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The days of training and workshops may not be totally in the past—the ways companies are advancing corporate learning initiatives today is changing as much as the shifting information landscape.
According to Bersin by Deloitte’s research on modern learners, people today are more distracted and overwhelmed than ever. Consider it a product of the outpouring of information people interact with on a minute-by-minute basis—checking a smartphone, looking for email alerts—as usage of mobile devices and social media outlets boom.
Americans are more connected than ever before. The Pew Research Center estimates 77% of Americans own smartphones, up a staggering amount from the 35% of Americans who owned them in 2011. According to Pew, seven out of 10 Americans also use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information, and entertain themselves.
But how does all this translate to corporate learning?
Let modern media and communication habits guide new corporate norms. As employees rely on social media and smartphones to interact and engage, static corporate training, workshops, and classes will likely become less common, and may also be less effective.
With today’s connectivity, the ability to quickly connect and access small “bites” of information makes learning and training more accessible. A training portal accessed via a smartphone, for example, might enable employees to check-in to learning opportunities when they have a few minutes of downtime.
Online learning is growing by leaps and bounds, from the academic Khan Academy to Lynda training and edX courses. People increasingly have access to massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offered by academic institutions, universities, and industry organizations.
According to a study and report by Deloitte, the employee learning culture is shifting from a “push” culture to a “pull” culture. Whereas employees in a corporate setting would typically attend seminars and speeches and return to work, they’re now absorbing content in a variety of different ways. They’re “pulling” information on-demand at times and places that work for them, instead of having information and training “pushed” at them during specific training times.
Similar to pulling information, hands-on workshops and collaborative opportunities provide employees with more engaging ways to learn or train. Instead of lecturing and presenting information during sessions, rethink and reorganize the structure.
In a flipped classroom, the instructor provides lecture materials ahead of the scheduled session. Employees read and review the materials on their own time.
Instead of hearing all the information in a lecture form, they collaborate and discuss in a workshop format, either in a physical room or together online.
This format uses time to practice and apply concepts instead of simply listening. Employees are more likely to learn from one another, ask questions, and uncover issues while they’re still in the classroom.