11 December 2017

Rethinking the Way We Learn


Today’s school students will join the workforce of tomorrow, but are they being prepared for success in the 21st century?

According to industry experts, students are not gaining all the knowledge they need to seamlessly integrate into the work environment. Graham Brown-Martin, author of Learning {Re}imagined, explains that our school system was designed to produce the workforce required by 19th century industry, i.e. workers who would sit silently at their benches all day, behaving identically to produce identical products – far removed from the world we live in today. Robotics and artificial intelligence are devouring jobs at an alarming rate, and the education provided by schools today is no longer sufficient to prepare future generations for the 45+ years’ work they have ahead of them.

On-the-job training has become a regular occurrence – and for good reason. Continuous learning and development is often seen as an essential strategy for personal growth and success. Learners no longer need wait for scheduled learning opportunities; instead, they are encouraged to take charge of their own learning.

The Government has just announced a flexible learning fund, aiming to provide insight into the effectiveness of scalable learning, to make it more attractive and easier to access. One of the key objectives and areas of interest is ‘making online and blended learning work for adults’. By highlighting this proactive attitude, the Government is taking steps toward educating the workforce of tomorrow. Learning management systems can now support this in a fun and innovative way, by facilitating the learners’ personal development and allowing them to challenge themselves.  

The definition of what training means has changed over the last decade or so, as more and more research reveals how people learn and retain information over time.

Typically, we forget 90% of what we learn within one week. New innovations to aid learning can go a long way to improving these information retention rates. E-learning allows you to learn in your own time, at your own pace, testing your knowledge as you go. Studies show that people retain information at a much higher rate when they can see and hear it; it becomes even more effective if it is interactive. Quizzes placed throughout the material help learners retain information by repeatedly reinforcing what they’ve learned.

Looking forward, we can expect to see the following trends adopted in company culture and processes:

  • Micro-learning – allowing learners to consume content in short bursts and bite-sized chunks rather than sitting through hours of online training.
  • Social Learning – more and more organisations want to support the sharing of business-wide good practice; expect to see a lot more collaborative learning platforms.
  • Open Learning Platforms – LMS systems need to be able to easily integrate with other in-house systems, so that organisations can freely integrate and extend functionality to fit their business needs.

At MHR we know the value of learning and development, which is why we now offer Enable Now, a solution for rapidly creating, sharing and storing content and e-learning materials.

With Enable Now your workforce will have access to training as and when they need it. The solution can work over any platform, and allows you to create instant and automatic training videos and manuals by recording processes as you perform them.

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Stephanie Murtagh

Stephanie Murtagh is a Product Marketing Manager at MHR. Having recently graduated from the Graduate Management Programme at MHR, she is now responsible for supporting MHR as an innovative and value oriented HCM provider.

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