Are Experts Causing You To Make Learning Investments Again And Again?

Are Experts Causing You To Make Learning Investments Again And Again?

Many of your employees, although presented with training information, miss the point and fall through the cracks. Is it the employee that’s the problem? It could be. Is it the training that’s the problem? More likely. However, if training is the problem, what can be done about it?

A Closer Look

The quality of online training has been of increasing importance over the last decade. We know this because of client feedback. This has been substantiated in New Learning Report by Towards Maturity.

Training Driver

2006

2008

2010

2011

2012

2013

Improve the quality of learning delivered

41%

57%

90%

84%

84%

96%

Reduce Training Costs

49%

46%

85%

83%

88%

90%

In this table we can see how the quality of learning has become of increased importance over the last 8 years with 96% of respondents citing this as a key driver for the implementation of technologies.

At the same time, those same respondents cited the need to reduce the training costs with the importance rising from 49% in 2006, taking a large jump to 85% in 2010 before settling at 90% in 2013.

At first glance, these statistics seem contradictory to each other as higher quality online training typically costs more. You can’t have your cake and eat it too! Or can you?

Quality Training / Solutions

The Elearning Guild gives further insight as to where the need for quality training is coming from. Their Learning Technologies 2013 report states that the top technologies being used by the respondents of their survey include Powerpoint (84%) and Authoring Tools (83%) and videos created by the organization (79%).

The fact that Powerpoint is top of the list is telling. Powerpoint is a basic presentation tool simply put. Our experience (and the experience of anyone who has had to sit through it) is that presentation-style learning is the least effective way to increase knowledge retention and performance in employees.

While Authoring Tools follow closely behind Powerpoint, simply using a powerful tool designed to create great learning doesn’t mean the final outcome will be of quality construct. You could use the best power tools in the world and still create a shoddy house without a solid foundation.

The solid foundation of quality training is the Instructional Design. Without this, it’s very easy for the training to fall shy of important business and learning goals. The Instructional Design informs how the training is taught. This isn’t the medium. This is the methodology, planning and division of the knowledge into logical pieces.

Training which simply delivers information — whether that be Powerpoint, Videos, or even Printed Manuals — only facilitates one-way communication between the content and the learner. Presentation style learning consistently scores under-average to poor when accounting for completion rates, retention, and performance.

The solution is custom elearning courses that go beyond simply delivering information. With good instructional design in these courses, employees benefit from having thoughtful learning exercises and scenarios rather than a basic “tell and test” course. This helps to drive engagement and improve critical thinking skills therefore improving learning performance. Not only does this put learning goals first and foremost, it also is much more enjoyable from a learner perspective.

There is a demand for quality. We know this from the Training Drivers chart above. However, despite the fact that quality seems to trump cost in the survey, it’s cost which is driving the implementation of poor learning. Not only is this a bad investment as organizations will have to make learning investments again and again to make up for poor training decisions, it leaves learners in a very bad position. You do get what you pay for.

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