Lockdown learning – is now really the right time?

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We’re approaching our seventh week of lockdown, and the suggestions to make this time count are still coming thick and fast. Most notably, the idea of using this time to brush up on your skills or learn something new are hitting social media channels and our email inboxes almost daily.

But this is where organisations have a choice to make. Do you want your staff to learn a series of facts that will be quickly forgotten when back in the office? Or do you want a sustained, behavioural change across your business?

Will your staff learn when surrounded by kids, pets and partners, all demanding attention? And are our brains even in a position to learn alongside dealing with the onslaught of information we’re getting on a daily basis?

What about the quality of what they are learning? Is this linked to a personal development plan? Or are you simply fulfilling a tick box quota to ensure this period of working from home is seen as productive?

Think about the place online training takes within your staff development plan. Rushing into online training using poor quality, click-next, off-the-shelf packages means your learners are more likely to rapidly loose interest, making learning a chore and knowledge retention minimal.

So, what’s the solution?

Grounding the learning in behavioural psychology helps to ensure learner engagement and knowledge retention. Staff want to learn because they understand why they need to learn.

Adult learning should allow the learner choice by treating everyone as an individual, using learning that has different routes through it for different experience levels. Simulation and scenario-based learning where you can try non-optimal solutions and learn by your mistakes helps build behaviours and a solution-based approach to real-world problems.

CDS DS have a long history of creating engaging e-learning for organisations such as the British Army, whose demographic make-up is as varied as any commercial organisation.

Modern learning, using xAPI (Experience API, or xAPI, is an e-learning software specification that allows learning content and learning systems to speak to each other in a manner that records and tracks all types of learning experiences) provides many opportunities to track staff's learning journey, including offline and non-electronic learning.

These data analytics can then be used to complete the learning feedback cycle. What resources do your top performers choose to learn from? Where is everyone struggling with a concept or process? These and similar questions can be fed back to the training designers, such as CDS DS, to continually improve the quality of your training programmes.

By grounding our training in behavioural psychology, we ensure we ask the right organisational questions first, before the training is designed. Why are you training, what outcomes do you want to achieve, how will you measure the behavioural change? Asking the right questions at the start, means that you can more accurately track the effectiveness of the training programme.

So, lockdown isn’t necessarily a bad time to do online learning, but now is an excellent time to review your training strategy.

CDS DS has years of experience crafting tailor-made, long-term learning strategies, based on psychological principles and adult learning theories. We can help you curate or create quality training resources, that work for your staff, both now and when ‘normal’ resumes.

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