Friday, 7 October 2011

Making Learning Better

A key theme of my career has been making learning better.

In the 1990s, I concentrated on open, flexible and distance learning – or what I would now call resource-based learning. This aimed to offer more choice to learners, respond better to differing learning styles, widen access and make training more learner-centred.

In the 2000s, I concentrated on e-learning and blended learning, which empowers learners with digital technology to accomplish all that resource-based learning offered, and more.

Now I’m concentrating on learning evaluation, and firmly believe that it is pointless to undertake any sort of learning without setting clear targets and measuring improvement against them. I’m pleased to find I’m not alone.

I opened the article “making training better”, in the online edition of Management Today, fully expecting evaluation to be omitted, but I was pleasantly surprised. One of its six highlights is “track and measure success”.

Just throwing money at the problem isn’t the answer either. Companies need to be practical and precise in their execution of training programmes. This includes an on-going assessment that tracks and measures effectiveness of the courses, and whether staff are incorporating what they learnt into their daily roles. If no one is absorbing and using the information, then both time and money are being wasted.

I couldn’t agree more.

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