You’ve been there yourself countless times. You’re in the middle of a project and need to learn something quickly—steps for completing a task, deeper details on the context of your project or pointers for doing amazing work. A quick internet search yields a frustrating learner experience: an abundance of hits but none that are quite right for you, resulting in wasted time and no direction for your next steps.
Enter curated resources on a powerful learning management system. A learning and development team that truly understands the learning in the flow of work challenges employees face will build a positive LMS experience that helps people learn effectively and efficiently. Valuable learning resources can be surfaced at the point of need, enabling employees to learn quickly and apply their new-found knowledge ASAP. Efficient learning-while-working requires L&D professionals to curate for context and design with the learner’s busy life in mind.
Curate for context
The first ingredient for efficient learning is having the most current and applicable resources. Learning experience designers should spend time getting to know people and their work context to identify the knowledge and skill development resources needed.
Knowing the organization, its values, work procedures and nuances helps designers do the hard work of sifting through options so that employees don’t have to. Based on this understanding, designers can gather an array of the most useful resources. Designers should carefully curate—that is, they should validate the source of materials, check them for quality and relevance and annotate them to set learner expectations. Resources can come in many formats and lengths, making it more likely that an LMS search will deliver useful materials to employees. Resources can stand alone for quick reference or be packaged as a loosely structured course for a more complete learning experience. Some customized materials may also be developed to support specific learning goals.
No matter how the resources are packaged, employees will value being able to immediately recognize their relevance and utility. The learning tasks of reflection and interpretation will then be made easier because the resources are already vetted and contextualized.
Design for ease of access
The most efficiently delivered resources are those immediately available within the employees’ daily work systems. If they can access materials without having to close down their work, so much the better. Embedding learning resources inside work systems enables you to connect the materials directly to the task at hand—providing guidance precisely when it’s needed.
Another approach to easy access is to pair micro courses with mobile learning activities. This approach also serves to shorten the time needed to transfer learning to the workplace. Keeping learning activities short and available unbundled allows learners to get to the lessons they need quickly. This strategy also allows learners to learn in the flow of work and to access learning materials as references when needed.
Support ongoing development
This approach to designing and delivering a learner experience isn’t confined to work-related learning with an immediate payoff. An efficient learning strategy also benefits those who are looking to update their skills or prepare for new opportunities. The time and energy designers used to invest in creating customized courses can be spent curating existing materials and designing approaches that make them accessible.