Here’s a fact:
People learn best when they NEED the information or skill.
Have you ever heard the term “Just in Case Learning”. Just in Case learning sucks! We are going to force you to learn something in the off chance that maybe one day or maybe not you may or may not need or use this information.
Have any of you ever seen that kids movie called Inside Out? The one with the emotions in the kid’s head? There’s Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear. It’s super cute and totally brilliant.
One of the concepts that they showed in this movie was the idea of the memory dump. The human brain has a filing system because there’s only so much information that it can access at a time. Information that is deemed unnecessary gets flushed out to the memory dump.
This is exactly what happens when someone is forced to consume learning content when they don’t need the information.
From a course and curriculum design perspective- what do you think this means?
How we can design and build our learner curriculums and digital courses to embrace this truth?
There are two learning industry words that you have likely heard thrown around.
Just In Time (JIT) training and Microlearning. Let’s have a closer look at each one.
Just in Time (JIT) Training
Just in Time (JIT) training is training that is provided and consumed just before the learner needs to apply the skills. This can be done through classroom training, coaching or eLearning.
My vote is for eLearning!
eLearning holds a high degree of effectiveness when it comes to JIT training for the mere fact that it can be accessed from anywhere at anytime.
If you have ever been involved with the logistics of organizing classroom training then you know how HARD it is to plan JIT classroom training!
But deploying training “Just in Time” doesn’t work if there is so much information crammed in that it overwhelms the brain.
Our brains need to be able to access the information that we need when we need it.
In a larger course or curriculum this means breaking your content down into small bits also known as “chunking” your content.
Another very effective method of chunking is called microlearning.
Microlearning is a training that is focused on one thing. Essentially a teeny training. It could even dive into a single learning objective.
At Learn to Flourish we call these teeny trainings Microlearning Tutorials and we like to share them on our Quick Win Wednesday posts on social media.
A good microlearning allows you to focus on and learn one thing that you can go and apply or put into action right away.
Access to Training
Once you have designed your training in small chunks or as microlearning there’s one more absolutely essential ingredient. Access to the training.
How is your learning content hosted and deployed?
If you have designed a well chunked eLearning that has a number of topics and learning objectives, have you locked down the navigation or is it open navigation allowing the learner to access the topics in the order that they want to complete them? Can they easily get back into the training and re-do or complete more later?
If you have created a number of microlearning tutorials, how can the learner find and access the tutorials when they need them?
Have you made it easy for your audience to get the information that they need when they need it?
If you create education for your company then you may not have a lot of control over how the learning is hosted and deployed but I still encourage you to design in small chunks and with open navigation within your eLearning modules.
If you are an entrepreneur who creates courses to sell then please keep all of these ideas in mind. One thing that I hear over and over again from course creators is “Nobody is finishing my courses!” My response is – So WHAT? It doesn’t matter if your learner consumed every little bit of education that you have pulled together for them.
Instead of looking at the percentage of completion, ask your learners:
- Did you get what you needed?
- Did the training answer your questions?
- Were you able to apply the knowledge or skill right away?
- What results have you seen since taking the course?
I know that you feel like they need it all. I get it! You worked really hard to build your course and gift all of your beautiful knowledge to your audience.
But remember, it’s not about you. It’s about them. The best gift that you can give your audience is to let them access what they need when they need it the most.
Think about the movie the Matrix. Remember how Keanu Reeves inserts the chip into his brain to learn how to do something immediately? I need to fly a helicopter – insert chip and download. So awesome.
Design your course content and allow access to the content in a way that enables the learner to get the information that they need when they need it.
If you’re interested in learning more about the concepts we’ve talked about today, click below to access our FREE microlearning tutorial about all the types of training we’ve talked about today, and BONUS information on what you should be adding to your training!
If you’re looking for more information on how to connect with your audience, check out our free learning resource on “Seven Ways to Teach Your Learners in a Fast Paced World.”
Wishing you inspiration, innovation, and continuous learning,
Lorena and the Learn to Flourish team
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How People Learn: Seven Ways to Teach Your Learners in a Faced Paced World