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Embrace new paths to learning

As technology and workplaces change, the way we learn needs to adapt to meet the new needs of your employees. Classroom learning and traditional online courses aren't sufficient on their own anymore, but what replaces it? From social media and mobile technology to gaming and virtual tools, there is a lot to learn and there are lots of tools available.

Which tools are right for your organization?

Video transcript below:

Caitlin Nobes, HRM Online
Caitlin Nobes:
 Technology, competition and the speed of change are having an impact on how organisations develop their employees.  And employees themselves are demanding changes in how they learn and how they access the information they need to do their jobs.  Training and HR functions need to adapt by offering New Paths to Learning.

New Paths to learning at Work – Part 1/3
Caitlin Nobes:  What do you mean by New Paths for Learning and why are they necessary?

Tom Gram, Global Knowledge, Senior Director, Leadership & Business Solutions
Tom Gram:
 So New Paths to Learning really means just new approaches that are emerging that leverage technology and informal approaches to learning that are alternates to traditional types of learning like classroom training and e-learning.  

Informal Learning
These new forms of learning are things like, well as I mentioned informal learning, which is really just people learning from each other while they are working and from the tools that are available to them in their environment.  

Social Learning
Social learning which takes advantage of new social media to help people collaborate and work together and that use those tools to help people learn while they are working.  

Mobile Learning
Mobile learning which is providing learning resources and even formal e-learning to people via tablets and phones to folks who are working in the field or in remote locations.  

Virtual Learning
Virtual learning takes advantage of a live instructor in one location but participants that are in remote locations.  So teams of people can come into a live classroom environment remotely or it could be an instructor delivering a session remotely to people working in various locations.  

Gaming & Simulation
Learning, the learning profession is taking advantage of these gaming approaches and gaming mechanics and starting to structure them into learning programs, likewise with simulations where e-learning attempts to create scenarios and situations that mimic what people do in the real, in their work and in that way allows people to learn those types of skills in a safe environment.

Performance Support
And finally performance support which is really not so much learning as much as it is providing information to people when they need it, just in time on demand and if it’s done well, it can help guide performance in a way that reduces the need for learning and sometimes eliminates it altogether. 

Caitlin Nobes:  So if there are New Paths for Learning, that implies there are old paths, are the traditional approaches no longer useful or effective?

Tom Gram:  No I wouldn’t say that they are ineffective, they are as effective as they always were and I am talking about things like classroom learning and maybe even traditional e-learning and they are done well, they are very effective.  The challenge now is there is a lot to learn and these types of programs take time, they are costly and they are only available when they are available.  So they are not always matched up to when people need to learn something to execute something well or quickly on the job.  So and the other thing is that, you know the skills that emerge from traditional approaches to learning classroom, sometimes even e-learning are awkward and fragile.  You know they need reinforcement and support on the job.  So these New Paths to learning, the social and informal approaches allow people to refine their skills on the job and truly become experts.

Caitlin Nobes:  Does informal learning put more responsibility in the hands of the employee?

Tom Gram:  So yes, yeah it certainly does.  We are all learning machines and we are hard wired to learn and if we have the right tools and information, resources, people available to us on the job, we will take advantage of those if we are motivated to learn what we need to do to do our work.  There is a lot of research at the moment that shows that about 70% of what we learn on the job is learnt through experience.  20% is learnt through feedback and coaching and other similar mechanisms and only 10% is learnt through formal training and on the job training.  So what we are trying to do, what informal learning does is it basically leverages the instinct that we all have for learning through direct experience and then the role of the learning in HR function becomes helping shape that experience to providing tools, facilitation and guidance for the work that people do on the job.

Caitlin Nobes:  How can you link learning to social and mobile technology?  Find out in Part 2 coming soon.  

Want to learn how to bring these New Paths to Learning into your organisation, register for the free webinar with Tom Gram, details below this video.