Manual Learning & Developing in Organisations

Nicole Slangen
Nicole Slangen Learning Specialist

Learning & Development is a field that is developing rapidly. Using the current tools and knowledge, I would deal with learning questions completely differently now than I did a few years ago. I grew acutely aware of this when Nick van Dam, L&D professor, asked TinQwise to review the chapter on digital learning and learning technology in the Manual Learning & Developing in Organisations.

This textbook – compulsory reading for students of education and L&D professionals – was revised this year, and learning methods like mobile learning, social learning and immersive learning were not widely accepted yet in the previous edition. Of course I was pleased to give my input about present-day digital learning. In this blog, I do not repeat this input (do read the book!), but I describe two remarkable developments in learning & development:


1. Performance support: learning when you need it

The distinction between working hours and learning hours is a thing of the past. Ready knowledge is no longer a condition for being productive, but it is part of the work and production process. Learning and working go hand in hand and directly contribute to the business result. ‘Performance support’ is the term often used for this.

This trend has a direct impact on the digital learning solutions we create. Mobile first design is a precondition. Users should have the possibility of finding answers to their questions fast, on the job as well as in the canteen, and on their way home. This also has to be taken into account in the learning solution design. Environmental factors, like noise in the canteen or the short duration of a train ride, call for really brief and concise content, and a search function that is good and fast.

2. User experience perhaps even more important than learning content

The second development I want to mention is that the motivation of the groups for which we create learning solutions is continuously changing. As people spend much time online at work and in their spare time, they make higher demands of digital learning solutions, but they do not realise this. The learning programme has to be intuitively strong and have the look and feel of a consumer website or app. When designing a learning solution, we apply methodologies from Design Thinking. The user experience is the key aspect. The designer focuses on user behaviour and experience. What is needed to draw and retain the attention and make sure the users keep coming back? This goes beyond content and will only succeed after some thorough target group research. How does this group of people learn? What is their context? What is the object of the solution? Which knowledge and skills are required? What will arouse their curiosity? How can they be rewarded?

This second development is a nice link to my next blog about how your learning solutions can make the most of a group. Check the TinQwise blog & socials for this.

· Go to managementboek.nl for the Manual Learning & Developing in Organisations.

· In the chapter on digital learning, I refer to two wonderful, award-winning projects, which we were allowed to showcase, with the kind permission of Hunkemöller and ABN AMRO. View them on our website: Live it Up! onboarding for Hunkemöller and ABN AMRO Virtual Experience.

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