If there’s one phrase that seems to crop up time and time again on my LinkedIn feed at the minute, it’s ‘digital learning’. As a reader of this blog, the chances are you’re just as excited by it as I am! Perhaps you’re among the 96% of L&D professionals looking to improve access to learning content in 2019. Or maybe you’d like to integrate digital into your learning strategy but feel sceptical about how to get it right for your organisation.
Despite the undeniable buzz around digital learning, it can be hard to know where to start. With so many digital options, from virtual reality to video, L&D faces an overwhelming choice. This could explain why only 43% of learning is currently delivered digitally.
But wherever you are in your digital journey, it’s worth taking the time to get it right. As businesses are forced to adapt to the demands of a fast-paced digital world, typified by our shorter attention spans, L&D must keep up or risk turning learners off.
So, rather than feeling daunted by the rise of digital, it’s time to embrace its incredible learning potential - to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time. It is time to become digitally confident.
Here are a few of my tips for getting the most out of digital learning.
Start with ‘why’
You need to first understand what you want your digital learning to achieve. Following Simon Sinek’s inspired approach, you may find it helpful to start by asking ‘why’. Why do you need digital learning? What do you want it to achieve?
Identifying the specific challenges that your digital learning needs to solve from the word go will help you identify the right solution for your business. This will set you on your way towards developing a learning strategy that is aligned with the goals and objectives of the business – a key way of getting internal stakeholders on board with your digital strategy.
Less is more
With so much tantalising tech to choose from, it can be tempting to dive right in. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve had to gently reel in excitable clients who can’t wait to get stuck in! And while video, podcasts and virtual reality undoubtedly offer great potential, they’re not necessarily the right fit for every business.
If your hands are tied by budget constraints, for example, then video or eLearning may offer a more cost-effective, scalable solution than VR. You’ll need to think about what is realistic and achievable for you.
Put your learners first
There was a time when L&D took a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, driven by instructor-led courses for the masses. But this is no longer enough. In an agile world, learners want to take control of their learning, choosing what, when and how they learn. I wasn’t surprised by the revelation in a recent report that 58% of employees prefer to learn at their own pace.
Digital learning is perfectly placed to deliver this. Learning can be broken up into bite-sized chunks and accessed on multiple devices anytime, anywhere. We can then personalise it further by using methods that the organisation knows will work for them. For example, those who travel a lot (such as sales reps) may prefer podcasts or mobile learning. Meanwhile, a workforce that is used to finding their own solutions to everyday problems or questions would much prefer YouTube-style videos.
Working out the answers to these questions will help you develop a digital solution that is aligned with your learners’ needs – a vital step in getting them engaged.
This is the final step in our very own ‘DECIDE’ model, and I can’t emphasise enough the importance of evaluation to assess whether your solutions are hitting the mark.
Evaluation will be much easier if you have set carefully defined goals at the start of the project, allowing you to measure how close you are to getting it right, and pinpoint what needs to be done to get there. You can then make the tweaks you need to make your digital learning a success.
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These are just a few of the ways you can achieve success with digital learning.
Ready to find out more? Have a read of our digital learning eBook, filled with practical tips to apply within your organisation.
Stephanie Morgan FLPI, Director of Learning Solutions, Bray Leino Learning
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