Learning Pool Labs: The Skills Builder
Learning Pool’s Learning Labs teamed recently conducted research to answer two key questions:
- Can skills confidence be improved by engaging with relevant bite-sized learning experiences?
- Can engagement with skills-based learning experiences be increased through regular email nudges?
And set out to prove/disprove the following hypotheses:
- Engagement of skills-based learning experiences is improved when they are drip fed rather than provided in one go.
- Higher engagement with skills-based learning experiences improves skills confidence.
The Skills Builder
This research was based on our internal Skills Builder program which was created using Learning Pool’s Platform.
Staff at Learning Pool were invited to undertake the Skills Builder which was created using the platform onboarding feature in Learning Pool Platform. The Skills Builder asked them the following questions:
- ROLE: Which option best describes your existing job?
- AMBITION: What is your learning goal?
- SKILLS: Select between 1 and 3 skills that you would like to learn or improve upon.
They were also asked to rate their skills confidence for each selected skill based on a 5-point scale from novice to expert.
Their response to these questions dictated the learning experiences that were assigned to them. But alongside that, we also created random control groups that dictated how the learning experiences would be delivered. The first group got playlists containing a variety of learning experiences on their LXP dashboard, the second group got email nudges highlighting and giving them access to one or two learning experiences every 3 days and the final group got both of these.
The learning experiences covered a vast range of types but all were bite-sized and designed to be impactful. The majority were hand-curated content by subject matter experts such as articles, videos and blogs but there were also interactive modules, practical tasks to try out and even ideas for ways to practice the relevant skill back in the workplace.
Example learning experiences
Creativity Myth Buster (Learning Pool lesson)
Not sure where you stand on creativity? Answer these quick questions about yourself and we’ll give you some pointers.
George Land -The Failure Of Success (TEDx video)
Humans have been innovating throughout our existence. George Land offers a brief history of innovation in this TEDx talk.
15 Seconds of Brilliance (Activity)
Try this Creative Challenge taken from “Creative Confidence” by IDEO founders Tom & David Kelley to help increase your creative output.
Run an idea-generation session (Practice)
Invite some colleagues to a session designed to generate ideas and solve a problem/meet a challenge. Choose your favorite idea-generation technique(s) in order to structure the meeting and concentrate on getting the best out of your participants.
Once the program was set up and launched we didn’t do any further interventions for a month. All of the interactions and engagement were self-motivated or prompted by the learning campaign emails. 30 days after they completed the onboarding we used another automation workflow to trigger an email that asked people to retake the Skills Builder so we could see if there was any change.
Our Platform gives us access to a huge amount of data that we can use to measure the impact of our learning experiences and campaigns. For this study we focused on the following key data sets:
- Skills Builder data
- Engagement data
- Automation data
- Number of emails sent, delivered, opened and links clicked
- The route through the campaign’s branches shows learner behavior based on the emails sent
Data is great but what we really need is to be able to analyze the data to gain insights and Sisense the business intelligence tool we use to power all of our data visualizations is perfect for doing that. By combining the data sets above we found the following key insights.
Automated reminders improve completion
Our automation tools allow you to set and forget reminder campaigns. We did this when inviting people to take the Skills builder and whilst 40% of those that completed the Skills Builder did it without needing reminders, the remaining 60% needed one or more nudges. That’s well over half that might not have completed it without the reminders – or would have had to be manually reminded!
Learning campaigns improve engagement
A whopping 82% of LX views came from the test group that had access to both the playlists and the email nudges. We expected it to be higher but didn’t anticipate quite this high. From our focus groups, the email gave the nudge to look at a particular learning experience and once they engaged with that they often looked at a few more which explains the high engagement. The other control groups didn’t have that option.
Skills confidence be improved by engaging with relevant bite-sized learning experiences
After just 30 days we saw a 5% increase in average skills confidence across all 13 skills. One skill entrepreneurship had a huge 17% increase – maybe because people didn’t understand it as a concept so a few bite-sized experiences gave a significant impact on their confidence. Other skills show slightly less of a rise, some didn’t show any and one showed a slight downturn. We need to allow a bit longer to see the full impact of the program on skills development.
We’ll continue to run our Skills Builder and keep an eye on the data and insights. It’s great for knowing where we need to focus our learning and development efforts and also to help remind our people that there are self-development experiences available to them on demand via the Learning Pool Platform.
Skills-based learning is a big focus area currently for our Labs team. How can we help organizations go beyond measurement to really impacting on skills and performance? And how can we accurately assess skills whether via self-assessment, diagnostics or peer review?
If you’d like to find out more about the Skills Builder or get involved in the work Learning Pool Labs is doing around upskilling then drop us a line at [email protected].
You can also find out more here.
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