How to Choose the Ideal Learning Strategy to Design and Deliver Virtual Training?

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The last few blog posts that we have published focus on the theme of virtual training, microlearning, and how L&D teams are innovating to train employees who are working remotely.  Continuing to build on this theme of virtual training and learning; this blog post looks at some of the popular learning strategies and models that are used by learning experience designers to develop engaging eLearning. This blog post will also reiterate some of the key challenges faced by L&D leaders to deploy employee training.

How to Choose the Ideal Learning Strategy to Design and Deliver Virtual Training?

Understanding the Concept of Learning Strategy

A “learning strategy” can be defined as an individual’s approach to learn something new and complete a related task. From an academic perspective, a learning strategy is a method used by a teacher to help a student understand a specific concept or theory. Do you remember your school or college days? We would all look forward to the class of a specific teacher or professor because their classes and lectures would be fun, informative, and interesting. Whereas we would dread the prospect of attending a specific teacher’s class because we would hate their monotonous or uninspiring teaching style.

It turns out that learning at the workplace or professional development is no different. We look forward to training sessions conducted by specific trainers or look forward to the engaging self-paced learning content from a specific company or learning experience design team. It works in the same way that we look forward to movies by a specific director or books by a specific author. We love a certain style or familiarity and enjoy such movies and books. Similarly, we enjoy training programs that are created with our learning interests and requirements in mind, and connect well with a good trainer or an intuitive self-paced eLearning program.

Key Challenges in Corporate Learning

Some of the key challenges linked to corporate training, covered in earlier blog posts as well, are below:

  • How do L&D leaders determine who needs what training?
  • How can employees truly benefit from company-funded learning?
  • How do companies measure the effectiveness of learning?
  • Which learning strategy or model can be applied for the best learning experience?
  • If every learner is unique; how can a standardized learning program be effective?

Typically, every large organization has a dedicated training calendar that is designed in close partnership by the L&D team, project managers, and the members of the HR team. Project managers analyze the skills of their team members and recommend relevant training programs for them. Based on their day-to-day activities and tasks, the HR team schedules training for the employees at fixed times and expects the employees to complete the training by a specific date. This is how traditional workplace learning and training works. 

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Things are different now as more organizations have been forced to work in a hybrid or primarily remote-working model that lets employees work from the comfort of their homes. To cater to the needs of these employees, organizations are focused on creating self-paced or virtual instructor-led training programs. These programs are designed by using different learning strategies and models. 

Primary Learning Strategies and Models in Vogue

The 70:20:10 Learning Model

The 70:20:10 Learning Model is one of the most popular learning models of all time. The model was created in the 1980s by Morgan McCall, Michael M. Lombardo, and Robert A. Eichinger who were researching the experiences of successful managers. The learning model is devised on the principle that individuals obtain 70 percent of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others, and 10 percent from formal educational events. 

But is this model still relevant in today’s digital age where the internet and the smartphone are key elements for both communication and learning?

L&D experts believe that the focus is now shifting towards informal learning, social learning, and “learning in the flow of work”. 

This paid report from “Training Industry” offers a lot of valuable insights on the 70:20:10 Learning Model.

Watch this video where Charles Jennings speaks on the myths related to the 70:20:10 model.

Personalized Learning as a Learning Strategy 

Personalized Learning is an important strategy that holds a lot of value in modern learning. One of the challenges that we listed in an earlier paragraph is the problem of standardizing a common learning program for a large audience. Personalization ensures that each learner receives a curriculum and learning experience that is relevant to their requirements.

Interactive Learning and Gamification as a Learning Strategy

Advancements in course-authoring tools and learning tech have now made the design of eLearning a simpler task and have also enabled the integration of a wide variety of interactive elements. Similarly gamification has now gone much beyond traditional drag-and-drop activities and jigsaw puzzles. Learning experience designers are creating entire courses that integrate characters and games that narrate a story and also educate learners.

Learning in the Flow of Work as a Learning Strategy

It is important to dedicate a specific time on every working day to learn more about a specific skill or technology. The presence of a mentor to guide a junior employee can help implement “learning in the flow of work” easily. 

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Social Learning as a Learning Strategy

Modern workplace learning gives a great opportunity for learning experience designers to integrate social learning in the design of learning programs. By bringing in features that allow employees to challenge each other to complete a learning module or a specific assessment and creating a virtual leader-board that displays points; employees are motivated to complete a program faster. This blog post on social learning at the modern workplace offers more insights on the topic.

Mobile-First Learning or App-Based Learning as a Learning Strategy

What if you removed your clunky, old, legacy LMS or intranet and delivered your corporate learning programs via a powerful mobile app that works well on both Android and iOS? Yes, it is definitely possible and can be highly cost-effective. 

As people spend more time on their smartphones; it is easier to utilize this habit to foster learning via a mobile app. Please check out our award-winning learning experience platform – Origin Fractal LXP that is available on both iOS and Android as a mobile app to deliver your mobile-first eLearning.

Popular Learning Models – ADDIE, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction

Any instructional designer beginning their career learns about the terms listed above in their training sessions or classes.

ADDIE

ADDIE stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. This is one of the core frameworks of learning and most eLearning programs are developed using this model as a framework.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Created by Benjamin Bloom in 1956 with the help of Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill, and David Krathwohl; this was designed as a tool or a framework to help teachers create lesson plans and teach students easily. Sequentially, this found its way into corporate learning as well and even today the learning objectives of a specific course or program are heavily dependent on the understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy. The six major categories in Bloom’s Taxonomy are: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.

How to Choose the Ideal Learning Strategy to Design and Deliver Virtual Training?

Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction

Robert Gagne introduced his theory of “Nine Events of Instruction” also known as “Nine Levels of Instruction” in 1965. This is a sequence of steps as given below:

  1. Gain the attention of the learner
  2. Present the learning objectives clearly
  3. Stimulate recall of pre-existing knowledge 
  4. Present content and relevant data
  5. Provide guidance
  6. Elicit performance
  7. Provide relevant feedback
  8. Assess the performance of the learner
  9. Enhance transfer and retention of knowledge

Devlin Peck has written a fantastic article on the topic that provides a lot of information on how Gagne’s 9 Events can be used to design eLearning. In the context of modern workplace learning all three learning models still have a lot to offer for a new generation of learners.

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Why Microlearning Matters?

We have already stated in our previous blog posts that virtual training and learning has immensely benefited by the use of microlearning that is delivered in the form of self-paced learning modules. Microlearning as an eLearning format is easy to design, develop, and deploy. It can be designed to run seamlessly across devices and the short running time of each learning unit ensures that employees are able to complete at least one learning unit every day by just devoting about 10 to 15 minutes of their time every day. This is the perfect recipe for learning in the current scenario. 

Other factors that contribute to the growth and popularity of microlearning are:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Flexibility in terms of customization
  • Video-based microlearning for better retention of learning
  • Easier to make changes and fixes as per client feedback

Which Learning Strategy or Model Works the Best?

Over the course of this blog post we looked at the popular 70:20:10 Learning Model and also familiarized ourselves with the ADDIE Learning Framework. We also looked at the learning theories and models proposed by Robert Gagne and Benjamin Bloom and saw their relevance in modern workplace learning. Virtual training whether it be completely self-paced and learner-centric or delivered with the help of an instructor or artificial bot; the focus is on microlearning as a format that can help learners meet their learning goals and objectives with ease. 

In terms of deployment of learning; the focus is now shifting towards mobile learning apps that offer the same experience as a traditional LMS; albeit on a smaller screen. The growth and popularity of short-form videos and the rise of platforms like Tik Tok have been highly encouraging. Even Instagram by Facebook experimented with IGTV. This is sufficient proof to believe that microlearning in the form of short videos delivered on a smartphone can be a lucrative business model. The next few years are going to be quite interesting; as popular eLearning vendors will attempt to provide the best learning experience via dedicated mobile learning apps.  

At Origin, we have helped several popular brands meet their learning objectives with thoughtfully designed microlearning programs. Are you looking for a trustworthy provider of eLearning solutions to develop or revamp your training curriculum? Write to us at info@originlearning.com with your questions and we will reply to your queries.

Additional Reading:

Essential components of a successful L&D strategy


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