If you are considering rolling out an eLearning strategy within your company to help your staff to develop their skills then you want to be sure that the type of strategy you employ is going to give you the best results possible.
A learner-centred approach to upskilling puts the student at the heart of the programme allowing them the opportunity to grow in the best way possible. This approach can result in unseen benefits that you may never have imagined as the learner enhances their specific talent pool. Let’s see how this is done!
- It is Relevant
The material is built in such a way that it relates directly to an employee’s role within the company. All the activities involved should clearly correlate with specific tasks or problems which the learner faces on a daily basis in their lives. This ensures that the learner sees how the activity will provide them benefit going forward, therefore keeping them interested.
- It is Personalised
If we go a step further from coursework which is relevant to the daily life of the learner, we can see how learner-centred eLearning can be personalised to suit the individual student themselves. Though we will talk about learning styles a little later personalisation involves little touches such as the interface design, font size and many other factors. Most of us personalise a new phone or computer straight away. From our desktop wallpaper to the colour scheme, personalising our work tools to our own preference helps us to feel ‘at home’ and comfortable. Most people tend to perform better when they are within their comfort zone. So this can only be a good thing.
- It allows for Autonomy
Feeling a sense of autonomy can be very important for many workers. When we feel as though we are in control of our learning then we are much more likely to engage with the process on a deep level. Putting the learner in control of their learning, not only makes them feel responsible for the process, helping them to strive for great results, but it empowers them. When we understand that our learning can be carried out at a pace that we feel comfortable with, that we can choose which topics to pursue and when then we tend to engage more than when we are simply following a set of tightly regimented rules set out by someone else.
- It provides for different learning styles
One of the most important ideas to remember when designing any training and development programme is that each student is different. All too often this concept is lost in our schools, so now is the time to give your learner the opportunity to engage with a programme which is tailored specifically to them and their needs. This, of course, necessitates research being carried out to discern what exactly is required. Most people know intuitively what their learning style is, we know precisely what it is that bore us sending us into an instant stupor, and conversely we also recognise those presentations and activities which we really enjoy. Options here can involve graphics versus text-based activities, video versus audio pieces, charts versus graphs and quizzes versus free writing tasks.
- It encourages Collaboration
While we have highlighted how the learner-centred approach to eLearning can really dig deep into the learner’s individual needs, it can also provide wonderful opportunities for collaboration. Including exercises which require your learners to collaborate with each other gives them a very useful insight into how other people, with different competencies, approach a specific task differently. This not only provides a learning opportunity for all, by illustrating that there is never only one right answer or approach, it also lets the learner reflect on their own methods. Self-reflection is an important aspect of the learning process and so interacting with others gives the learner this opportunity.
There are many benefits of a learner-centred approach to eLearning, just some of which we have highlighted here. So, although at first glance, taking a learner-centred approach may seem like it requires a greater investment of time on your part, the rewards can greatly outweigh the effort in the long term.
David Grover is a Communications Manager at Timeo, a useful tool for businesses in the UK. He’s also a freelance career coach, who’s always eager to share his experience. In his free time, he enjoys travelling.