Designing, delivering and managing modern learning experiences

In previous articles I have talked about how my ongoing Top 100 Tools for Learning survey shows how individuals are learning in new ways – particularly on the Web – using a wide range of tools, for example

  • by using Google and YouTube to solve their own learning and performance problems
  • by using social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to build their own professional network (aka personal learning network)
  • by using messaging apps on their smartphones like WhatsApp to connect with colleagues and groups
  • by using Twitter to participate in conference backchannels and live chats
  • by using Feedly to aggregate the blog posts and news feeds they subscribe to which provides them with a daily flow of information
  • by subscribing to services like Highbrow to provide them with a short daily lesson.
  • by participating in online courses (or MOOCs) on platforms like Coursera, edX and FutureLearn

What is clear about the way people learn on the Web is that is very different to the way they learn in traditional training, ie it

  • is on demand and continuous – rather than intermittent events
  • takes place in short bursts (minutes) – rather than long periods (hours, days, etc)
  • it mostly happens nowadays on mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) rather than on desktop machines
  • it is highly social  (interacting with people) – rather than just consuming content
  • it is a personal experience, selected by the individual concerned – rather than being a one-size-fits-all experience, designed by someone else (eg L&D)
  • it is autonomous (self-directed, self-organised and self-managed), in that the individual choses what, how and when he or she accesses, interacts and/ learns –  rather than one that has been directed by someone else (eg L&D), who (tries to) manage the individual’s learning for them.

In other articles here I have written about the new work of L&D that is about supporting modern professional learning, as I call it. But here I want to consider what it means for the design, delivery and management of organised and managed learning experiences –  because this will of course still be required.  In other words, what it means to modernise training. I believe there are 5 aspects to this and, in brief, it means

  1. Modernising classroom training experiences – so they become interactive and collaborative, technology-friendly events.
  2. Modernising online learning experiences – so that content is no longer about pressing the Next button to move to the next slide, but about creating content in more modern and appealing formats, and (where appropriate) guiding social learning experiences.
  3. Modernising assessment and learning management – so it is no longer about attendance, participation or completion – but about achieving performance outcomes using real-world methods and activities.
  4. Modernising learning support – so that participants are offered are range of different mechanisms that they can tap into to help them before, during and after the training.
  5. Modernising a blended programme – so that it provides a more flexible programme that allows the individual to be guided but not constrained to the resources and activities on offer.

This is just an overview of what it means to modernise training, if you would like to take part in a 6-week online workshop to find out more, to try out new tools and discuss the practicalities with others, click here to sign up to our  next ONLINE WORKSHOP: DESIGNING, DELIVERING & MANAGING MODERN LEARNING EXPERIENCES  There are no synchronous activities, so the online workshop is suitable for any time-zone.

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Jane Hart

Jane Hart helps organisations and learning professionals modernise their approaches to workplace learning - through public workshops and bespoke consultancy. She is the Editor of the Modern Workplace Learning Magazine, and is the author of a number of books including Learning in the Modern Workplace 2017 as well as the resource: How to become a Modern Professional Learner. You can contact Jane at