) result in increased sales?
The game is changing
Throw away the thinking of producing one piece of universal learning content to meet different learners' needs and habits. Concentrate on the people and understand what types of training your business needs. And don't be afraid to put your creativity to work!
If you feel puzzled and unsure, be in touch - we are ready to help. Our Valamis – Learning Experience Platform is an excellent example of a flexible Learning Management System. Valamis has been built to support great learning experiences. Read more on how Planmeca, Abloy, or NASA Epic Challenge are using it.
Pirkko, Senior Consultant
Maura, Lead instructional designer