Who needs a finish line? 3

This seems to be one of those debates that I keep having with people – why does there always need to be a defined end point for e-learning activities?

OK….so that question is not correct – for those organisations who have properly adopted a true social learning culture, there is no defined end point. Staff/students are free to dip and delve as much as they want to, learning what they feel they need to learn, as and when they need to learn it – I expect if I delved deeper into this, there’s also a wide range of research which shows that these people retain a higher volume of the knowledge, as their learning is personally driven, rather than being shoved down their throats.

So…why am I mentioning this now? Well – it’s off the back of recent CPD sessions I’ve been involved in firstly with Craig Taylor, and secondly with Ben Betts (I still need to write up a post on those sessions!) – but in both of these sessions, I’ve had some great discussions with Ben and Craig about the style of delivery we’re using – and how we’re too focused on achieving an “end goal” (tick box) – rather than actually focusing on what the learner needs (or wants).

Unfortunately – a lot of the L&D activity is driven (and governed by) external regulators, and not L&D professionals.

Lets take a simple compliance subject such as ‘Information Governance’ (or ‘Data Protection’ for people not involved in the public sector) as an example. If you talk to an L&D professional about what and how we should deliver this training, most would agree on taking a social student-led approach would mean that the staff could learn the bits they needed to, which were applicable to their role – and it would add far more value to their experience – and they would “learn” more from it. But instead of this, the regulators list 5,000 facts, figures and processes that people must “learn”.

Does knowing which one of the data protection principles relates to storage of data help change behaviors? No, not even slightly…..

To a degree – there’s no reason why we, the L&D professionals should be determining where the learner should stop learning (or where they should start for that matter) – the learner should be able to determine this. But we’re stuck in the hole, that we can’t change the mentality of the L&D professional – when actually there’s an external puppeteer who’s pulling all of the strings….

How do you change the shape of something, when someone outside is controlling it?

3 thoughts on “Who needs a finish line?

  • Craig Taylor

    Hi Nick,

    For me, this is where our professional bodies (LPI, CIPD, BILD etc) should be stepping up to the mark and facilitating debate between our industry and the regulators that often ‘govern’ what we do (or are at least perceived to govern what we do).

    Perhaps when they do I’ll start paying their membership fees….


    • Nick Post author

      Don’t get me started on the membership fees……

      But joking aside – you’re right – it needs someone to get in and do something about it. Yet again today I was told that an e-learning package wasn’t a success because people hadn’t “completed” it (gone on to pass a test at the end). The fact that all of these people went into the package, learnt what they wanted/needed to, then went out again – is apparently not a success.

      People learning something new is not success….passing a test is……REALLY!?!?!

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