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Kerry Pascall Closing skills gaps through spaced digital learning

2018 is a good year to be in L&D, as companies are now starting to address skills gaps by investing more into their training and development programmes.

Closing Skills Gaps Through Spaced Digital Learning 11 9 18

This added investment from the board has made a big impact for many L&D departments, who are now delivering great learning programmes and receiving regular excellent feedback from their learners.

But despite all of this investment and achievement, we’ve found that many L&D departments simply aren’t closing the skills gaps as effectively or as efficiently as they would expect.

So, what’s the problem?

It could be as simple as reinforcing the learning. Many of us know that a skills gap can be closed when employees learn new skills, knowledge and behaviours through effective learning content that addresses:

  • The desired objectives
  • The learning culture in the organisation
  • The technology in place

This can be achieved in a multitude of ways and learning methodologies, depending on the subject and the organisation’s investment into the programme.

If you’re addressing all of these key areas with your learning programme and are still struggling to close skills gaps for your people, reinforcing the learning through spaced digital learning could be the answer you’re looking for.

What is spaced digital learning?

‘Spaced’ simply means that the digital learning is continually drip fed in bite sized pieces. Bearing in mind the statistic that 73% of adults consider themselves to be lifelong learners, spaced digital learning is an effective and efficient way for reinforcing learning and closing skills gaps for your learners.

This can be done in a variety of ways and can vary from a 10 second video clip to a 10-minute refresher eLearning module or game. It can also be used before, during and after a programme as learning support. Ideally, spaced learning should not be too long in duration as it needs to address an immediate need of the learner, such as ‘How do I do this?’ or ‘Show me the steps to …’

This effectively pulls out key messages or dos and don’ts of the new skill, knowledge or behaviour and is a continuous reinforcement of the original learning. Delivering this carefully at optimum timeframes will help to imbed the learning effectively, gaining you tangible results.

For example, if your workforce has had training on a new system feature four weeks ago, then there is a high probability that they will forget the key learning and the skill gap is not closed. So, one effective solution is to provide ‘just in time learning’ on the days leading up to go live and on the day itself. Using spaced learning techniques to deliver top tips or quick refresher clips will ensure it is fresh in their minds and applied correctly.

But remember, spaced learning needs to be engaging, creative, to the point and relevant.  Incorporating a range of solutions such as quizzes, games, audio, video and scenarios with feedback will aid knowledge transfer and close the learning and skills gap.


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Kerry Pascall, Head of Digital Learning, Bray Leino Learning

In my series of blogs you can expect some tips on implementing eLearning, what to consider when commissioning eLearning, design tips, software and authoring pros and cons, and general advice on everything eLearning!

Copyright © 2017 Bray Leino Learning

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