Learning & Development
3 minute read

Learning in the Google era


Today, we all have instant access to knowledge on our laptops or phones. Any question can be answered in seconds. That’s brought huge opportunities for learning and development – but it’s also transformed the expectations of would-be learners about how they learn and access information. So how can you live up to the expectations of digital?

The Digital Revolution

Before the internet, corporate training was instructor led, whether in-house or delivered by external trainers. This was costly, time-consuming and not always well-targeted to the needs of learners and companies. It was also easily forgotten!

The digital revolution changed all that. Learning can now be delivered as and when is convenient and targeted specifically to the demand of the learner. But just because it can be targeted and effective, that doesn’t mean it always is – far from it! So how can you make sure your training and development is actually delivering what you need, in a way that your people want? Here are three things we believe are key:

1. Curation

What will be key in the future is how well content and courses are curated: are they easy to find at the time of need? Gartner research shows that, on average, 37% of the skills an employee uses in the course of their work was learned in the past year.[1] The rapidly changing demands of the workplace means it’s more important than ever to be able to access the right information immediately.

But the ease of access we’ve all come to expect means that curation, rather than aggregation, is expected. If an individual can’t find the information they want on their learning platform, they’ll just revert to Google. They’re too busy to wade through a vast library and will quickly default to other means if they don’t see the additional value. Curation means providing individually relevant content and courses to people, searchable at the time of need, which accurately anticipates learning needs of those employees. If it’s relevant, it will maintain engagement and effective learning.

2. Quality assessment

Of course, you don’t just want to access any old content, but material that’s been proven to be high quality. And today, one of the key ways we assess that quickly in our everyday lives is through user reviews. Almost everyone reads reviews and 84% of people trust reviews as much as they would a friend.[2] So the resources available on your learning and development platform should similarly fit the way that people assess and source material, including high quality, reliable user reviews.

For example, you should be able to differentiate between internal reviews from colleagues – because it’s likely to be more relevant to an individual’s experience, as well as highly trusted – and those of the wider community (which can be helpful where you want to see a larger sample of reviews on less frequently accessed material).

3. Individualisation

Finally, individuals expect to have autonomy over their own learning journey – and often, they’re the best person to know what they need at any particular moment. Continuously shifting roles means no position’s development will be consistently the same, so enabling autonomous skills development helps employees to build the skills they need to progress and to do their job well. In Learn Amp, for example, we allow users to shape their own learning pathways.

Enabling individualisation also means allowing people to learn when and how they want. For example, as mobile access to the web has increased, so too has the expectation of being able to access learning on the go through personal devices.

Individualisation, quality and curation will ensure the content and experience you’re providing is suitable for your company, and for the modern workplace. And critically, living up to the expectations of web-savvy users will get people using your learning platform, and just as importantly, keep them coming back.

[1] https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/think-employees-thrive-with-constant-coaching-think-again/

[2] https://www.inc.com/craig-bloem/84-percent-of-people-trust-online-reviews-as-much-.html