Friday, June 18, 2010

The Learning Moment

Who hasn't taken a few hundred of classes, workshops, or training courses throughout their life? Comeon... make sure you include kindergarten!

Besides knowing that the wheels on the bus do indeed go 'round and 'round, you probably remember a thimble full of what your teachers actually taught in class. I feel lucky if I get through a day remembering the basics (the alphabet, up versus down, addition & subtraction…).

What do you remember from your four years in high school? Tick tock, tick tock… Hurts, doesn't it? Now try it again, this time thinking about the things you learned outside the curriculum… Meetings in the parking lots, dances, sports...the soul-bending sport of navigating teen angst. Makes a difference, right?

Unfortunately, many of us don't retain much more in the industry workshops or corporate courses we attend as adults. Sometimes, attendees don’t even remember what the course was about! So there is a big gap between what we learn in our seats and what we practice on the streets.

Think about your last corporate workshop or class. How much do you remember? Did you even want to take it? Would you take it again, just for fun? Did it change your life?

Life's short. Training is boring, learning is fun. With a creative approach we can make learning part of every job - removing the boredom and inserting opportunities for challenging, yet engaging learning moments. Let's take this whole education thing up a notch. I'd like to start by recommending three basic ideas:

The Voice of the Customer in every course.
Why not? Social media has opened the door. Learning that includes the customer allows employees to measure their success at innovation and delivery. And, by visibly including the customer you create an open space that encourages more effective dialog and actions...

Experiential Learning over Firehose Learning
I bet flying a space shuttle is a heck of a lot more exciting than reading about it. Ditto healthcare, pest control, auto sales... Make sure your courses include student application–opportunities to practice, fail and succeed–even if learning is delivered over the web.

Moment-based Learning Design should include emotional content
Users make major purchase decisions based on their gut instinct. Your learning needs to generate a range of emotional responses like: nervous, anxious, concerned, happy, delighted, ecstatic and more. "Real" learning means allowing employees to feel the same emotional reactions a customer might experience during the very same interaction.

I think these are three good steps to make sure you content is memorable, meaningful and measurable when it comes to improving individual performance.

No comments:

Post a Comment