Relevance is a key factor in making learning effective, applying to both the learning you’re delivering and the perception and experience of the learner.
Content needs to be seen to have practical application in the workplace, and learners should be able to see how it helps them in the work that they do. If this isn’t the case, learners will most likely disengage. What’s more, organizations can suffer dips in operational performance and be exposed in key areas like compliance. In contrast, increasing relevance gives your learning greater impact and helps you reach the goal of better operational performance.
6 ways to make learning more relevant
- Make sure all content is updated: It seems obvious, but to remain relevant, learning content needs to be up to date. The advantage of digital learning programs is that changes can be made quickly and implemented immediately. For this, you need to build a review cycle into your planning. Next, consider the most effective ways of filling any gaps your review uncovers.
Microlearning and user-generated content are quick to create and deploy. You don’t have to wait till the next iteration of a course. A timely response to changing learning needs shows that your training is adaptable and responsive and attuned to the need for relevance.
- Prioritize practice: Learning can sometimes be perceived as too theoretical and abstract, but you can make it more relevant by tying it to practice. Learning by doing is a highly effective way of training and puts it in a real-world context.
Scenario-based learning and role plays stress the practical application of information and allows learners to practice new learning by putting themselves in someone else’s shoes. They are particularly effective in teaching soft skills required especially by leaders, managers, and HR. Simulations allow learners to practice technical skills in a fail-safe environment.
- Bring learning into the workflow: Classroom-based learning and e-learning courses tend to compartmentalize learning into discrete, one-off events. Bringing training into the actual workflow by creating a repository of digital learning resources helps break barriers between training and working.
Providing access to quick information in the form of microlearning content from a desktop or mobile device means people always have it to hand while they’re working. By accessing and processing information in the workflow, employees see the value and relevance of learning.
- Offer upskilling and reskilling: Surveys continually show people are more likely to stay with an organization that prioritizes and values learning. From onboarding onwards, it’s important to make your employees aware of development opportunities and provide the learning to support them.
This can be in the form of CPD or some internal recognition system of digital badges and certificates. It’s also critical for the organization to invest in upskilling and reskilling to meet the challenges of a dynamic business environment where technology is revolutionizing business practices and the demand for new skills is on the rise.
- Learn from social media: Technology has opened up vast amounts of information accessible from our personal devices. That information can be easily shared and recommended through social media. This distributed, more democratic, and collaborative way of learning benefits organizations.
You can’t compete with the internet, but you can replicate some of the practices and behaviors from social media and apply them to your organization. This includes providing online spaces for projects and teamwork or encouraging experienced employees to share their best practices through user-generated content such as short videos or audio recordings.
You can also introduce a system of recommendations to validate external, online content. By adopting the tools and practices of social media you not only appeal to modern learners, but you also stand over the relevance of the information you share.
- Give learners more control: Digital learning means people can learn at their own pace in their own time. Giving learners more control over what they do, means they will prioritize what’s relevant to them.
This personalization replaces the blanket, one-size-fits-all approach which is only relevant in parts depending on a learner’s experience and role. With a repository of digital assets, learners can pull the resources they need, rather than pushing whole courses at them. Facilitating this control for learners leads to a better understanding of what is already known and any gaps, helping to increase responsibility for the learner to take control of their own learning journey.
Learners engage more when they perceive a practical value in what they’re learning. What they want is to learn content with an obvious application that helps them work better. They also want greater control over what they learn and where – learning on demand.
To find out how Learning Pool can help to make your content more relevant and help make learning more effective within your organization, get in touch.
Emma has been with Learning Pool since its foundation. A former event manager and digital content specialist, she loves to help spread the news of our customers’ success and is responsible for our content, leading our awards, case studies, articles and press releases.
Passionate about providing people with an opportunity to grow and develop in their careers, Emma is also highly involved in the company’s business improvement group and various wellbeing initiatives.
Emma is most proud of being a mummy to the world’s best children. She has two angelic and talented daughters; Chloe who’s 14 and ‘Baby Ava’ who is 12 years old.