Digital Learning: The Dance Between Digital and Classroom Learning
By Robert M. Burnside
According to Bersin, high-performing organizations in the digital age operate as empowered networks, coordinated through culture, systems, and talent mobility. We’ve seen a shift in focus as innovative companies have started to transition from hierarchies to open networks and ecosystems, building out cultures of connectedness. Whether it is through the removal of management layers, adoption of agile work processes, or digital tools to empower people to work in teams, a culture of collaboration is driving modern companies forward.
Historically, learning and development, especially eLearning, has focused on the individual; most digital learning is not collaborative in nature. This has left L&D out of sync with the shifting demands of organizations. Digital learning strategies must evolve to include a mix of top-down training methods, personalized learning, and collaborative learning with and from peers. Most companies are doing one or two of these well, but not all three. If you are tasked with creating a more inspiring and open learning culture, or driving stronger collaboration across your company, here are three key steps to design an effective Collaborative Learning strategy that will do just that.
Step 1: Transition mindset from individual to team. It’s time we change the conversation in learning to developing teams, not just people. Adopting a team-centric ethos across the organization requires a mindset shift all the way up from leaders down to learners. For you, it will require new ways of structuring learning environments and new tools to empower and facilitate organic collaboration. Not a quick or easy task, but if executed successfully you can drive real cultural transformation and more productive, efficient, and innovative teams of people. Read our earlier post on The Top 3 Tips to Transform L&D in the Digital Age.
Step 2: Be thoughtful and deliberate in the design of your Collaborative Learning strategy. Technological advances make Collaborative Learning across global workforces more achievable. But not all Collaborative Learning solutions are designed equal. There are many learning solutions in the market that confuse simple social functionality, such as likes, recommendations, and playlists, with actual, meaningful interactions between learners. A strong Collaborative Learning strategy is a thoughtfully designed ecosystem that leverages digital learning tools to provide an environment where people can interact, communicate, and learn from one another. It should be focused on developing high-performing teams, not just people.
Step 3: Look beyond standard metrics to show the impact. As new digital learning approaches emerge, so do new ways of measuring learning. Just like in other spheres, a move to digital means data. Lots of data. And with even more data, we’re under more pressure to prove the impact of the dollars spent on learning initiatives. The question of ROI in learning is immensely complex and can change substantially depending on the strategic goal. But one simple thing is true of all learning: it’s about change. If the learning experience hasn’t changed the way someone thinks, acts, and sees the world, it didn’t work. For Collaborative Learning, the intended change is usually less about particular skill development or small behavior change, and more about shifts in mindset and ways of approaching work.
Well designed Collaborative Learning solutions are the most effective ways to engage, educate, measure, and improve the learning agility of teams and organizations. A Collaborative Learning strategy that includes the right mix of all 3 steps above has the best chance to positively impact organizational performance.
Looking to implement your own Collaborative Learning strategy? Request a demo and learn how Nomadic Learning can help you engage, connect, align, and measure the success of your collaborative learning programs.
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By Robert M. Burnside
By Tim Sarchet
By Tim Sarchet