Don’t train. Listen, have conversations, help practice and apply”

August 7, 2018

While learning adoption rate seems to be a standard problem most companies are trying to solve, it is not surprising to discover that employees are constantly learning every hour, unconsciously, in the flow of work.

Think of the number of times you google a company, a concept, a place, a person, a product, or a technology term. You will realize you may have googled every hour if not every 30 minutes. They may seem to be mere curious inquiries, but they are learning opportunities.

A recent survey of corporate learners seems to confirm the same.

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Learning starts with a question. Unfortunately, the answer is buried. Somewhere…

While learners prefer learning in the flow of work, when they have a question, almost every hour, in bursts of 2-5 mins, learning designers are still creating long-format training content 30-60 mins long with long release cycles.

And as learning designers continue to complain about adoption, learners are looking for alternatives like google or asking their peers.

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What if, learners could have the ability to ask natural language questions to get highly accurate, bite-sized responses (not documents) from a maze of rich, well-researched content already invested in?

Natural language understanding (NLU) technology has made it possible for AI algorithms to extract intents from free-flowing user queries and search content from within documents and across documents.

This will help learning designers convert long-format documents into job aids and use pre-written content to respond to questions learners may have in the flow of work.

Are you looking for an answer or a conversation?

A highly accurate answer is only the first step to solving a problem. A series of thoughtful questions and well-researched answers make powerful conversations that help achieve results.

Conversation science can help convert long-format training into engaging conversations. Smart bots can make conversations very contextual by asking questions to understand learner’s objectives and issues, recommending content and activity, and help to facilitate conversations with experts to achieve work objectives.

Conversational learning is a powerful and effective learning technique that is highly engaging and goal-oriented. Learning designers will need to radically change the way they analyze, design and develop content to enable learning in the flow of work.

What about mastery?

There is one word that separates “knowing” from “mastery. It is Action.  

Learning designers should think of themselves as action enablers. Each knowledge component should be accompanied by a call to action. Not simulated but, real actions learners can take to embed their learning in their workflow.

Micro actions string together to achieve work objectives. Conversational bots can provide step by step learning and actionable guidance that allows learners to learn and see results in the same flow.

Inspiring conversations can motivate learners to repeat the desired actions to form lasting habits and master behaviors.

Good conversations can change lives. Let us have more of them.

Connect with me to learn more. I would be happy to have a conversation with you.