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usage data to be agile – adjusting the strategy based on user behaviours. Making learning more integrated

means moving it from the confined and theoretical approach of the classroom by making sure it is available to learners through their smartphones, tablets and laptops. Employees expect the information they require to be at their fingertips and, if it isn’t, they will search outside of the organisation to get it. It is this move to the 24-hour availability of information that is crucial for empowering and motivating users as to when, where and how they consume learning content.

E2: Experiment

From augmented reality to big data, there’s no doubt that learning solution providers have embraced new technol- ogies as a means of delivering training. We’re increasingly surrounded by digital modes of engaging with the end user. In many industries – healthcare, defence and financial services – there is a huge amount of compliance learning that has to be done. Tere is a great opportunity ahead of us to shift compliance from being a check-box exercise to an engagement exercise that creates a culture of compliance. Te psychological contract at work

is changing – particularly as millennials are begin to run the show. Te way that we are distributing and sending out our learning needs to change as well. And indeed, this is beginning to happen with mounting interest in gamification and social/collaborative modes. In practice, it would be interesting to see how far down the line organisations are with implementing these strategies – we need to move from talking the talk, to walking the walk.

E3: Experience

Employees have less time and more demands than ever, making the task of tackling skill shortages increasingly dif- ficult. Te overload of information that is characteristic of long-form learning makes it problematic for the learner to retain past training, and also often takes up large chunks of their time. So, rather than force-feeding your

employees mandatory content, why not let them take ownership of their learning? As part of this approach to learning, we need to build more trust

in our learner population by enabling and encouraging them to identify the areas where they feel they need support. Te 21st century learning dynamic should involve the learner ‘leaning forward’ – getting involved with the learning process by diagnosing their own skill gaps and retrieving the relevant content when it’s required. By putting the learner at the

centre of the learning proposition, it allows them the flexibility to learn at a time and in a place of their choice. On the train, in the lift or on their lunch break – accessible, short, sharp content that is available on

Save the Children The challenge

Case study:

To support and standardise the activities of volunteers as they aid the European refugee crises to core humanitarian principles. Since the migrant crisis began in 2015, Save the Children has been at the forefront of the response.

The solution

Learners need to have the ability to self- diagnose and take an active role in determining their own career and learning pathways

the go prevents training from being perceived as a burden and instead adds value to the learner’s working life.

Some design considerations Tere are certain things which need to happen in learning content design. At the very least, we need to avoid dis- tancing the users by using long and dull materials; clunky or slow/tedious access between mobile devices and learning management systems; low utility modes or learning objects with poorly identified occasions of application (ie, “where can I actually use this?”). A mixed media approach is usually most engaging and more time-efficient from an editorial perspective. Our data shows that mixed media content can increase user engagement and content retention. Have you noticed air flight videos are mostly animated these days? Animation brings a more playful, emotionally engaging style rather than the formal ‘presentational’ or ‘broadcast’ mode that often accompanies tradi- tional video. Yet, this does not compro- mise the seriousness of the message. Try to reduce the length of content to maximise retention (three minutes works best), but don’t forget to deliver

Save the Children needed to take face-to-face learning and make it accessible on a mobile platform, so that volunteers and staff could access content on the go. The material needed to have high utility as well as be easy to understand by a variety of learners in different political, social and cultural environments. Skill Pill created a series of microlearning packages – videos, supporting documents to introduce key information, standards and templates to support volunteers in making a positive impact on the lives of refugees. The content

was delivered via apps getting to a variety of locations such as to the

volunteers on the Save the Children rescue boat, the Vos Hestia.

The result

Work is still ongoing, but the project has had strong usage – with 3,500 access requests in over 30 countries worldwide such as Kenya, Turkey and Bangladesh. Other NGOs have begun using the materials including UNICEF, Action Aid UK and British Red Cross. Due to its success, Save the Children is collaborating with Skill Pill throughout 2017 to broaden the campaign with additional learning materials.

some smarts. Get creative. Within those three minutes of content users must be taken on quick journey which provides some take-away lessons that they can put into practice. Ensure that each learning object is clear about what the learner can do differently as a result of the intervention.

Gerry Griffin is founder of Skill Pill and can be contacted via

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