How to create personalised learning paths
It’s sometimes easy to forget that individual experience, and knowledge, differs significantly amongst employees. For instance, a member of the sales team, with a 10 year tenure, has a different level of knowledge, compared to a graduate; therefore, the expectations for further education are correspondingly different.
So how do learning and development managers optimise training plans that satisfy differing needs, whilst maintaining cost and efficiency? The following information provides a graphically supported way to achieve this.
Background: How employees learn
Novices learn in a different way to experts, and new employees need guided training. Traditionally, the most suitable training methods include formal, structured learning within a classroom setting, or web-based training sessions (WBTs), which all support structured, induction/introductory training. Conversely, someone already in possession of a wealth of theoretical knowledge, will be interested in expanding their knowledge, to further the application of their knowledge, and deepen skill-sets. To support 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, as in “on-the-job”. Examples of informal learning methods can include communities of practice, such as user forums, in which experiences can be exchanged with other experts, or also through 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 an enjoyable, meaningful experience. Concurrently, this offers orientation, and support on their individual development journey.
In an online learning environment, this is achieved by creating a level-based structure, in which gamification elements (well known in computer games), are utilised. A user portal within a learning management system, such as the IMC Learning Suite and Portal will enable a learner to see their current level of achievement. Typically, training is structured from Level 1. To reach the next level, the learner must accumulate a certain number of experience points; awarded 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 respective points, allocated for each module. Where the learner is a new sales employee, reviewing an overview of products, equates to more points allocated on completion of this video. Whereas an experienced sales person, who, for instance needs to improve 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.