How to create personalized learning paths
Experience and knowledge in a company differs significantly from person to person. An employee that has been in the sales team for 10 years has a different level of existing knowledge compared to someone who has just begun their sales career; and expectations of opportunities for further education are correspondingly different.
On the grounds of cost and efficiency, however, the task for learning and development managers is this: to roll-out a training offer that satisfies everybody’s needs. The following is an explanation of how to achieve this.
Background: How employees learn
Novices learn in a different way to experts. Somebody who is new to a company or a job role must initially start to build their knowledge base. To this end the most suitable means are formal, structured learning methods such as traditional classroom courses or web-based training sessions (WBTs). Conversely, someone already in possession of a wealth of theoretical knowledge will be interested in expanding on their knowledge, in its transfer into practise and driving innovation. For this, one of the most suitable means is informal learning methods. Informal learning describes learning in the context of life or in a work context “on-the-job”. Examples of informal learning methods are communities of practice, such as user forums, in which experiences can be exchanged with other experts, or also personal coaching sessions.
The Solution: The next level approach
IMC’s next level approach in education and further education enables learners to self-determine the speed at which they learn in a way that fits their personal experience and makes learning fun. At the same time, if offers orientation and support on their individual development journey.
This is achieved in an online learning environment by creating a level based structure in which gamification elements, well known in computer games, are utilised; on logging into their personal area a learner will see their current level of achievement. As a rule at the beginning this is Level 1. To reach the next level, and therefore the next level, the learner must accumulate a certain number of so-called experience points. These are given on completion of differing learning modules. For example, a sales employee at Level 1 can access a video on the subject “An overview of our new products” as well as a coaching video “Successful sales advice with our new products”.
The key feature: dependent of their level of prior knowledge the learner will see difference points allocated for the module. Where the learner is a new sales employee, needing an overview of products, more points are allocated for this video; whereas an experienced sales person needing to sharpen up their advisory skills will see more points assigned to the coaching video. To maximise the benefit, learners will choose to complete the modules earning the most points first, and this way take a quick route to the next level. Individual learning paths have now been created.