In an article featured on Human Resources Online, Florence Lee, Head of Training at Tesco Stores Malaysia, contends there needs to be a greater sense of creativity into the typical L&D mix. She calls for L&D professionals to think of themselves as artists, designers, or marketers in order to unlock the potential of innovative new approaches to learning in the workplace.
An important part of this creative mix, Lee argues, is to implement blended learning approaches and integrate the use of smart devices in corporate classrooms.
Lee’s comments seek to spur along the shifts already taking place in the industry, as shown in the results from successive editions of the UK Learning Trends Index survey – an annual piece of research which examines the direction of travel for the L&D function from the perspective of more than 300 Learning and Development professionals. These studies suggest there has been a steady move away from pure face-to-face training towards innovative new e-learning methodologies. More and more, the employee training which was once carried out in highly structured formats in physical locations is often now taking place online and, increasingly, on the go.
In the sixth edition of the Index, the authors noted a ‘strong preference among learning & development practitioners for utilising online classroom technologies to support learning in their organisation.’ They traced the roots of this online learning trend back to higher education — something we also commented on in our recent TechCrunch article. Much as universities have engaged with distance learners with online learning platforms — often integrating video as a core part of the mix — so too the corporate world is starting to see the benefits of connecting disparate workers via video learning. Today 72% of L&D practitioners report anticipating an increase in spending on technology-based learning within their organisations.
The increased focus on technology-enhanced learning goes hand-in-hand with a move towards informal, social learning approaches. In her comment piece, Florence Lee talks about the empowerment offered by the 70-20-10 model, where staff are encouraged to hone their capabilities on a continuous basis and which also opens up the possibility for better knowledge transfer between peers.
So how does video fit into this picture? Well, when organisations are looking at designing effective, engaging employee training initiatives, there are multiple key ways in which video can add real value:
According to Forrester Research, employees are 75 percent more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles. This means that video has a crucial part to play in creating the right level of engagement with learning content. After all, there’s no point in designing an online training initiative if staff ignore the resources that have been created.
One of the most important things video can offer is that vital sense of the presence of a trainer or subject-matter expert that other online formats lack. This helps learners concentrate on material more effectively, allowing them to better absorb important concepts.
When used well, video can also offer learners a strong sense of empowerment. By providing staff with the ability to access content whenever, wherever, they can take control of the learning process and integrate it into their own workflows and processes.
Emerging thinking suggests that learning that fits in with the flow of actual work processes is more likely to be retained than that which takes place out of context in a classroom. Discoverability is key — by giving learners the ability to search within videos for key content with functionality like Panopto’s Smart Search, learning teams provide an organization’s employees with the opportunity to quickly skip to precise moments in a recording and achieve the kind of ‘just-in-time learning’ that suits a fast-paced business environment.
When used across an entire organisation, video can facilitate learning between all staff — not just those who are established as subject-matter experts. By giving a wider range of staff the ability to easily record content, everyone has the potential to become a teacher as well as a learner, increasing the potential for innovation within an organisation.