• Communications

How To Support ‘Embedded Learning’ In The Workplace

As anyone involved in staff development and employee training can attest, social learning is the buzz of the industry at the moment. Research from Bersin by Deloitte suggests that organizations spent three times more on social tools than they had in the previous two years. And the 70:20:10 model has staked a clear claim as to the importance of on-the-job learning, proposing that staff learn most effectively in the course of their day-to-day work by leveraging the knowledge and expertise of more experienced peers.

Now there’s even more to buzz about.

HR Magazine recently highlighted comments made about social learning by one of the key proponents of the 70:20:10 model – Charles Jennings – during the Learning Technologies conference. While there, Jennings talked about the importance of ‘embedded learning’ and stressed the need for businesses to focus on learning that takes place within the specific context in which job tasks are actually carried out. He suggested that social and experiential learning, which takes place as part of existing workflows, is likely to be more effectively assimilated by staff.

What is embedded learning?

Embedded learning most simply describes learning while doing. Research indicates that embedded learning is more powerful than traditional approaches to learning because the learner is more motivated and engaged in completing a job or task, and also has a deeper understanding of context. What’s more, embedded learning can drive nearly three times the improvement in performance in individuals compared to other formal training approaches.

As the modern workplace becomes increasingly international and distance makes peer-to-peer learning more challenging, though, how does social learning happen? What if the skillset a new staff member needs to tap into is possessed by a person who is not even based in the same time zone, or by a colleague who is frequently out on the road? Arguably, to truly facilitate embedded learning, staff need access to subject matter experts on-demand, so they can carry out their usual workflow and bring in deeper knowledge as and when required.

Clearly, this kind of on-demand access isn’t always realistic – and here’s where an online training platform like Panopto can help.

Related Reading: How To Help Remote Teams Share Knowledge Effectively


City and Guilds Case Study - Panopto Social Learning Video Platform

When staff needs just-in-time learning tools, video has an important part to play. Video allows practical skills to be demonstrated – not just described – which helps learners pick things up more quickly. It’s a capability that’s quite relevant in technical fields — and useful too for other communications like sales enablement activities, where how a thing is said is often as important as what is being said.

Video can convey nuance very effectively, in a way that is often lost in a Word document. Video also helps create a greater sense of engagement between the subject matter expert and the viewer, allowing a learner to really feel like they are connecting with their peer. This is why organisations like City and Guilds use video to connect staff on the road visiting clients to talking heads of subject matter experts.

If you’re seeing an increasing shift towards on-the-job learning in your organisation, find out how Panopto can support your employee training activities by requesting a free trial of Panopto.