5 Ways to Harness Technology to Maximise Learning
Technology has come a long way in terms of learning applications, and each advancement contributes to more effective learning. Custom-built learning management systems can be leveraged to increase the knowledge levels and learning retention within an organisation. One way to achieve this is by customising learning modules to target specific learning needs. Ultimately, you want to be able to make the time, effort and budget you’re investing in learning, pay off. Here are 5 top tips on how to do this:
1. Avoid Information Overload
One of the drawbacks of classroom training is that learners get a mountain of information dumped on them within a short space of time, and then they’re expected to remember everything. Most people have a short attention span, and research shows that the majority of information learnt will be forgotten within 2 weeks if it isn’t reinforced.
When setting up a learning management system, structure the learning modules so that learning happens in small bite-sized chunks. This will help avoid the classic mistake of bombarding learners with information overload, and they will be more likely to retain the knowledge learnt.
Additionally, make sure that each section is accurately labelled and linked to other sections of relevance. This makes it easier to search for specific learning materials. Often learning management systems contain an impressive amount of information, but learners aren’t aware of how to access it or they don’t know how to find what is relevant to what they need to know.
2. Spaced Learning
The more learners read something or practice doing it, the more likely it is to become entrenched in your memory. Therefore, repetition is an important part of learning retention. Going through small sections of learning materials several times, and taking a break in between, makes learning more effective.
Digital learning content can be used very effectively for spaced learning. The added benefit is that each time a learner works through the material, scores can be recorded and compared, so managers can assess how learning has improved with each repetition.
Ember’s online knowledge retention platform, Errol Owl, uses the spaced-learning approach by providing fun quizzes daily and by directing learners to content as needed to plug gaps.
3. Create competition in real time
There’s nothing like a little bit of friendly competition to encourage learning within a team. Competition motivates because it gives people something to aim for.
Technology can facilitate this by gathering data each time a different learner logs in. It can bring up a report of what modules were completed, how long it took and what assessment scores were achieved. This data can then be correlated in real time to create a leaderboard.
The information is useful to managers because it provides an overview of the knowledge levels within the team, can verify compliance if there are compulsory regulatory modules that need to be completed and gives an indication of quality scores.
4. Gather data to coach from
Nobody wants to learn information that isn’t relevant to them. This is often why so many learners switch off when in ‘sheep-dip’ type classroom learning sessions. Employees are far more likely to be engaged in learning if learning materials provide information they need to know or that will help them be more effective in their daily roles.
Manually reviewing calls only provides insight on a small cross section of the business, whereas technology can analyse vast amounts of data effectively in a short space of time and provide accurate reports for managers.
Technology can provide data-identifying knowledge gaps so that learning can be targeted to these specific areas. It also provides managers data from which to coach or to use in peer-to-peer coaching. If one employee scores particularly high in an area, and another one is struggling, the two can be paired up so that the employee who has a firm grasp of the concepts can coach the other.
5. Treat everyone uniquely
One of the big advantages of using learner pathways is that they can be customised. This is hugely beneficial because each person will learn in a slightly different way and at a different pace. Facilitating personalised journeys not only improves learner engagement, but also learning outcomes, because participants are able to learn in a way that is easiest for them.
Treating people uniquely sends a strong message that they matter and are not just another employee number. It shows the organisation is interested in helping them learn and further their knowledge. This helps to improve employee engagement and retention and makes them more effective and productive.
Digital learning solutions can also be used effectively for self-study. By providing access to information in bite-sized, digital chunks, employees have the freedom to broaden their learning and further their personal career prospects.
Mobile technology helps to make use of learning time on the go and can encourage learners to consume content in ‘idle’ time. Learning technologies provide valuable insights to managers and L&D trainers to help them evaluate what is working and what isn’t and to provide data in the form of reports to show how effective the learning efforts have been and how much learning has been retained in the longer term.
To find out more about Errol, our unique and customisable knowledge retention platform, contact the Ember team:
Call: +44 (0)20 7871 9797
Want to hear more from Carolyn? Then follow this link to her round-up of the Learning Technologies conference where her 5 tips for using 5 Ways to Harness Technology to Maximise Learning were first delivered.