A lot of our training is forced on us by their compulsions when we don’t have too much of a choice.
This is something that we noticed from school, right? We had to learn it because that was the only thing that was being taught and it’s one-way communication. Very often it’s not engaging and things which we don’t understand. What we don’t understand, we tend to forget easily. It’s a very heavy process, most importantly it focuses more on the content than the user or on the learner.

What’s wrong with our courses?

This is similar to the theory of motivation which holds that just because you have something doesn’t mean you’re driven. However, if you lack it, it indicates that you are unmotivated. Once you complete a particular course you have questions, or you have an assignment. How have you framed these questions? Are they to understand how much your user has learned? Or are they framed in a way to confuse the user or the learner? Very often I find questions which are the negative form. Questions, if you would have asked them directly, they would have answered them correctly. But because you’ve, you know, twisted it around. You’ve confused them. And it appears that the learner does not understand or did not understand the topic. So it’s testing the communication skills instead of testing what the user has learned, which I find unfair. It might make sense in certification programmes. But if you really want to support the user, I think the question should be straightforward. It should not confuse the user only then you will understand if the user or the learner has understood the problem or the subject. Because you don’t get it, you get judged for it. So if you’re able to apply if you’re given a situation and ask for solvent, you might be able to solve it, even though you don’t remember. So it should not be only about memory, how else can you find out if the learner is learning that are kind of loose rules, rules are important. But after a certain point, it becomes a hindrance. The user of the learner is never involved. You haven’t sold the idea of learning to the user, I’m gonna give you a few examples that are perfect. It’s one size fits all, you created a course and you get a bunch of learners to consume it. It can’t be a one size fits. Look back at school and half the stuff that you learned or how I’ve learned, I don’t know why I studied. So that’s where we come to a fun, right? And if it’s not fun, it cannot be learned. The best teachers create a desire to learn. How do they do that? By explaining why am I learning this? Like removing hindrances? What is it that is causing you not to learn? Can you understand that we’ll talk about a few examples in the coming slides? It’s about changing mindsets. When it comes to learning. You have to give them a reason to learn. They just want to learn if they don’t want to learn it’s just another checkmark you are putting onto your learning courses and the learners have not learned they have completed a task.

What takes out the pleasure?

Enjoyment is not the result. It is the journey. So when you are creating a course, I think you should evaluate it. Is this really necessary? Can we pass on the information that was given in that course, over a few points and an email? Ask yourselves, is it really required? Is there some other way that the same information can be imparted? You cannot force someone to learn. Now. Whatfix is a digital adoption platform and one of our features is called the task list. It gives the user a task you can find out if the task was done or not. What is the environment that you have created for learning, you have to create the right environment. And for that, you have to question what’s always been done. Every learner has a few trigger points of stress, you have to find out what is stressing them out and you have to take them and take the stress out of whichever you can. Learning should not be an isolated issue it should not be a separate event. When it comes to imparting information, it should be a part of their daily work. People are tired of the traditional methods, I mean, look at the way the classroom is arranged. You have the teacher facing students and it basically tends to Unison methods, but can it be more collaborative? If you just bombard the user with too much information, it’s going to cause pain. information that’s too fast, it’s painful. Are you considering that people have different paces at which they learn? Assumptions are painful? How much does the user already know? You have to ask these questions to find out more about the learners. And only then will you be able to find out what is causing pain. Only when you know what’s causing pain? Can you take that out? From the equation? You can’t have a one-size fits you have to understand what everybody knows and each one knows, starts has a different starting point. So each one has a different learning path.

Make learning personalized

Our learning courses should be personalised, it has to understand and impart knowledge at a personalised level cannot be one size fits all, as we already discussed. And we also talked about different learning paths. Now you’ve one very important aspect when it comes to learning curiosity. So how many of our courses make our learners curious? How do you tap into the curiosity of the user? How can you market your course so that user is already curious even Before they start taking the course? Learning begins with curiosity. And you engage all senses, it’s very often I find courses are just text, which is very dry. The user has so many other senses, the sense of hearing the sense of, you know, visuals. It’s not just text. So make use of every possible offence. We learn by doing that in my previous company, that was an exercise that we got all the managers together for management training. And what they did is they gave us a couple of hours, in theory, which basically they said, Okay, this is what is expected from you, this is leadership, this is not leadership, this is how you will behave in certain situations. I mean, you seem, and then they gave us an assignment for the next one and a half day, which was, you had to put up a skit, you know, basically a real skit with, you had to costumes and script, and actors, and it was all supposed to be only us. And we had to actually sell tickets to our folks, our colleagues. And what we learned to let one and a half days we could never have learned in a classroom. Right? We’ve lost marketing, we learn finance, we learn script writing and community communications. Sales. I mean, it came out really well. So how did we do that? We did that by getting involved, he was forced to get involved with otherwise, you know, sorry, if it doesn’t, then we got the hang of it. It had to be practical.

Collaborative learning

Imagine if your content is monotonous, and you make people just listen and listen. It’s extremely tiring and strenuous. So taking a break from what you’re doing, doing something else. And what are some of the things that you could do? A short break, right? You could stretch or you could walk. You could tell a story, you could crack a joke, do some physical activity, what is the result of this? So the start of this is to look at the brain scan after you know you’re sitting quietly and see how it becomes so much more active awkward 20-minute walk. So what I’m saying is, that you need to give the brain a break by learning your code posters should be memorable. You’d have to be interesting. But you have to make it logical. So you have to understand where your users or your learners are stumbling, you have to understand what is it that they are not getting. Then try to solve it using logic. Most people get logic, right? Most people get a reason. You can’t force people to just mug up things or just memorise things. Humans, like a variety of things to get the right thing. So this is the core of the Ebbinghaus curve and you can see that in 20 minutes after you learn something, you’ve lost almost 40% of you just can’t remember it. And you can see how stuff deteriorates rates over time. So learning in the flow of work is nothing but getting people to learn as part of their everyday work. Digital adoption tools help you do that. It helps you reinforce any learning that could have taken us in the flow of work. Another part of learning in the flow of work is the amount of information that you can, you can actually impart is also becoming smaller. We have the smallest attention span than the goldfish and this was done in 2008. Goldfish had a better attention span. So the information that you’re giving users also needs to be in small chunks. What is collaboration? So when it comes to learning, we’ve all done combined studies. Why should you learn alone? You can learn with a friend and can’t you create a course where multiple users have to solve a problem together and then learn like you don’t need to do it long?

Nibu Thomas works as a director of Information Development at Whatfix. He’s proud to be a digital adoption expert in his current role and is excited at how his organization is disrupting the way users consume and interact with information. He’s a certified PMP, six sigma black belt, and human factors certified usability analyst. He’s passionate about all forms of communication and believes that he’s blessed with a gift of words and a wacky sense of humour.