Building an agile learning culture at workplaces using technology
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Implementing an agile learning culture in the organization in Learning and Development can help enhance the speed and flexibility of the corporate training programs. But first let’s understand what exactly agile learning is.
Instructional design has two main approaches – ADDIE and agile. ADDIE is the traditional linear way and stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. Although it is a great approach to use, it is not favored in workplace learning because of lack of speed. Agile learning allows for flexibility and speed while encouraging collaboration and communication.
Consider that you are building corporate training programs. If you adopt the agile learning approach, you will split the course development into building and testing. You can get valuable feedback after short development periods instead of all together at the end. Agile learning prioritizes speed over other factors.
Why agile learning?
The learners don’t have to wait for the course to end to receive feedback. This kind of learning methodology will increase employee engagement and learning by encouraging short learning spurts with time in-between for reflection.
Learners receive feedback after every module instead of at the end of the whole course. This helps them learn better as the learning is still fresh in their mind. In traditional methods of learning, the learners would typically receive feedback only towards the end. This feedback isn’t as impactful as it comes a bit too late in the learning process.
It’s harder for the learners to focus when they have to complete modules at a stretch. Instead, if they are given the option of pacing it out, it was found that knowledge retention is much higher and so is the rate of engagement. With agile learning, efficiency is much higher as it allows for a flexible mode of learning that works for the learners.
Agile learning calls for frequent communication and a faster pace. As learning is cut into small blocks with each followed by feedback, there is an increased need for communication and collaboration. This decreases the chances of misunderstanding and mistakes.
How to create an agile learning culture?
Build a vision
Create a vision in terms of the organization’s objectives for its learning and development. This should be done at the beginning of a project to avoid confusion later. It will also ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the process and outcomes.
Determine who in the organization needs to be in the cohort which would build an agile learning culture. Identify those stakeholders and keep them in the loop. Decide who all could benefit from being in the cohort meant to create an agile learning culture. Fix the most important ones like Human Resources and Learning and Development team. Then work your way down to secondary and external resources.
Leverage peer learning
Peer learning is said to make an organization more agile. It can help cut across departmental silos while breaking down communication barriers. It can prove to be a cost-effective way to build a learning environment among the employees. In this kind of environment, employees are encouraged to pick up new skills to stay competitive and relevant.
Enable social learning
To allow for peer learning to happen and agile learning culture to build, you need to foster an environment where employees can get together and practice social learning. There need to be spaces where the employees can catch up and learning together. Design the layout of the buildings and common spaces in such a way that it increases the collaboration between the employees.
Break the learning down into bite-sized chunks to make it easily consumable. Build a culture where learning can happen anytime and anywhere without it being a difficult task. You can use an LXP that allows you to have corporate training programs that allow for microlearning.
Allow for breaks in learning
One of the key features of the agile methodology is that learning happens in short sprints followed by breaks for reflection. These pauses in learning are crucial as they give time for feedback and conversations. This makes learning more efficient as you don’t have to wait until the end for feedback.
Use available technology
A rich LXP or LMS works well with an agile work environment and as a part of the Learning and Development strategy. This is because it is flexible and has a learner-focused approach. There is plenty of technology that can be leveraged to enable better learning. One example is mobile learning. Employees can use mobile learning to pick up skills in bite-sized portions.
To stay relevant in the industry, it is important to invest in learning and development. As compared the ADDIE approach, the agile learning approach allows for more speed, flexibility, and collaboration by bringing in feedback after short sprints of learning.