We’ve all encountered good examples of bad onboarding or compliance programs. You’ll know them when you see them. They feel stale, a waste of time, not pertinent to your job, etc. A traditional curriculum tends to favor static pieces of content that can also be outdated—ones that haven’t aged well. Think about safety videos from the late 90s with dated music and bad haircuts.
This can be problematic for a number of reasons. First, there’s little incentive for learners to truly engage with the content, apart from it being mandatory. Second, it sets a dull tone for any learning to come and doesn’t get employees excited about future programs. If learning is going to be important at your organization, and if it represents your company’s brand and values, a traditional curriculum isn’t the best way to deliver learning to a contemporary workforce. A traditional curriculum focuses on what the organization determines to be the learning outcome, rather than being learner-focused, where learning is built around the needs and preferences of employees. When you approach your curriculum roadmap and design, it’s important to understand how digital learning tools can effectively reach more learners with innovative and engaging solutions.
Is the traditional curriculum obsolete?
No, not completely. But delivery modalities have a huge impact on the overall success of your learning program and trump the traditional curriculum in many instances. Here are a few ways the traditional curriculum can fall short.
- Personalization. A traditional curriculum rarely embraces an individual’s unique learning journey. It’s not personalized to the learner and instead takes a one-size-fits-all approach that forces learners to conform to the requirements and demands of the business. Digital delivery allows learners to develop deeper connections with the learning material by finding the training that best suits their unique needs. It can be self-paced and delivered in smaller chunks.
- Adaptability. Let’s say you design a killer leadership training course but want to extend its value by distributing it to managers or other employees. Digital delivery allows you to easily adapt existing courses to align with whatever audience suits you. LMS administrators can push out courses to employees based on their job role, requirements, or location.
- Scalability. Scaling up a learning program in a traditional curriculum means making photocopies of PDFs, sending trainers and facilitators around the world to deliver learning in person. Digital learning allows you to push out relevant, up-to-date, and highly engaging content in far less time, with far less expense. In the face of unprecedented numbers of new users of remote learning technologies, you’re going to need to reach more learners, faster. The digital learning solution allows you to efficiently and effectively onboard and train new employees remotely to keep up with hiring demand.
- Boring tools. Even when delivered digitally, courses can feel flat and uninteresting when they’re simply a scan of a PDF or an out-dated video. New learning tools and technologies empower course designers to reach learners—such as interactive video learning and microlearning, motion graphics and animation, business simulations and role plays, branching scenario-based learning, storytelling, and more.
Employee engagement in a culture of learning
Motivation to learn is key and employees need to confidently understand “What’s in it for me?” Learning paths in a virtual learning environment encourage employees to stay motivated and drive their learning experiences. Learners can easily search and discover courses that are relevant to their personal and professional careers. They can then enroll themselves and learn at a self-directed pace. This is ideal for busy learners and those that need flexibility in their learning and training.
Digital learning goes a step further by allowing program designers to create and group multiple courses in a simple and easy-to-follow way: learning paths. Learning can flow naturally from one course to the next, allowing learners to see ahead and chart their progress.
Providing impactful feedback
Learners can feel neglected if managers and learning professionals don’t continue to engage with them. Many times, a learner will receive a score on an assessment, with little else to suggest where they’ve excelled and where they may need additional support. After all, specific and relevant feedback provides more meaning than general comments or test results.
Connecting one-on-one with a learner can be extremely inefficient in a traditional curriculum delivery modality. Digital tools allow for timely feedback and quick check-ins to ensure learners are engaged—even specific annotations on a document to give employees deeper insight into their progress. Want to send a brief video message as an annotation? It’s entirely possible via the learning management system.
Data can drive more informed decisions
Measuring and analytics are key to understanding how your learning solutions are driving business results. While the traditional curriculum provides base-level data regarding completions, assessment scores, and survey results, there are some drawbacks. In the first place, it takes a great deal of time and effort to sift through the data and surveys to determine if a learning program is achieving its learning objectives. And it takes a long time to make changes to course content or the overall program.
With the right data, errors and other issues can be identified quickly. Learning delivered digitally can be updated in real-time so course improvements can be pushed out immediately. This is especially useful when information is constantly changing or to address issues with the program itself. Course designers can iterate content quickly and then monitor the results to see if the change has made a positive impact on the learning.
Before you make the move to convert your traditional curriculum offering into digital learning, talk to a specialist who understands the learning, the technology, and your business needs. We’re more than ready to help you understand the many tools and techniques required to successfully deliver engaging and innovative learning programs. Contact us to set up a consultation or request a demo.