Integrating work and online learning

I recently attended the annual conference for the Australian Institute of Training and Development. At the conference, Charles Jennings spoke about a learning framework, 70:20:10, that recognised the significance of structured informal learning. He also stated that there is less incentive to take people away from work and put them in a classroom. Roger Collins also challenged us to consider whether or not training and development is losing its relevance.

This presents a great opportunity for online learning – not as a replacement for instructor led training, but as an avenue for integrating work and learning. It can support the blend of experience, practice, conversation and reflection that Jennings identified as the key elements required for learning to occur.

As an organisation, we find it very challenging to control the quality and message of informal learning and to bring it into our existing and mandatory reporting requirements. Again, online learning can provide some measure of control of the message and reporting.

As an eLearning developer, my challenge is to illustrate these benefits to potential clients. People should be offered well designed learning opportunities that give them the kind of learning experience they deserve. Unfortunately, this has not always been the experience of online learning.

I recently met with a client to approve the content we had developed for an online course. The client was very happy with the work and, just as we were finishing our meeting, she remarked that the content did not treat her as an idiot! That had been her previous experience. It was fortunate for us that she was given the opportunity to see that online learning can provide a valuable learning experience.

Do not dismiss online learning because of a poor experience. Consider how it could have been done with a different instructional design and different writing style. Perhaps it can help your organisation to better integrate learning and work.

– Bronte

One Response to “Integrating work and online learning”
  1. I also want to attend the next conference of “Australian Institute of Training and Development”. Can you please tell me when the next conference will be held?