A little context…
Learning and development needs to evolve beyond in-person, virtual and digital. It’s time to create learning ecosystems that focus on the individual learner and their specific needs.
We need to embrace the flipped classroom, stretching learning opportunities outside formal schedules and creating individual learning pathways that fully address the learners ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ within a continually supportive framework. This will allow the learner to absorb, retain and apply the necessary information so that they can develop and use their new knowledge when and where they need it.
The challenge is, unless we are willing to explore the unknown, we will always assume that existing approaches are correct and relevant. We believe the correct solution is in place because we do not fully understand the problems that we face.
“When we are young, we are neither individual nor informed, we have not had the time nor the wisdom to develop our own standards. In consequence, we must compare ourselves to others, because standards are necessary. As we mature we become, by contrast, increasingly individual and unique.” J. B. Peterson
When it comes to learning and development, too often we are still modifying learning behaviours from years ago, we have not yet become ‘individual’ or ‘unique’. Decades ago, our learning needed to be different because the world, and our requirements to be successful, were far removed from how we live today.
To provide a little context, when the light switch was first invented it was placed next to the light bulb, just like bringing the match to a gas lamp or candle. The outdated problem of requiring light was resolved with a replicated solution – go to the light and make light so that you can see.
What was actually needed was the ability to lighten a darkened room when you walked in; the light was needed before you entered the room to stop you from falling over the furniture! Subsequently, the light switch was eventually moved to the door (presumably after many bruised shins) to enable the room to be illuminated before entry, solving the real problem (obviously there was some required training of the users to adapt to this change).
When first invented it immediately became clear that television was not radio with pictures. It was (and still is) vastly different, in terms of how and where it is used, and is utilised differently regarding the content played and mediums of delivery harnessed. Yet at first, people expected to see a ‘Disc Jockey’ (DJ) sitting in a booth broadcasting.
Previously, in learning and development, we required people to learn, retain and recall vast amounts of information. Now, we can simply ask Siri or Alexa almost any question and instantly get our answers. We are no longer required to recall huge amounts of facts or figures.
When we think about the world in 2020, we only require foundational knowledge, however, what we need to be truly capable of is reasoning with this information.
Society often demands us to be creative and to be problem solvers, which is why we need to be able to adapt our behaviours and solutions according to the situations at hand.
In the next part of the series we’ll explore how we have evolved learning and development practices. To date, we have merely modified what has been done historically, and today’s world brings us new challenges to embrace.
Image Credit: Techcrunch.com