In today’s digital world, learning assets are everywhere!
From video streaming services to world-record smashing podcasts, to blogs, to social media, learning apps and more. It’s quite easy to get lost in a swamp of online info.
The key to saving yourself time is to find out which learning assets suit you the most.
But how can you spot a good one?
Firstly, what are Learning Assets?
Learning assets are resources that are used to deliver information for the purpose of training and development. In the same way that gyms facilitate physical exercise, learning assets facilitate mental exercise. Without them, we’d be stuck in place, unable to further our understanding and progress our development. In other words, they’re pretty important.
Pre-digital era, learning methods may have included courses, face-to-face instructor led-training, reports, mail-order home learning and mysterious objects made from paper called ‘books’. Back then, learning assets suffered from a number of limitations associated with their delivery methods.
Luckily, times have changed. We can now enjoy narrative-based podcasts, academic blogs, tuition-based webinars, learning apps and educational comics. All of which make your learning journey a smoother ride.
So, what’s the common thread in all of these? Is there is a sure-fire way of filtering good learning assets from not-so-good learning assets?
Here are 6 Features To Look Out For –
There are a number of telltale signs that you’re dealing with a good learning asset. Here are 6 features to look out for –
1) It’s Mobile Friendly
As we are now checking our phones on average every 12 minutes, we need to create content which reflects our digital cravings. Having immediate access to your mobile device should also mean immediate access to your content. If the content isn’t mobile-friendly, then it won’t entice the learners. Bad signs include images and text not scaling properly, and having to scroll left and right to navigate. In times where people are living busier lives than ever before, we like our learning to be accessible on the go.
2) It’s Consistent
We are creatures of habit. We appreciate the news being on at 10 pm every night. We appreciate the Queen’s speech broadcasting at 3 pm every Christmas. We appreciate The Superbowl airing on the 4th of February every year. If your learning content is released in instalments, then it should be drip-fed to your learners on a consistent day and time. Just like Campaign Learning, releasing your content in instalments is good, but releasing your instalments like clockwork is awesome!
Ivan Pavlov’s work on classical conditioning can be used to explain this idea. The theory demonstrates that we begin to anticipate gratification just by the stimulus. On this occasion, the stimulus is the date (every Wednesday at 9:30 am, for example). Be it a streaming live video, a newsletter, a blog or a podcast, your content should have set releases at the same time and day every week or month.
3) It’s Engaging
Think back to your maths class as a kid. How engaged were you? The asset that guided your learning journey back then would probably have been a wordy (or numbery) textbook. Nowadays, there are bucket-loads of different learning assets that can be used to fuel your search for knowledge. So isn’t it frustrating when they fail to hook you in?
You can engage through a variety of diverse techniques such as personalisation, gamification and learning-based games. You should also try to mix up your content. This keeps it fresh and helps the content to appeal to different types of learners (Visual, Aural, Kinesthetic etc).
4) It Encourages Microlearning
Keep your content streamlined. We prefer to consume our content in smaller chunks due to our dwindling attention spans…. (oh look, something shiny!) Explainer videos should last no longer than a minute. Recommended article lengths vary, but according to this writer’s blog, they should be no longer than 600 words. Additionally, eLearning units should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete. Condensing or breaking up your content goes for other learning formats too, including podcasts, blogs, learning games and more. Just remember; small is beautiful!
5) It’s Compliant with LMS’s
No matter what industry you are involved in, a Learning Management System is the No.1 option for training colleagues new and old. Creating content which is LMS compliant is a smart move as they are the present and future of the Learning and Development world. In many cases, learners will also be able to upload their own learning assets to an LMS. From videos to GIFs, to memes and PDFs.
6) It’s Up To Date
Your learning assets need to be relevant for them to be useful. Smart L&D departments regularly refresh their learning assets to keep them up to date. The awesome thing about sharing content online is that it can be updated anytime. You have the option to rejuvenate, restore and renovate your work whenever you need to.
Learning assets have transformed from tangible objects such as books and manuals to swish mobile apps, video streams and much more. In fact, 51% of marketing professionals claim that video content has the best ROI. We now have the freedom to access data whenever we choose to, rather than being at the mercy of the creator. A next-gen LMS helps to house and organise this data. The only way to assure a learning asset is significant is to move in time with the demands of the learner. Ensure your content is consistent, micro and engaging and you’ll be starting from a place of strength.
For more advice on engagement, check out our fab Engagement Engine!