My post-pandemic learning list
This is the time to extend our skills as learning professionals through the power of learning.
I am a lifelong learner. Whenever things change, I want to dive in and learn new skills, perspectives, procedures or approaches to be ready. As we emerge from the work-at-home chapter of the pandemic, my learning list is filled with cool topics that I want to explore and master.
True engagement of learners in virtual gatherings. With millions of hours of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and WebEx meetings under our belts, the learning field is still struggling to create true and meaningful “engagement” activities that enhance learners’ outcomes. We know how to use the various sub-tools in these platforms, ranging from polls to whiteboards to chat to breakout sessions. But where is the evidence to guide learning designers? I want to get smarter about how, when, why, duration, style and options for engagement activities — including things that just don’t work.
Learning dashboard. Let’s design some amazing dashboards to provide each employee with a graphical view of knowledge, skills, learning topics and certifications that they should engage with each day. When a system changes, the dashboard should indicate a small and important update to address immediately. When an employee’s role changes, the dashboard should provide new guidance. And when business results shift, such as a drop in sales of a key product line, the dashboard should highlight the need to focus on that item.
Virtual reality, mixed media and beyond the goggles. The remote work experience highlighted the need for workers to experience enhanced virtual reality and mixed media that overlays content on top of viewing actual items. VR is not new, but almost 99 percent requires the learner to wear a wrap-around or see-through pair of goggles, à la Xbox players. We are ready to lose the goggles for projected or embedded mixed media.
Re-sequencing content. Work-from-home learners have been quite independent in how they manage their own virtual learning. In conversations with chief learning officers from our Learning COLLABORATIVE, it seems that learners increased their re-sequencing of content modules based on their experience, curiosity and urgency requirements. There are new patterns emerging that indicate learners are overriding step-by-step content and skipping to the elements they need immediately in that moment – often bypassing the introductions and driving their own learning on a more personalized basis. Let’s build more content that encourages and supports learner re-sequencing, while still checking for outcomes.
Diversity and representation in the learning field: During the past year, we have witnessed an increased focus on diversity, inclusion and engagement with social justice movements, including the Black Lives Matter movement, and a heightened awareness of hate crimes committed against the Asian American community.
Learning and HR colleagues have been leaders in shaping conversations about these issues within our organizations, yet we must get focused on building diversity and representation in our learning teams and content. It is time to reshape learning leadership demographics to reflect the diversity of the workforce.
Curation on a personal level. I want to create new ways to curate awesome information and knowledge that I encounter every day. I want a “Later” button on my mouse or a gesture feature on my phone to capture and re-present indicated content to me at a later time. My curiosity as a learner is demanding a better way to tag or selectively highlight content, conversations and resources effortlessly and at any time throughout the day.
Adding arts to learning for impact. We have hosted 33 one-hour Empathy Concerts since April 2020, combining Broadway performers and learning experts for powerful blends of content and music relevant to the workplace. I am excited to expand models for incorporating music, songs and theater into our learning efforts. Arts expand the emotional impact of cognitive mastery.
Coaching — scaled and evolved. How do we evolve our coaching models and skills to allow for massive scaling? Organizations want to apply the supporting dimensions of coaching with both support and feedback to a wider audience. Let’s imagine new models.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning in 2022. I am taking several mini courses to build my understanding and skills in the world of AI, with an emphasis on how it will enhance and stretch the power of learning. There will be exciting times ahead.
Be a learner! This is the time to extend our skills as learning professionals through the power of learning.
From Elliott Masie’s Column in Chief Learning Officer Magazine.