Why We Should Be Talking About Learning Journeys, Not Pathways

While building our newest product, Red Panda, it’s taken us to an interesting semantic battle. Red Panda is a planning, tracking and evidence tool for a holistic, user focused approach to day to day learning.

We want to empower users and engage them with learning, by offering a structural tool which lets them set their own learning agenda, and find relevant resources to help them meet these goals.

But what should we call said learning agenda? Speaking with a lot of clients and seeing what other offerings are, everyone seems to be describing these as ‘pathways’.

However, we were adamant that these were ‘journeys’. Even in calls, describing them as journeys, I would be asked “by journeys, do you mean pathways?”

Well, no actually I don’t.

A pathway is specified and has an ending. A journey is the act of travelling, you may have a vague plan, but this could change along the way. You may have an intended end but that adapts over time, as you grow from your experiences. This is what we want to achieve with Red Panda.

To do this, we’re flipping the traditional concept of content being organised to get you to an end point. This is necessary and well done by other tools, such as Stream LXP (formerly Curatr), however this is not what Red Panda is intended for.

It’s essentially a goal-setting tool, but designed specifically with learning in mind.

It comprises of the following pieces:

  • Journeys – these are you high level learning objectives. Where do you want to be in 5 years time?
  • Goals – these are subsets of that overall objective. How are you going to get there? Is there useful content that you can look at which will help you?
  • Evidence – what have you learnt working towards these goals? What would you do differently next time? What are you going to implement from what you’ve learnt?

With this tool, organisations can start to acknowledge both formal and informal learning that takes place, from the course you’ve booked on through the LMS, to the article you read that was shared by a colleague.

Our own objective for this tool is that in the end, this will all be automatically tracked within Red Panda, via the power of xAPI.

This would mean Red Panda can potentially become your invisible “experience layer”, pulling together your learning experiences and compiling them into presentable data to share your learning journey with your Manager, CPD Auditor or colleagues.

Of course, this is a learning journey as well as any other, so we’ll see where we end up!

If you’re interested in how Stream LXP (formerly Curatr) can benefit learning in your organisation, schedule a demo now. 

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