Learning tools for the modern learner

We specialise in the design and delivery of both structured programmes and ad hoc workshops to support leadership / management development and personal effectiveness.

We do this for a wide range of clients across the UK and internationally.

We understand the pressures that the modern worker is under and just how precious their time is. We also understand that technology has moved on incredibly in the past 10 years and we can now harness some of these technologies to deliver training in a way that fits with the modern working environment.

This booklet outlines our approach to learning technology and our capabilities, together with examples of when to use them.

We also offer an insight into the science behind these learning technologies. In understanding how the brain learns we can use technology to enhance the learning experience.

We hope you find it useful. If we’ve left any questions unanswered do please give us a call – we’re here to help!

View our Learning tools for the modern learner booklet!

The modern learner

A highly regarded study by Bersin by Deloitte in 2015* showed that the modern learner is overwhelmed, distracted and impatient. There is so much demand on their attention that they find as little as 1% of a typical working week to focus on learning.

According to the research two-thirds of workers say that they are overwhelmed and don’t have time to do their jobs – does that sound familiar? Learners are distracted by smartphones, websites, e-mails and even business applications as frequently as every 5 minutes and attention spans have reduced significantly in the last 10 years. Many of us now actually do have the attention span of a goldfish – it’s not just a Generation Z problem!

Add to this the working environment of the modern worker. Often not working from the organisation’s offices, many workers are mobile and using mobile devices for their work. Harnessing these mobile devices to provide learning is therefore a critical training strategy for any organisation.

The modern learner is impatient and wants answers quickly. If learning does not grab their attention quickly they will soon be distracted, probably by their smartphone.

With the constantly changing demands for new skills the modern learner is always looking for ways to find instant answers to their work problems. Learning ‘just in time’ has become far more critical than learning ‘just in case’.

Modern learners are collaborative by nature, seeking answers from networks of people. Social learning through interactions with peers and experts is a popular method for the modern learner.

The need for bite-sized, targeted learning has increased significantly, as has the need for knowledge retention methods to help embed the learning back in the busy workplace.
*For the Bersin by Deloitte infographic of the modern learner, click HERE (you will need to register for a free account on Bersin by Deloitte’s site to access the infographic. Or you can use Google to find the infographic freely available on many websites.)

The landscape for learning technology

Technology has changed the way we work. It has also changed the way we learn.

We’re not just talking about e-learning here either – we’re talking about virtual classrooms, learning through games, bite-sized learning on mobile devices and harnessing the power of social media to provide learning.

Classroom training will always have a place in the world of learning, but we can now use an array of learning technologies to reduce the time in the classroom, cater for the modern learner and still improve the effectiveness of the learning.

The learning industry has seen a significant growth in new technologies that can complement, or even replace, traditional classroom training. Understanding what they are and when it is best to use them can be helpful when you have a development requirement.

The classroom is here to stay, but we can now complement it in many ways. Here are just a few examples of the technologies that Maximum Performance can provide and what they are best for…

  • Virtual classrooms
  • Knowledge retention & assessment apps
  • Social learning platforms
  • Game-based platforms
  • Animated videos
Virtual classrooms

If you have employees in multiple locations it is often difficult and costly to get them all into a classroom for training. Virtual classrooms are ideal if you prefer a scheduled live-taught event but cannot easily get your audience into one room with the trainer.

Virtual classrooms allow a trainer to deliver a live session to learners at virtually any location – all they need is a PC, tablet or even a smartphone and an internet connection. The audio connection can either be through a separate phone call or by using the computer to dial in.

It is usually best if the participants join the virtual classroom in isolation. This ensures that everyone is engaged in the session and is not sharing a PC to connect.

The best virtual classroom tools allow the trainer to share content with the learners, run polls, break the learners out into separate ‘virtual’ rooms for group exercises and even see if a learner is being distracted by other applications such as e-mail.

We can deliver most of our programmes in a virtual format, using your platform if you already have one or one of a number we use on a regular basis (eg, GoToTraining, Zoom, Skype for Business, etc).

Knowledge retention and assessment apps

Learning ‘just in time’ has become far more critical than learning ‘just in case’.

Targeting the right learning for each individual is becoming increasingly important. One size rarely fits all but is often the approach adopted for the sake of simplicity.

With the use of easy to deploy assessment apps and a bite-sized, adaptive curriculum we can help you to identify a unique learning plan for each employee.

Once each learning event has taken place it is important to ensure that the learning is not forgotten. Remember how overwhelmed the modern learner is when they get back to work!

Without reinforcement and application much of the learning is lost.

Research by Professor Ebbinghaus showed that after just one day up to 50% of knowledge learned can be lost and after a week that can be as much as 90%! This is known as ‘the forgetting curve’.

We have tools to fight the forgetting curve. Using mobile-friendly, short, spaced quizzes we can help learners retain more of what they learnt – up to 35% more.

Social learning platforms

Modern learners are collaborative by nature, seeking answers from networks of people. Social learning through interactions with peers and experts is a popular method for the modern learner. Social learning platforms allow employees to learn in a social, collaborative environment without having to be away from their job for long periods of time.

Maximum Performance favour the ‘Curatr’ platform to provide an online, social learning environment that can deliver structured and facilitated learning in a very informal way. We curate the content into bite-sized learning and discussion objects. Learners can dip in and out as it suits them within the duration of the programme.

Curatr is particularly effective when you want to develop a large, geographically dispersed audience and you are building on existing knowledge. It is also a great way to involve your subject matter experts in the learning by adding their views to the conversations.

We can very quickly build you a Curatr-based learning programme, giving you regular progress reporting and analytics – as well as a first-class training experience.

Game-based platforms

Game-based learning platforms are commonly used in schools. The fact that we are all children at heart has led to their widespread use in the business world too.

One of the game-based tools we recommend is ‘Kahoot’, a quiz game that keeps learners engaged in a fun way during, and even after, the class. Teams can compete to win the quiz.

Quizzes, or Kahoots, can be set up in minutes and can be distributed easily to employees via their smartphones.

Kahoot can also be used to reinforce learning, so it also doubles as a knowledge retention tool.

Animated videos

We have in-house capability to produce animated marketing, explainer and learning videos to support the marketing of your learning initiative and to provide engaging, bite-sized content. This content can be client-branded and used within any of the technologies mentioned above.

The 7 principles of effective learning programmes
  1. Space the learning
  2. Use micro-content (bite-sized)
  3. Use spaced repetition to aid retention and reinforce
  4. People learn best by doing
  5. Connect learners to people and resources
  6. Allow flexibility to suit learner needs
  7. Remember – Context is king!

To find out more about any of our technology capabilities and tools, or for a demonstration, please contact: andy.machin@maximumperformance.co.uk