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Home / Resources / How to create an unforgettable modern learning journey and deliver impact where it counts.

How to create an unforgettable modern learning journey and deliver impact where it counts.

Author: Bethany Chudley Date:

They say it's not the destination but the journey that counts. But when it comes to creating an effective learning journey in the workplace, we often face obstacles. So, how do you deliver an engaging, impactful experience - from raising awareness right through to the application of new knowledge and skills? In this blog, we cover the five key considerations L&D teams should make when crafting a modern learning journey, to deliver knowledge and impact where it counts.

1. Involve your learners.

The first core element of creating an effective learning journey is involving the learners in the design process. This means gathering your learners’ perspectives on what would support them, the challenges they are facing, and aligning this with the organisation's goal. By doing so, you can tailor the learning journey to the learners' needs, and encourage and motivate them along the way, while also providing a sense of autonomy.

When involving your learners, identify your entire audience, consider the different demographics and gather a diverse range of opinions. Taking this action will not only ensure strong foundations on which to build your unforgettable learning journey, but also provide you with a community which can be used to gain feedback.

2. Think performance, not content.

The second core element is all about performance. When designing a learning journey, it's easy to slip into a 'content mindset' - mapping which content goes where and when. But what's it all for?

Performance outcomes are the north star of any learning journey. Knowing exactly the impact you are looking to achieve will help you navigate rocky shores and help keep your journey on track.

When considering your performance outcomes, try to be as specific as possible. What does great look like? By when? And how will you know once you get there? Whether it's a soft skill that impacts customer experience or a technical one that drives efficiency, know your KPIs and ground every design decision in them.

3. Balance structure and learner exploration.

A great learning journey provides a structured but exploratory environment that encourages learners to engage in continuous learning. To achieve this, it is important to utilise techniques that offer support and guidance but also allow learners to test the boundaries of their learning in a controlled environment.

Scaffolding, the process of providing a structured support system for employees to learn and develop new skills, involves breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, and providing guidance and resources to help learners progress through each stage of the learning journey. Implementing scaffolding within learning creates an environment that is challenging without being overwhelming.

While setting up scaffolding, it is important to maintain some space for exploration within the learning process. This can be done by providing learners with the initial guidance they need to engage with the learning and then encouraging them to test out their new skills and knowledge in a safe, interactive environment. In this way, learners are able to solidify their learning in a practical and exploratory way. Creating this room for exploration helps learners to see the day-to-day applications of their learning and thereby consolidate the newfound knowledge in their minds.

4. Engage, build knowledge, and consolidate.

Using scaffolding and keeping learning relevant is nothing new in the world of learning journeys, so let’s talk about the juicy stuff. How do you take your learning journey to the next level? How do you deliver an unforgettable experience and learning that really sticks?

Every successful learning journey will include three key steps - engagement, the opportunity to build knowledge, and consolidation:

Step 1.
Think about ways in which you might engage your learners - why are they here? How will this journey benefit them? In a hybrid world, how can I make this learning easy to access?

Step 2. 
Build knowledge using modalities which will support your objectives. Combining different types of learning resources, such as videos, audio, images, and interactive tools will help to maintain engagement and provide a dynamic experience.

Step 3. 
Provide learners with the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge. This could look like personal reflection moments, interactive elements where learners are able to apply their knowledge, or a prompt to experience putting their new knowledge to use in the real world.

Implementing these steps when designing learning journeys creates the space for learners to engage with learning in exciting, multi-modal ways enabling them to develop their skills

5. Introduce social learning.

Using social and collaborative learning is a great way to really move a learning journey into ‘unforgettable’ territory. Social learning involves engaging learners in group activities, discussions, and knowledge sharing to enhance their learning experience. By encouraging learners to work together and share their knowledge and expertise, social learning can promote active learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Social learning provides learners with a sense of community and belonging, which can increase their motivation and engagement in the learning process. Learners can also learn from their peers' experiences and perspectives, receive constructive feedback on their work, and collaborate to solve problems and overcome challenges. It is important, however, to consult with learners when designing the learning journey to find out where they feel social learning will be most effective when implemented.

Using social learning in our learning journeys is a great way to create continuous learning, ultimately fostering a culture of learning in an organisation. Moving beyond the ‘one and done’ learning experiences of old into continuous learning and development processes means developing more nuanced learning than can be tracked with ‘shares, comments, and likes’ in an LXP. Ultimately, learning journeys are designed by L&D but sustained by your people.

Paving the path ahead: crafting your learning journey.

In conclusion, creating a modern learning journey requires a careful balance of structure and exploration, relevance, and opportunities for consolidation:

  • By involving learners in the process of designing their learning journey, insights can be gathered and applied to ensure the learning is structured and delivered in ways that are manifestly beneficial to them.
  • Linking learning to performance goals creates a learning journey that is tailored to the learners' needs and provides clear landmarks of progression. Once key KPIs have been identified, the learning process can be made evidently relevant to learners, which in turn motivates and boosts engagement. Moreover, by linking learning to KPIs, results from learning can be clearly shown to have an impact on the wider organisation’s goals.
  • Utilising scaffolding techniques gives learning a supportive structure while still enabling the learner to have enough space to apply their new skills and knowledge in a safe environment. By maintaining room for exploration within a supportive framework, learners are encouraged to test themselves and consolidate knowledge.
  • Considering the steps of engagement, knowledge building, and consolidation in learning journeys ensures that the learning can be used effectively and in an interactive way. By considering the differing mediums learners may prefer to use, and have access to, learning can be crafted in a way that is memorable and engaging.
  • Implementing practical social learning helps to foster a culture of continuous learning, where learning can be developed beyond the set path of the learning journey and becomes embedded within an organisation. To that end, social learning serves to create longevity within a learning programme while making for an overall more enjoyable process.

By following these key considerations, we can create a learning journey that delivers impact where it counts. To learn more about how Sponge can support you with crafting your learning journey, take a look at our bespoke or learning consultancy services.

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