It’s no secret that businesses review training budgets as they look to cut costs and reduce the down-time associated with traditional training. While it’s not always possible to pull employees off the job and into a training room for days at a time, companies still want to help their workforce grow and develop, and improve safety, quality and productivity.
If a business wants to limit face-to-face training, how can they ensure their workforce is still learning and applying new skills, and that smaller amounts of training still have big impact?
The solution lies in how we structure training programs. While there are numerous benefits that can be gained from traditional face-to-face training, other delivery methods are quickly gaining traction in the learning and development space.
Sentis’ blended learning approach mixes face-to-face training with Sentis Dojo—an online knowledge platform at the cutting edge of brain science and adult learning principles. Sentis Dojo shifts the learning paradigm and maximises what we know about adult learning, offering far more than a traditional learning management system (LMS). Sentis Dojo utilises:
Micro-learning delivers content in short, bite-size bursts (from three to five minutes) several times per week, or even daily. By breaking information into chunks, it’s easier for participants to understand and apply. There’s no cramming or overloading of information. With Sentis Dojo, we provide training content on a weekly basis, with learning reinforced daily.
Gamification describes the use of game mechanics in the design of learning to improve employee engagement and serve as an accelerator for learning. Put simply, gamification means making non-game activities (like safety training) more fun and engaging. This is achieved by providing participants with clear and instant feedback, easily identifiable ranking and performance dashboards, and easy-to-understand progression paths. Sentis Dojo achieves gamification by incorporating:
- challenge—setting moderately difficult (but achievable) goals,
- rewards—including tangible rewards (such as gift cards) and intangible rewards (such as recognition and badges),
- engagement—continually achieving small goals which makes the process addictive,
- competition—comparing performance between individuals and teams via leaderboards, and
- social—connecting employees to challenge each other or support one another to learn.
Reinforcement and retention
Knowledge gaps can exist after training due to cognitive overload. Interval reinforcement—or spaced repetition—can help fill in these gaps and significantly improve memory recall. After the initial burst of content is delivered, participants are tested to uncover knowledge gaps. They are presented with correct, bite-size answers to refresh key learning points. At pre-determined intervals, participants are then re-tested. Once they have provided correct answers a certain number of times, new information and questions (using alternate question styles) are incorporated into the loop to ensure the learning sticks.
It is the combination of knowledge and confidence that leads to correct behaviour and empowers people to act effectively in the workplace. This is critical in areas such as safety where employees need to be confident in their ability to perform tasks correctly and safely. Confidence-based learning asks participants to rate their confidence in the correctness of their answer, helping evaluate not only knowledge, but also confidence in knowledge. A leader who understands both what their employees know, and how confident they are in that knowledge, is in a strong position to offer targeted coaching or development opportunities.
The ability to access training via mobile devices including smartphones and tablets, as well as PCs and laptops, increases learning flexibility and allows participants to access content whenever and wherever they want. Mobile learning fosters greater engagement, leading to greater course completion and improved retention. Additionally, mobile learning ensures that the learning doesn’t disrupt a participant’s day. They can choose when to access podcasts or videos, and when to complete their knowledge questions. Because Sentis Dojo uses mobile technology, participants can receive ongoing alerts, reminders and updates via their smartphones, ensuring ongoing engagement with the platform.
So, with companies looking to blended learning solutions to help reduce training costs and the down-time associated with traditional training approaches, why are so many struggling to find the right solution? Many online learning and LMS platforms achieve poor retention rates because they ‘dump’ information, creating cognitive overload. When coupled with little or no follow-up or reinforcement, the training isn’t remembered or applied back in the workplace.
Sentis Dojo is not a learning management system—it’s a knowledge platform grounded in the latest advances in technology, brain science and adult learning to deliver a blended learning approach that actually works.
GM – Client Solutions
First published on LinkedIn, 14 November 2016.
Find out more about gamification and the brain science of learning in Lisa’s recent webinar Get in the game.