We often hear about modern learning or use this term, but it is still sometimes difficult to define and frame. This depends on several factors and-most importantly-what we mean by “modern.”
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It could be argued that the term “modern” refers to any learning practice currently in use: it is modern learning only because it happens hic et nunc.
Or, the term could be explained as “involving recent techniques, methods or ideas,” shifting the focus to the use of technology and related best practices for corporate training. Finally, the term could also be partially understood by placing it in contrast to its predecessor-“traditional learning”-to mark the concept of learning that is not confined to “classroom training” and the so-called ILT mode.
“Modern” learning: what is it?
Beyond these immediate definitions, what else does modern learning really mean?
To answer that, let’s try to understand why there was a need to coin the term “modern learning.” And the answer is simple: because we have modern learners!
But who are these modern learners?
According to ATD, “A modern learner is someone who is in an environment where content changes quickly and learning needs change even faster: modern learners want answers right away and rely on a wide variety of sources to find the answer. In short: all of us are modern learners today!”
To sum up
- is, by its very nature, natural;
- involves recent techniques, methods or ideas;
- is not strictly delivered in a classroom;
- meets the needs and requirements of “modern learners,” who need to access and enjoy educational content faster than ever before and who want answers right away and from multiple sources.
Now it’s time to go straight to the point. Ready? ?
The 3 cornerstones on which Modern Learning is based
To classify your corporate training as modern and meeting the needs and expectations of your “modern employees,” it must be supported by at least three basic pillars.
Let’s find them out together! ?
1. Continuous learning
Today, fulfilling the promise of continuous learning is actually possible. And we have the technology to make it easy, too! ?
As stated in the ATD definition above, the needs of modern learners change at a record pace, so learning cannot be isolated. You cannot ask your modern employees to “drop everything to go learn something.”
In fact, we can integrate the LMS with other platforms to fit learning into people’s workday. So you don’t have to “drop out” completely from your work activity to learn a new skill. Now modern training technologies and modern LMSs make it possible to create a truly modern learning experience that is integrated with the goals of corporate continuing education.
Moreover, if we do not always keep the learning button on “ON” and continuously train our employees, their skills become obsolete at an unprecedented rate…and when people stop learning, motivation can decrease significantly. ?
The job of a modern Learning & Development Manager is to help employees continuously update their skills to meet changing requirements and prepare people to excel. #neverstoplearning
2. Abundance of contents
Truly modern corporate training must necessarily take one factor into account: content must be constantly updated, because the context and skills required are evolving rapidly. So it is necessary to enable modern employees to update and train quickly and seamlessly.
Remember: the dust can no longer settle on training content. Increasingly, you will find that a course that has just been created and published will need to be quickly updated if not completely replaced.
Fortunately, today we have a wide range of technologies that make constant updating not only possible, but easy.
You know the online off-the-shelf courses? Why “reinvent the wheel” by creating courses from scratch on popular topics – such as compliance, customer service, sales skills, or leadership – when you can purchase high-quality, professional content that covers a variety of topics without wasting time on implementing them from scratch?
In addition, using catalog-based online courses allows you to spend more time on the creation of content specific to your business reality, which must necessarily be done ad hoc.
The key point, however, remains: a modern corporate learning and training culture should shift the focus from creation to content curation. There is a wealth of training material available “by the catalog” that can help you accelerate training: the important thing is that catalog courses are not outdated and aesthetically dated or technologically outdated.
As mentioned, modern learners want immediate access to information. This is a crucial aspect of modern training. While traditional models of Training & Development focus on courses, requiring learners to complete them within a given time frame, now the modern scenario calls for a rethink.
In fact, modern students are taking control of their individual training and development process. They search for information and training content on a daily basis, from multiple sources and with a mindset that could be described as “search engine”: they are looking for answers, right away. Here and now.
For or against, one thing is certain: there is no turning back. This is the factual reality. So, corporate training teams must throw out old ideas about how to design and deliver training information and content to employees.
In short, the new best practice is to give access to a rich library of content that is always available on-demand.
Modernizing to thrive
With these three pillars, you are able to create the foundation of a modern training and learning program. Regardless of the type of courses you are offering, the number of learners, your industry or other factors, remember that it must be:
These are the 3 pillars.
Beyond that, you can add nuance, detail and functionality as needed. Your modern learners will appreciate how you create training that helps them grow and meet the demands and challenges of the modern workplace.
In short: modern learner + modern workplace = modern learning