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We know today that most successful organizations focus as much on supporting and developing the people running them from within, as on their outputs and the customers and audiences they serve externally.

For learning professionals this means shifting the focus beyond satisfying immediate training needs, making learning a core organizational priority, and creating opportunities for continuous learning for all employees. Doing this has been shown to help organizations stimulate productivity, innovate, and remain relevant.

Technology is not the answer, but digital learning is an enabler, particularly as workforces become increasingly distributed, and because technology makes learning more accessible to more people.

Learning Is as Much About Psychology as Providing Training

In the 1940s’, psychologist Abraham Maslow made a series of observations about human motivation. He developed a framework, known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, that has become one of the cornerstones of developmental psychology today. His framework is a classification system describing eight stages of motivation, through which human beings graduate on a journey towards self-knowledge and fulfillment.

The system is usually represented as a pyramid, with the pinnacle, or final phase of development, classified as “self-actualisation”. Maslow pointed out that human beings are innately curious, naturally seeking out opportunities to learn. Self-actualization is the point in life at which human beings are focused on becoming the best versions of themselves – seeking out opportunities to improve, grow and develop. Typically, this coincides with people reaching their mid-thirties to mid-fifties. This is when most people are putting down roots – ‘settling down’ and starting families – having addressed the preceding phases of Maslow’s hierarchy.

Learning Is Not Just About Jobs

Learning is a continuous activity. It is something we do all our lives, through
every new experience and interaction with which we engage. An organization that recognizes this and turns it into a core value, is on its way to becoming a learning organization.

Learning is intrinsically linked to value. By providing the right opportunities for people to learn and develop, we create value both for themselves and for their organizations.

This means that most of us don’t just want to learn to get better at the jobs we are doing. We want the knowledge to take our roles to the next level, or to do the job that we will have next. We want to develop our sense of self-worth and to become the best version of ourselves.

5 Lessons to Help You Put Learning at The Center of Your Organization

  1. Culture & Environment

A learning organization is one that supports continuous learning and in which learning is embedded into its fabric. It is an organization that recognizes the importance of investing in its people and provides opportunities for them to learn formally, informally, within a structure, but also with autonomy. This means making time for learning, because not all learning happens on-the-go.

Taking its cue from the first phase of Maslow’s hierarchy, a learning environment is one that offers psychological safety. It is an environment in which it is ok to ask questions, to disagree with other perspectives, to try new ways of doing things – to take risks, test ideas and fail.

Such an environment is cultural, and organizational culture is determined by leadership. Leaders who are open to new ideas, discussion, debate, feedback and failure tend to be the leaders of learning organizations.

TOP DIGITAL TIP – Provide a safe learning environment
Design content that makes it ok to fail. We learn best from our mistakes. By making mistakes we sometimes find new ways of doing things.

  1. Goal Setting & Reward

For learning to make a difference, it cannot exist in a vacuum. All learning, whether task oriented or more generally developmental, should be part of a clearly communicated trajectory. Goal setting helps create a structure within which individuals and managers can understand the progress that is being made and what needs to happen next. Such structures also help to determine the processes that need to be put in place to facilitate the right learning opportunities.

Rewarding your learners for achieving their goals reinforces a culture of learning. At IBM, people are recognized with badges for completing 40 hours of learning within a year, with additional recognition for completing 80 hours and then 120 hours.

TOP DIGITAL TIP – Structure your content
Provide options for compulsory and optional content, but make sure that content is part of a clearly defined, systematic learning trajectory. The courses a learner chooses to complete don’t all have to be relevant to a person’s immediate role, but could be useful knowledge in a different role as they progress through the organization.

  1. Learning Fast and Slow

A learning organization is a supportive learning climate providing opportunities for people to not only absorb knowledge that helps them perform existing roles, but that encourages them to engage with additional learning that helps them develop professionally, beyond the scope of their existing role. This is the road to what Maslow terms self-actualization.

In a fast-moving world where immediacy is the prevailing wind and increasing emphasis is placed on concepts such as learning in the flow of work, just-in-time and real-time learning, we also need to know how to slow things down. The chance to examine challenges and opportunities from multiple perspectives and explore possible solutions with colleagues is just as valuable an opportunity as learning in real-time to perform a task as you execute it. Slowing the learning down in this way helps develop analytical skills, lateral thinking ability, and problem-solving know-how.

Such a culture cannot survive on intention alone, it needs the support of well thought-through processes and practices that support self-directed and optional learning avenues as well as compulsory training. So, no matter how you are learning, you are on course to somewhere.

TOP DIGITAL TIPS – Enable Collaboration and make it social
Use communities of practice and closed groups to encourage colleagues to unpack problems and find solutions together. Also, make it easy for people to share ideas and experiences through social media walls and user-generated content.

  1. Use Data To Improve

A learning organization not only teaches but is itself learning all the time.

Whether you are using a traditional LMS or have a newer, Learning Repository Store enabled system in place, tracking learner performance and behaviors will help you understand whether the learning is working or not.

Additionally, encouraging learners to reflect on their learning and giving them ample opportunities to share feedback helps you continuously improve learning design.

TOP DIGITAL TIP – Track learner progress
Track your learners as much as you can to understand what is working for them and what is not. Use simple functionalities such as polls and likes to gather initial reactions, coupled with more in-depth feedback gathering.

  1. Learning On the Inside and From the Outside

A learning organization is not just inwardly focused. Finding ways to engage externally and learn from suppliers and customers is hugely helpful for improving the way your organization operates. Armed with such information, employees can learn to do their jobs better and with more satisfaction.

TOP DIGITAL TIP – Use the feedback
Give learners inside and adjacent to your organization opportunities to deliver feedback, contribute to courses or access learning themselves where appropriate.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about how online learning can help you transform the power of learning for your organization, get in touch with the Motimate team and we’ll show you how.

Stine Snekkenes is Motimate Creative Studio’s trained pedagogist and resident expert in the method and practice of creating online courses. Her experience working with diverse organizations has proven just how important well-thought-out design and communication is in creating successful online learning. Stine has made it her mission to help learning teams everywhere design and deliver the best learning content that they possibly can.

In the early 1900s, a Russian psychologist called Lev Vygotsky established a theory that has become a key influence in 20th century learning. Social Constructivist theory tells us that learning is a shared experience that happens through interaction with others.

Even earlier, in the mid 1700s’, the French philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, realized that learning needs to be contextual and relevant because we learn best when we can see the usefulness of what we learn and connect it to the real world.

Despite this, learning has historically been a relatively passive activity. Learners have absorbed information from teachers and instructors in classrooms and training rooms, or read textbooks, often taking a test or exam to see how much they can remember.

Applying knowledge learned in the classroom or from a book to your everyday life or job – solving problems and making decisions that affect people – is not an easy leap to make, no matter how many case studies you examine, because this is second-hand learning, or learning through the eyes of others.

Today, we’re able to introduce context into learning in ways Rousseau quite probably never imagined! We can create learning environments that mimic reality and help learners understand how to apply the learning in real life situations. We can even create courses that learners can follow as they complete actual work tasks, applying the knowledge as they learn it – something known as learning in the flow of work, or on-demand learning.

FUN FACT!

A Motimate client created a course to teach waiting staff about fire safety whilst on-site in their restaurants. In order to move to the next course chapter, they had to scan QR codes placed on fire extinguishers.

Thanks to Lev Vygotsky, we know something else about learning that we didn’t know before. We know that people learn best when interacting with others. Something the classroom does offer is the opportunity for discussion and idea sharing. This is something we need to think harder about in the digital world.

We also know more about the brain than we did before. We know that different activities stimulate different parts of our brain, helping us to develop important skills that help us to navigate our jobs and everyday life.

Active learning is about activating the brain, stimulating as many parts of it as possible to mobilize a person’s ability to analyze information, think critically, and make decisions that will solve problems.

By challenging learners to make decisions we are asking them to exercise critical thinking skills – creating a safe space in which it’s ok to experiment, to get it wrong, and to learn from their mistakes.

Reflection is important too. Taking the time to process the information we have received and think about what we have learned helps us commit things to memory and to develop our critical thinking skills. Previously this function would have been fulfilled by tests and exams, today we can do more.

Try incorporating these 5 principles into your digital courses

  1. We learn when sharing and discussing ideas
    Make learning a social activity. Use online forums and social media style sharing functionality to encourage learners to discuss ideas and share learning.

    Our customers use our Motimate Pulse platform to communicate, create posts, share information and engage in discussion with colleagues.This helps them share information in real-time, gain helpful input from across their organization, learn from each other and develop their analytical skills.
  1. We learn through variety
    Create dynamic content – mix up your formats because variety keeps learners engaged and appeals to different learning dispositions (visual, audio, kinesthetic). Make use of imagery and video, games, audio files and podcasts. This will help bring the learning to life and create an immersive experience.
  2. We learn through context and experience
    Contextualize learning to make it useful – share stories but also problems that need to be solved. Think about designing courses that can be completed in real-time, as people complete actual work tasks. This will help them commit the learning to memory and help people want to keep learning.

    A Motimate Creative Studio client created an active learning course to educate employees about the need to use a safety harness when working on construction sites. We kicked-off the course with a series of news articles about serious accidents that have happened on building sites – accidents that could have been avoided if a safety harness had been used. Putting the topic in context and using real-life events as examples helped learners to more quickly understand the dangers that they need to offset.
  1. We learn through our mistakes
    Place learners in the role of decision-maker by designing content that requires them to make decisions and get things wrong, because it’s ok to make the wrong choices now, so that they learn right choices in the future.

    At Motimate, we use games that put decisions in the hands of the learner – for example a simple swipe game that requires them to make a series of choices before they can reach the next stage in the course
  1. We learn through reflection
    Give learners the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned by using quizzes, polls, and discussion forums. This gives them the opportunity to explore ideas and offer feedback on information, helping to transform the learning from a passive to an active exercise.

Need a helping hand?

Getting active learning right can be a lot to think about. If you would like some advice, guidance, or even someone to just do it for you, get in touch with the team Motimate Creative Studio.

Let me tell you a story. It’s about how human beings learn better when they experience empathy and familiar patterns. It begins with the introduction of our key protagonist, the art of storytelling herself.  

The art of storytelling has been around pretty much since the dawn of time. We like to imagine human beings, before language was invented, telling stories to each other through grunts and enthusiastic gesticulation, or, in their more sophisticated moments, through drawings on cave walls. We think of these as the first story boards. 

Storytelling isn’t just ancient, she’s popular too. Why? Because she’s captivating, engaging, easy to relate to, and there’s usually something familiar about her. She makes even the most boring things more interesting and, once you’ve met her, she’s hard to forget. 

Since leaving the cave, she has made appearances on the pages of books, newspapers and magazines, in movies and on television and, finally, online. 

Why storytelling is such a powerful learning tool 

Stories are memorable because they stimulate cognitive empathy (putting ourselves in other peoples’ shoes) and mnemonic skills (recognizing patterns and making associations). Research from the National Centre for Biotechnology Information has revealed that these two skills are what help human beings navigate their social environments.

Stories create empathy 

Stories are a social, anecdotal way of learning. They are about sharing ideas and experience. They make information more relatable by placing it within context. So, the learner is not just listening, they are actually picturing the scenario and often imagining themselves in it. In this way, stories establish connection and stimulate empathy. These emotions trigger responses from multiple, corresponding parts of our brains. This makes the information that we receive through a story more memorable because it’s hitting more buttons than if we were to simply read a 2-dimensional textbook. The social, anecdotal nature of stories also makes them more likely to be shared, encouraging knowledge transfer within an organization. 

Stories use familiar patterns 

One of the things that makes storytelling so powerful is that it is such a familiar structure and one of the best ways to connect with your audience because it taps into emotional memory. Story structure is hard-wired into the human brain because it is something that humans have experienced since the beginning of time. 

Stories follow a consistent pattern. They involve a beginning, a middle and an end – an idea, a narrative, and a conclusion. This pattern taps into our mnemonic memory, our predisposition towards memorising through patterns and associations. The familiar structure allows us to focus entirely on the contents (the message), and not the vehicle (the mode of delivery). 

Stories encourage reflection and self-awareness

Stories also help us commit things to memory through reflection. A really good story will make you pause and reflect after it’s told. You’ll be thinking about it for a while, and you might even ask the question: “What would I do differently next time?”

4 things you need to know about telling stories in digital learning 

Although there are many things to think about when creating stories for your digital programs, they do fall into 4 key areas.

1.  Keep it short & straightforward – try not to communicate more than one major point in each story.

2. Pay attention to structure – give it a beginning, middle and end, an idea, a narrative, and an outcome, like this:

It’s also important to give the learner the opportunity to reflect on the story and its lesson at the end, so they can think about how they can improve on the outcome. 

3. Mix up the format and use visuals – bring your stories to life by creating narrative journeys that stimulate different parts of the brain. You might make up stories, use actual case studies, or anecdotes. Either way, use different mediums such as video, photographs, infographics, audio recordings, music, or animation to tell the story.

4. Consider making it interactive – Giving the learner an active role in the story helps engage and learn actively. You might do this by empowering them to make decisions that determine the outcome of the story, or simply by having them indicate when they are ready to take the story to the next stage. 

Need a helping hand?

If you would like to find out more about how to use storytelling in your e-learning programs, get in touch with our team at Motimate Creative Studio.

Stine Snekkenes is Motimate Creative Studio’s trained pedagogist and resident expert in the method and practice of creating online courses. Her experience working with diverse organizations has proven just how important well-thought-out design and communication is in creating successful online learning. Stine has made it her mission to help learning teams everywhere design and deliver the best learning content that they possibly can.

When it comes to developing great online learning, how do you know where to start? You’re not the first person to ask this question and, luckily for you, I am kick-starting this blog series with a topic that’s going to give you the answer. At Motimate Creative Studio we use the ADDIE model to help our clients optimize learning content. 

ADDIE stands for analyze, design, develop, implement, evaluate. It’s a 5-step guide used by instructional designers to create great digital learning courses. What makes this such a robust model is that it is cyclical, putting the emphasis on getting the foundations right, but also allowing you to improve on what you’ve created once it is out there.  

The five stages help you take a structured approach to delivering the best possible digital training experience for your learners. It’s simple to follow and a useful checklist to help you get your digital learning right the first time round. Here’s how it works… 

Phase 1: Analyze – scope out the learner landscape and identify their needs 

This first stage is about understanding training needs and setting goals – the broader picture of what you want to achieve with your training course. So, you could carry out a needs analysis to understand exactly who your learners are and what they need to learn. As well as identifying knowledge gaps, it’s also important to understand whether there are any constraints on learners, as well as the ways in which they learn best, (on-the-job, outside work time, using video, individually or as a team effort, competitively, rewards-driven), because you will need to design these considerations into your training.  

Phase 2: Design – plan for what your training will look like and how it will work

This is the moment to figure out how you are going to achieve your training goals. To do this, you will need to know if the training is working. Good learning content is designed around a set of learning objectives. These are measurable indicators that tell you how learners are responding to the training as they go along. So, the first thing to do here is decide what you are going to measure and how you are going to measure it, so that you can design these into your course content. For example, you might decide to use quizzes after each learning module to understand how well learners are responding to the learning content compared with branches that haven’t, or that have been presented with different content, this way you can see what works best. 

This is also the phase during which you must decide what the training will look like – the types of content you want to use (photos, video, quizzes, infographics, podcasts, text) and the way it will be executed (order, timeframe, compulsory/optional). Learning courses fall into two camps, information-based and performance-based. Information-based learning is usually best supported by text and video-based resources, whereas performance-based learning tends to lend itself better to more interactive learning modes such as quizzes, or applied, real-time learning (learning whilst you are performing work tasks). 

Storyboarding and prototyping are typically used at this point, to help map out the training journey – identifying the different components and seeing how they fit together to make a complete learning experience. So, this is also the point at which you need to write the words that you will include in your content.  

Phase 3: Develop – put your plans into practice and test, test, test

This is where you get to work creating the course content and making sure it works smoothly. If you’re lucky enough to be using Motimate, you’ll know that you can create great courses (motis) yourself, quickly and easily, with zero programming skills. 

Sometimes, though, no matter what learning platform you are using, you might need a bit of extra help to create something tailored or give your content an extra polish. If you don’t have the time, tools, or the know-how to do this in-house, you might want to get some help from an expert content creator – a programmer, graphic designer, photographer, videographer, or copywriter. This is what we do at Motimate Creative studio.

It’s very important to proofread and test everything that you create, to pick up any language errors and get rid of any bugs that might have crawled into your training modules. 

Phase 4: Implement – get your training course out there 

Finally, it’s time to get the training out there! If you’ve done your job in phases 1-3, this should be simple. If you’re using new software to deliver the training, you might need to give your learners some training on how to use it before they begin. 

Phase 5: Evaluate – find out how the training can be even better 

Although this is the last phase in the ADDIE model, it actually isn’t! Remember, this is a cyclical model and it’s designed this way for a reason. Even though you did all that prototyping, proofreading and testing in the design and development phases, it isn’t until you get the training in front of your learners that you really put it to the test. 

During the evaluation phase, you can gather feedback from users, and measure performance against the learning objectives you identified in the design phase. Then you can use this data to make your training courses even better, creating happier learners and achieving your learning goals. 

Need a helping hand?

Now you know the secret, you can start planning and delivering your own awesome digital learning courses and, if you need any extra help, tips or support to get it just right, contact the Motimate Creative Studio team and we’ll give you a helping hand.

Digital Learning and the blended workforce 

Part-time, self-employed, freelancer, gig worker, contingent worker, independent contractor – these are all terms for what is increasingly becoming the new normal in workforce practice. The operating models supporting these dynamic workforces are based on an increasing acceptance of the concepts of home working, remote working, mobile working, and the digital workplace. In 2021, under pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic, a vast number of organizations have had to switch to this way of working at incredible speed. For many, it has been a stressful exercise, but we have also learned some incredibly valuable lessons about the power and possibilities of remote working. For some, one such discovery is the advantages and opportunities created by the blended workforce. 

A blended workforce describes a workforce made up of a significant proportion of freelance, part-time, temporary or on-demand workers in addition to permanent staff. The retail and hospitality sectors have, of course, been working in this way for decades – recruiting temporary staff to meet peaks in seasonal demand. The rise of the gig economy and increases in home working have fuelled new business models such as Deliveroo, Uber and Fiverr – all examples of enterprises with a blended workforce at the00ir centre. But with so many different elements to your workforce, how do you approach the learning needs of your organization?

The perks of developing a blended workforce 

The increasing employment of independent and contingent workers over the last decade, together with, and perhaps because of, advances in technology, have propelled the emergence of new, more agile business models that rely on a more dynamic, remote workforce. These agile models help organizations benefit from wider recruitment opportunities and a more diverse talent mix. Now even an early-stage start-up enterprise can afford to recruit globally. 

Whether you employ a core staff, supplemented by seasonal recruitment of temporary workers, or you are working with a network of gig workers, freelancers, and contract workers, you can recruit, onboard, train and support your employees remotely. 

Working in this way means businesses can meet peaks in demand, access additional skill sets on-demand, and drive cost efficiencies by accessing the skills, know-how, and extra hands needed, on a non-permanent basis. It also means that recruitment is no longer limited by location, with more and more companies accessing wider talent pools and recruiting increasingly diverse workforces. The added benefit of working in this way is that periodically bringing in fresh perspectives can stimulate new ideas and spark innovation. 

A digitally enhanced operating model increases organizational capacity, facilitating round-the-clock operations. Being able to more easily recruit across geographies means businesses can offer 24-hour support and resources to its customers, as well as to their global workforce. 

Additionally, considering all organizational stakeholders to be a part of your blended workforce can work in your favour, driving efficiencies and improving performance up and down your value chain. Some of Motimate’s client organizations use Motimate to train both their internal staff and suppliers, with suppliers required to create training courses on their products so that staff can ensure they are up to date on product functionality. By treating your suppliers as a part of your extended, blended workforce and integrating your e-learning system across all stakeholder units, learning can be disseminated all the way up and down your supply chain.

How to support a blended workforce  

Mckinsey reminds us that organizational agility is as much, if not more about people than the technology that supports them. Getting the right operational processes and governance structures in place to support decision-making is key, as is the building of dynamic capability around a stable core – this applies both to your people and the technology infrastructure that supports them. A blended workforce brings with it additional resources, skills sets and know-how, giving an organization the ability to adapt and forming the basis of new product and service delivery. The technology should be designed to make life as easy as possible for your people, removing barriers to great performance.

Maintaining and supporting a blended workforce brings with it a new set of challenges for businesses that are new to working in this way. Even for those who have employed such a model for years, there are always ways to improve knowledge transfer and daily operations. A blended workforce introduces new IT considerations because, to successfully support such a workforce, a business needs to hold its content outside of its existing security infrastructure. With more people accessing enterprise resources (potentially, around the clock) from more locations such as their homes, cars and public spaces, security is paramount, but so is accessibility and a seamless interface. To help its customers achieve these things, Motimate uses an Anywhere Operations model so workforces can access everything they need, regardless of geographic variations in data handling legislation, and with the added benefit of single-sign-on, so people only have to log on once to access everything. 

Meeting the learning needs of your blended workforce 

A major consideration is the different learning requirements of your employees. With a mobile based e-learning system you can ensure that everyone has access to training and information, whether they are in warehouses, on shop floors, driving trucks, sitting on trains, or working from home. In addition, you may be operating across time zones and in different languages. 

Levels of experience will vary too, as will the relevance of training material. Personalizing learning pathways is definitely key to engaging your different stakeholders. Approaching your learning content in this way also allows you to control what is shared outside of your organization’s firewalls. It is important to deliver a strong onboarding program – so that everyone, even your temporary workers, understand and buy-in to your organizational culture.

Delivering a consistent onboarding experience creates a baseline for all employees which is helpful when analyzing the greater complexity of data resulting from a more diverse workforce. Integrating your e-learning system into a sophisticated reporting tool helps you to understand how different user groups are responding to the different material types so you can understand what kind of training content works best for which groups.

Talk to our experts!

If you would like to know more about how you can use a mobile-first e-learning system to harness the power of social learning, get in touch with us to have a chat and find out more.

Social Learning – what it is, how it works and how you can do it too

The 70:20:10 formula often referred to in Learning and Development maintains that 70% of knowledge is acquired through on-the-job experience, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal education. It’s not necessarily a comprehensive learning model. But at the very least, this is a useful tool for reflecting on the balance and reach of your e-learning programs.

The way we learn

“..most learning is gained by people’s perception and thinking about what they experience. They learn by copying the examples of others around them.”  – Albert Bandura

People learn better when they are actively interacting with the world around them – completing tasks and learning from each other. The fact that most learning at work happens outside of formal learning structures is not new thinking. In 1977, the often-quoted Canadian born social learning theorist, Albert Bandura (1977) emphasized the importance of mimicry in learning. He highlighted the influence of environmental and cognitive factors on learning behavior and the significance of observing others, modelling our behaviors on those we observe, and imitating the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. Bandura maps out four stages of learning:

  1. Attention – For a behavior to be mimicked, it must be noticed, so it has to be something we know will satisfy a need or that grabs our attention.
  1. Retention – To be remembered, a behavior needs to be associated with an experience in order to create a memory. So, applying the learning on the job to achieve an actual outcome helps us retain the learning in the long run. 
  1. Reproduction – We can only reproduce behaviors that are within our ability. If we can’t reproduce a behavior, we cannot fully learn it. The way we present information can sometimes lead to different outcomes. Creating content that caters to different learning modes (audio, visual, kinesthetic) can help learners absorb lessons more easily. 
  1. Motivation – Motivation is key to learning and is linked to reward. If we don’t perceive gain, we are unlikely to want to reproduce the behavior.

Another increasingly popular learning and development concept, learning in the flow of work, hinges on the understanding that people learn best on the job. This is learning in the real world, echoing Albert Bandura’s assertion that learning is informed by social systems and that we learn most effectively when we are observing, modelling, and mimicking. 

The relationship between social learning theory and tech

Social learning theory recognizes the role of personal agency – the fact that people learn best through interaction, and that we are naturally self-motivating and self-regulating. A contemporary learning and development program that uses social learning, is one that harnesses the power of tech, but recognizes that it is the people that build momentum. To inspire people to interact with an e-learning system on a regular basis, and of their own volition, to get them sharing knowledge and experience with each other and exchanging ideas, it’s a good idea to make it really accessible with a clear reward system.

The intranet was an earlier form of tech-enabled social learning and communications for organizations. Following an initial hiatus, engagement with intranets quite often fizzled out, often becoming a platform used primarily by communications teams and increasingly neglected by the wider pool of employees. This hasn’t always been the case of course. There are also success stories, but an intranet is first and foremost a communication and not a learning tool. Intranets just don’t have the 3-dimensional, inspirational, motivational, galvanizing qualities of a contemporary e-learning system. 

In this context, good tech enables the creation and embedding of dynamic social structures that encourage and support personal agency. It’s the people that make it work, but the tech makes it easy for them to do this – by being massively accessible and really easy to use; by facilitating bite-sized knowledge sharing; doing it in a way that is familiar (ie. works like social media); and by facilitating applied learning and repetition. Tech that taps into existing social systems, structures and behaviors maximises opportunities for learning. 

Traditional, computer-based e-learning platforms require learners to engage in what is essentially a solo activity. This lonely learning does not inspire, does not galvanize, and does not build momentum. On the other hand, giving people the opportunity to engage in meaningful interactions around specific topics and to form networks of learning and experience sharing, locks learners in and builds momentum. Such communities of practice underpin and embed a culture of social learning. 

A mobile-first digital learning platform harnesses the power of social, mimicking everyday behaviors and interactions – because we interact with our phones every day and on-the-go anyway. A mobile-first digital learning platform works outside of formal structures and, in so doing, makes learning more fun and accessible, enabling people to access information on a needs-basis, just as we would use Google, Twitter and Facebook in our daily lives. In this way a mobile LMS does not require us to learn new behaviors, but rather taps into existing behavioral modes.

5 tech-enabled social learning tools for your e-learning programs 

If people have the right tools, they’ll use them. There are lots of ways that you can implement social learning in your organization. Some choose to blend face-to-face with digitally enabled social learning techniques, but here are some ways that tech can help. 

1 Social stream is equivalent to a Facebook wall. Enabling people to share their experiences and successes. These interactions are also an effective way of transferring the tacit knowledge in your organization – helping people to learn from the experiences of their colleagues and peers.  

2 User generated content in the form of posts, videos and pictures, helps users take ownership of the learning platform, making the leap from a company-owned piece of software, to a tool managed by stakeholders, for stakeholders. We know from social media that when people share their experiences and successes, it encourages others to do the same. In this way, user generated content promotes inclusivity and reinforces good behaviors in others.

3 Groups are a great way to facilitate experience sharing and build momentum around specific topics and challenges. Groups can be open, essentially acting as social threads that anyone can join, or closed, bringing together a group of people around a shared topic of interest or problem to be solved. 

4 Reward systems such as badges, points and leader boards are hugely motivational. They tap into the reward systems in our brains and rewarded behaviors are more likely to be repeated. If humans are indeed self-motivating and self-regulating, then leaderboards fuel our need to know how we rank, how much better we could be, and how much more work we need to put in to get there. 

5 Feedback helps improve training and reinforces learning. With Motimate, users rate each Moti (course) once they have completed it, with the option to provide more detailed feedback too. Employers can use this feedback to understand which types of training and content different user groups find most useful. 

Talk to our experts!

If you would like to know more about how you can use a mobile-first e-learning system to harness the power of social learning, get in touch with us to have a chat and find out more.

Today, organizations are more responsive, efficient, people-centric, data-driven, inclusive, and diverse than ever before, but the eruption of Covid-19 has further accelerated what was already a changing paradigm in management philosophy. 

The World Economic Forum’s October 2020 report states that 85 million jobs will be displaced, and 97 million new ones will be created by 2025. Organizations have a lot of upskilling and re-skilling to do and Learning and Development has become an increasingly prominent area of focus. 

Industry analyst, Josh Bersin, in his 2021 presentation, Untangling the HR Technology Market, refers to the ‘big reset in HR’ and the resulting changes in operating models, spurred on by a speedy increase in distributed working practices in response to the pandemic. This reset has marked a shift from a trend of centrally controlled, process driven organizations, towards more adaptive models favouring distributed control with centralized coordination. The difference is that the second of these is more agile and, therefore, more resilient, enabling organizations to better weather disruptions. 

Gartner’s report on the big tech trends for 2021, highlights people-centricity as an important influencing theme in technology design and deployment.  Agile business models often introduce more complexity because they involve things like distributed networks, public cloud, blended workforce and digital workplace. So how do you keep all your stakeholders engaged in learning and how do you know that your chosen learning strategy is working? 

The answer, of course, is measurement. However, the days are gone when employees attended training sessions and away days where you could witness first-hand how engaged they were with the learning and the work. So how valuable is this information and is there a way of gauging it’s value in a digital environment? Reporting functionality is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with learning managers able to gather vast swathes of data on the behaviours of learners, but what are the metrics that demonstrate the impact your learning strategy is having on engagement and retention and what is the real value that learning brings to your organization?

What to measure and how to measure it 

Linkedin’s 2021 report on Skill Building in the New World of Work, notes a surge in the use of survey tools in the past year. A significant climb to 27% of professional L&D respondents globally, say they are now using employee survey tools to measure learning program effectiveness, with a number as high as 43% in the UK. Survey tools and quizzes help learners retain knowledge and generate measurable data on learning experiences, but these aren’t the only sources of valuable data.

Employee retention rates are a key metric. Have they risen, dropped, or remained static? Another is to look at the number of new skills that individual employees are accruing. The two metrics are ostensibly linked. If an employee is learning new and useful things, they are likely to stick around longer. 

You can only upskill people effectively if they are engaged in the first place and to do this, we have a new generation of learning platforms that help us put people at the centre of learning. It’s not just about the tech though, it’s also about adaptive learning models such as Learning in the Flow of Work, self-directed and micro-learning, and personalized learning pathways. People-centric learning programs facilitate behaviors that come easily to learners, because they are familiar, and help them retain learning by making it relevant.  

Learning and Development often measures course completion numbers, minutes spent learning, repeat visits. These stats tell us how a learning platform is being used, but not how much is being retained, the extent to which productivity has increased, or how effectively skills gaps are being filled. 

How to get the best feedback 

In today’s digital-first environment, we do not have the luxury of being able to read body language and gather anecdotal feedback from groups of learners in physical training rooms, so how can we assess that they are truly enjoying learning and getting what they need from the content? Gathering feedback on the intangible sense of excitement in learners is difficult to emulate in a digital scenario, but this qualitative feedback is arguably as important as the quantitative stuff.

To take both aspects into account, you need a learning tool able to track employee interaction, comments and sharing, as well as the numbers of return learners, courses completed, and minutes spent learning. A learning management system that integrates the ability for users to share experiences and anecdotes – social media style, and set up chats around specific topics, allows you to track different types of feedback. The data gathered from these interactions builds on employee satisfaction scores generated by surveys and offers a more complete picture of their learning experiences, so you know what’s working and what needs improvement. Providing opportunities for employees to get excited about new topics and challenges together, is a galvanizing force and bolsters competitive edge. 

So, whilst there is no one-size-fits all guide as to what metrics to focus on, to truly understand the impact of your learning strategies, the more data the merrier – the qualitative and the quantitative. 

A learning system that operates in a familiar way, tapping into existing behavioural modes based on social sharing and reciprocity, helps people to learn, retain and upskill, and organizations to measure, improve and adapt. 

Talk to our experts!

If you want to know more about measuring the impact of your learning programs and an LMS that can support you to do this well, get in touch with our experts now.

We are so excited to announce that as of today, 7th of April 2021, Motimate is part of the Kahoot! family. Since we founded Motimate in 2017, we have been working hard to make learning fun and easy.  Now we have more than 230 customers counting over 130 000 active users spread across 35 different countries around the world. 

Kahoot! is on a mission to make learning awesome by empowering individuals, organizations, schools and corporations to unlock their full learning potential through a game-based learning platform. Kahoot! is used by 97% of Fortune 500 companies and has hosted 20 million participating players in organizations in the last 12 months, with 120K paid corporate subscribers globally.

While Motimate is all about making learning fun, easy and rewarding, Kahoot! is on a mission to make learning awesome. Both companies have the same approach to what the best learning experience looks like. We have the same beliefs when it comes to learning, gamification and engagement. And we love to move fast, work agile and have fun.

Our paths crossed, we fell in love, and now the timing was right to join forces to make the best learning experience for organisations ever made. 

“We are excited to welcome Motimate into the growing Kahoot! family. The acquisition of Motimate is another exciting step in Kahoot!’s strategy to build the world’s leading learning platform and strengthen Kahoot! at Work’s offerings even further. ”                                

Eilert Hanoa, CEO, Kahoot!

For our customers this means that we over time will integrate our two platforms in order to give you the best learning experience ever made possible. For Motimate being part of the Kahoot! family will give us much faster access to the international market. 

We have already started working together so stay tuned for some really cool and exciting product updates to come 😎

From the very beginning of the Motimate journey we have had international ambitions. The Motimate team is always pushing limits, and we’re really proud of our recent growth. Teaming up with Kahoot! is hugely exciting, and we can’t wait to start leveraging our synergies to accelerate product development and expand our international reach. 

We are really proud of what we have achieved so far and we hope that you will find this news just as exciting as we do. This is also a perfect opportunity to thank all our customers for believing in us and helping us build a really strong product! 🙏

Best Regards

Team Motimate ❤️

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