3 fresh ideas to reinvigorate busy learners

Every day, your employees face dozens of clients, managers, reports and projects competing for their attention. With 55% of workers saying they lack time to learn, it is clear that we need to apply some fresh forward-thinking to recapture the attention of the learners and revive their passion for learning.

Written by Emerald Works
Published 21 March 2019
3 fresh ideas to reinvigorate busy learners

Most of our budget is still allocated to formal learning, so let’s start there! We have conducted some new research exploring how we can use technology in a new way to successfully improve the effectiveness of formal learning. This included insights gained from over 50 L&D practitioners in London and Munich, who explored ideas for improving engagement as part of Raytheon’s 2018 symposium.  

You may think the role of technology in increasing engagement is old hat – more choice for learners, more flexibility is all part of the game. But we’re going to need more. We need some fresh thinking if we want to revitalise our worker’s engagement with learning. 

Here are just 3 fresh angles uncovered at the Raytheon symposium: 

1. Fresh perspective 

We need some fresh perspectives when it comes to designing learning, and managers can provide it! L&D teams successfully improving the effectiveness of their formal learning are almost 3x as likely to involve managers in the design of appropriate learning solutions. 

When managers have skin in the game, they are more likely to help connect with their staff and are twice as likely to discuss the learning goals and desired outcomes with their team members prior to undergoing learning. The manager’s perspective is regularly ignored but a powerful predictor of success. It plays a central role in creating engagement that should not be overlooked.  

2. Fresh pace  

The importance of changing the pace of learning was a big theme from the Raytheon symposium. Participants argued that the pace of learning did not always have to be ‘slow’ simply because individuals were undergoing training. Formal learning does not mean fixed pace. In the classroom, learning should integrate technology such as videos, gamification and simulations to add pace and engagement within the classroom itself. 

Technology also extends that learning beyond the classroom – essential since 94% of workers want to learn at their own pace be it fast or slow!3 By using technology within formal learning, people are able to set their own pace rather than be constricted by the pace of others.  

3. Fresh connections 

Last but by no means least, the group believed that technology can help L&D make fresh connections for our audience: fresh connections with the content itself and with the community to provide support and a sounding board. Evidence was provided to show how tools such as AI can help individuals make a highly relevant and personalised connection with content. Increased use of video, avatars and augmented reality provide a fresh experience to engage tired learners.

Companies successful in integrating technology into the classroom are more likely to be using online communities of practice to help workers connect with each other in an active discussion about the course content.  

Over to you 

Learner engagement is one of the holy grails of L&D teams battling with attention deficit and information overload. If learners are not interested in what is being delivered, they will absorb little information and the effectiveness of the overall programme will be minimal if at all. If we want learner engagement to be invigorated, we need to apply some fresh thinking within L&D today! 

About the author

Emerald Works

Emerald Works

At Emerald Works, we’re committed to helping individuals and organizations around the world realize their full potential by using evidence-led learning solutions that work.

We work together to build learning cultures that empower people to bring about real change for real impact.

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