Have you ever taken part of a training session, either online or in person, just to leave the session and forget most of the information that was presented? You are not alone. The famous Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve shows that as humans we forget about 50% of new information within an hour of learning it, and all the way up to an average of 70% within 24 hours.
Still, organizations are continuing to focus on these planned training sessions and large e-learning courses without getting enough value out of them. For people in learning and development, managers and people working with knowledge sharing overall, this presents huge challenges ahead, no matter how large or small your team is. So, how can we complement this traditional approach with continuous learning and value in the everyday business?
Firstly we need to change how we think about sharing knowledge digitally. We can no longer overload people with huge amounts of information at once, instead we need to break it down and focus on making exactly the right information and knowledge easily accessible, whenever the individual needs it. By doing this we are moving more towards microlearning and performance support, which is a big step in the right direction.
Some scenarios truly do require longer training sessions and courses. One example of this is if you want to certify people, but, even in those scenarios we should think about trimming down the amount of information we are presenting. Present exactly the minimum required information in the course, then create supporting content pieces around the training session that the individual can utilize and access whenever it is needed to repeat or act.
Way to much training content is created based on guesses of what is needed, or because someone ordered it from the top down. To be able to create relevant content and truly help people to perform better we need to continuously identify bottlenecks and processes that people actually find unclear or complex.
With this we mean that we need to stop thinking that a full-blown e-learning course with gamification scenarios, and drag- & drop elements is required to create engagement and getting the message through. As humans our attention span is only getting shorter and shorter, instead we need to look at what type of format is mostly suitable to clearly present the right information as quickly as possible. A microlearning course, a short video, a step-by-step guide or a simple checklist can in most cases do the trick. These formats are very easy to create, maintain and keep relevant over time. By lowering the barriers to what formats we are creating it is much easier to directly include subject matter experts in the content creation process.
A big reason why some elearning content lack engagement is because people simply don't know that the content exist. Finding answers and knowledge should be as easy as turning to Google or Youtube. Make your content searchable in a knowledge base or academy that is easily accessible from the tools that your team is working in daily, take away unnecessary log-in barriers (if possible), and make sure that it is possible to consume the content on any device.
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