We are all completely engulfed by a world of technology. On a day-to-day basis, we all use cellphones, computers, headphones, cars, and the list goes on. Businesses are also dependent on technology these days, and specific business units use these technologies to allow them to do a more effective and efficient job.
When it comes to the learning function, technology is a wonderful thing, and we can’t forget that it is a core enabler for learning professionals. At the same time, we can’t forget that we don’t only have technology-driven learning. There are also other approaches to training such as blended approaches, and instructor-led. If you’ve been in the industry long enough, we all know that there are plenty of areas for improvement in those realms that don’t necessarily require a technological solution.
Improve Your Areas Beyond Technology
Learning materials that aren’t technology-driven can always be improved. Materials such as handouts are sometimes taken for-granted, but the way a handout is designed and delivered can make a huge difference in terms of what the learner physically and mentally “takes away” from the session. Handouts should be light in content and mainly highlight key takeaway points. Areas where learners can write their own notes is also handy as people usually refer back to the notes that they took vs. heavy-content material that may be provided to them.
A good exercise/project that you can do today is come up with a list titled “That’s The Way We’ve Always Done It.” List things here that you or your company has historically, no-questions-asked, simply done. Next to these items, brainstorm how you might do it differently and why it would make more sense. After completing your list, you can do a simple A/B test to see which way is more effective. This may take some time, but it is 100% worth it in seeing what works, and what doesn’t. Sometimes you will find that the old way of doing things isn’t always the right way to do them, especially in the modern world.
Use Technology as an “Enabler”
Technology should be seen as an enabler to the learning function. The use of software and fancy high-tech solutions don’t solve anyone’s problems without an intended purpose behind them. Even the most expensive solutions will go unused if the user cannot see a clear value. I think most would agree that the same is true for the learner – if you give them a shiny, new, eLearning course but they don’t find it engaging enough or relevant enough, they will find other ways to learn how to do their job.
When used with a purpose, learning tech can provide immense value to an organization and employees.
A good example of using technology to enable the learning function is through the Flipped Classroom methodology. This is where an instructor offloads more of the lecture into a digital format, and uses the actual classroom time as social learning experience where things like homework and more customized interaction can occur. Maybe a better use of classroom time is for engaging discussions and questions, rather than the “death by powerpoint” approach.
There are many other examples of enabling technologies. At Riptide, we intentionally developed 3 pertinent technologies that enables the learning function in the modern world of measuring learning’s impact on the business. We developed Storepoints Learning Record Store, which enables L&D to gather and evaluate learning data from anything digital, Waypoints Guided Software Training, which enables L&D to teach users any web-based software through step-by-step automated guides, and Learnpoints adaptive learning courseware, which enables L&D to use adaptive training techniques and offers a completely-customized distance learning experience
All in all, technology is great, but it’s not enough on its own to bring innovation or modernization into your learning organization. You also have to have an intended purpose behind it and a strategy to use it effectively. Again – technology doesn’t solve anyone’s problems, but the way you use it does.
We would love to show you how to take maximum advantage of enabling technologies in your organization. Contact us to get started.