As we noted in the introduction and part one of this four-part series, the organisation pursuing a digitization strategy must reimagine learning if they are to build the necessary skills to power this ambition. To achieve this, we need to transform the learning and development value chain through a careful combination of four key components namely; Organisation Centricity, Learner Centricity, Discovery, and Measurement. In this, part two of the series, we focus on Learner Centricity.
What is Learner Centricity
Learner- Centricity is derived from the practice of student-centered education, it places the learner at the centre of an active learning process and supports the practice of continuous, self-driven, self-paced, self-discovered learning. It has become the latest buzzword amongst learning practitioners and platform peddlers alike.
Learning needs to become increasingly Learner Centric
The need for learning to become increasingly learner centric is twofold, firstly, it mirrors the social trends for personalisation and on-demand services, and secondly, its fuelled by shifts towards increased organisational agility, which requires an autonomous learning culture and thus the abandonment of outdated training methods. Although we have made great strides towards increasing learner centricity, I often think that perhaps we are going in the wrong direction by following social trends too closely.
There is no shortage of consumable learning content
It is evident that ‘learning’ is now more learner-centric than it ever has been. There is no shortage of consumable learning content, which is set to increase as providers continue to digitize and introduce algorithms to push content in a ‘suggested-for-you’ format. However, due to the sheer volume of available and easily accessible content and the continual ‘suggested-for-you’ push notifications, modern-day learning has become yet another source of overwhelm, thwarting its intention to enable. Perhaps it is time for us to pause, regroup, re-think and refine learner centricity.
Identifying learning gaps
We need to reimagine learning as an eco-system, and in keeping with the definition, place the learner at the centre of their system, enabling them to connect to their learning needs (identify their learning gaps), and then to the developmental opportunities available to them, collaborators, and quality content. This forms part of the discovery process which will be discussed in part three.
This stands in contrast to the current ‘click based’ trend that pushes content in a ‘suggested-for-you’ format. Pushing learning content to people without matching it to their level of competence and in single-dimensional formats is not learner centric. For an organisation to be learning centric, we need to provide a way for learners to be able to accurately and reliably measure their learning gaps against a pre-defined set of competencies that predict performance. Understanding their learning gap in this way enables them to direct their learning, essentially allowing them to cut through the noise and focus on the content that is most relevant to them in context of their developmental needs.
Placing the learner at the centre of an active learning process
In summary being learner centric is about placing the learner at the centre of an active learning process, enabling them to contextually identify their learning gaps in order for them to appropriately direct their learning. In part three we look at the learning discovery process and how this can be facilitated effectively.
I hope you will continue to join me on this journey and I welcome your feedback as we – together – Reimagine learning.