Thoughts to Consider: A New Approach to Learning


Lauren Taylor

The other day I stumbled across a great article by eLearning Industry, reflecting on how learning has changed over the years.

Many of us can probably remember the time where we would sit and listen to a lecture and scan through some reading assignments from our printed textbooks. Today, however, there has been a shift in learning from piles of paper textbooks to technology resource overload.

As a result of constant access to Google, we’ve become knowledge-driven people who lack patience. Our focus could be paralleled to the dog in the movie Up… “squirrel”. In order to reach today’s learner, we need to have a solid understanding of how they work & where they work, as well as their preferred methods for learning information.

1. Learn Using Various Devices

Portable devices such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops are with us pretty much everywhere we go. It is projected that by 2020 there will be over 20 Billion connected devices in the world. Many of us even use two devices every day with some using three devices.

These devices can be used a handful of ways, but a common one is for attaining new information. We learn exuberant amount from our devices. All that information comes in many forms whether that be text or video. For these reasons, content needs to be responsive to the varying size of the device. Many applications are built with a responsive design, however, the learning content inside the application delivering it isn’t always optimized for learning across devices. Good news, iorad is! It isn’t just responsive it adapts to the learner's device in order to present them with the player & mode that best fits their viewing circumstance.

2. Forget Paperback Books, Hello Smartphones

Mobile devices have taken learning to the next level thanks to search engines, endless knowledge, and diverse content types. While books only give the opportunity to learn from text and images, mobile devices provide all types of content at your fingertips, making it a very useful educational tool.

Almost 3 out of every 4 people learn new information from a smartphone. However, in a corporate education world, only 12 percent is actually mobile-friendly which creates a gap in the learning technology space. It's more important than ever before to bring learning content TO the learner whether they are on a desktop or mobile device.

3. Learning is Happening In the Moment, Rather than Upfront

Over half the time, people search to learn new information at the point in time which they are needing the information. Many times we’ll whip out our cell phone and open up our search engine of choice to find the information we need whether that be in the grocery store or out to dinner with friends. There is learning inside company time & then there is the learning that happens outside of work hours and often times much of that learning is now taking place on our mobile devices at a point in which we need to know the information.

4. Self-Paced Learning has Increased in Popularity

Now that learning is happening more at the time of need it makes sense that search engine optimization would be the most useful way to encourage learning. If finding information becomes a challenge or timely we are more discouraged in pursuing the information. If you can’t find something within a short time aren’t you more likely to say “the heck with it?” Optimized search ability is really key to increasing learning in a self-paced scenario.

Studies have been showing that now manager assigned courses, collaboration, self-pacing, and standard work documentation are ranking higher with learners. However, we’ve seen a decline in video and podcast use because of the amount of time it takes to find/listen to the information needed at the moment. The content isn’t searchable. Many people would rather do a quick search to find information than they would watch/listen to a video/podcast all the way through. It’s much more time-effective & efficient.

5. Quality Training is Important

Even though it’s important to be able to acquire information quickly, the more crucial piece is that it is quality. It makes sense, right? Who cares how fast you can find it if it’s useless or incorrect. Quality training will always win out! If you can combine quality with speed & convenience, you are winning!!

6. Professional Development is More Prioritized Than Ever Before

Looking at trends, we can see that it is more common that the younger generation is staying in the same job for about 3–5 years before moving on to their next adventure. This generation doesn’t accept the status quo, they want to be learning, challenged, and growing. If they master their job and don’t have the opportunity for professional development, the sooner they will be off to their next adventure. Employers are realizing that investing in professional development is a worthwhile cost as they reap benefits while the employees are employed but they also attract better talent for new opportunities.

Today’s learner wants to be a superhero. What does that mean? It means they want to be able to solve problems on their own, do the unthinkable, and be innovative. They want opportunities to learn in their own time and have easy access to information from their mobile devices.

So Now What?!

Our current workforce is eager to learn & grow their career. They take initiative and seek out ways to continue to growth. Many times that means “Googling” but the problem remains that in order to find information for internal company processes many times the most accurate approach is to track someone knowledgable down because many times training can become outdated instantly.

Well, iorad is a solution that directly impacts the two most challenging issues in workplace training right now. The first being the challenge to create & maintain application training for an ecosystem that is always evolving in the workforce. The second challenge is the ability to present the information to the audience in a way that speaks to their individual learning style AND accessible when they need it most. Using iorad, you can easily create and share how to’s in just minutes.

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If you’d like to check out their article. You can find it here.