Or as one of our consultants helpfully framed it, ‘how can we make it easier for time poor people to learn?’ Training and learning have come a long way since the days of mandatory 5-day residentials as the only option for how to learn. Nowadays there is a huge range of options to engage learners, with a multitude of technologies on offer through which to deliver it. But all this choice can make it hard to decide what approach will work best, and in what situations.
As Professor Bell of Cornell University explains, “This shift has helped organizations to respond to pressures for improved efficiency and cost-control as well as to deliver learning that is more contextualized, which is crucial for developing more complex and adaptive skills. At the same time, it has revealed some of the challenges that can arise when learners are given greater autonomy and control.”
Unsurprisingly, there is no magic answer that will work in for every scenario – it depends who you want to help learn, to what level of sophistication, and how much time they can realistically dedicate to it. Based on our own experiences and an evaluation of the academic research in the area we have come up with the following summary of the advantages and disadvantages:
*The most extensive research on workplace learning has so far been carried out in the health sector – where effective training transfer can sometimes be a matter of life or death. One recent systematic review of 56 robust studies in this area found that “blended learning had a consistent positive effect in comparison to no intervention, and to be more effective or at least as effective as either pure traditional face-to-face or pure e-learning”.
If you’d like further support in deciding the best way to help your time poor managers and leaders learn, do get in touch – and we’ll help you make sure they get the right information, at the right depth, at the right time.