What is a learning pathway?

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Learning pathwayAny good training programme needs plenty of training content. Unfortunately, once you’ve amassed a vast library of things for your learners to work through, it can become a bit of a struggle making sure that they’re finding everything they need.

Rather than leaving it to chance, you should build out learning pathways!

A learning pathway is a carefully constructed route through your training programme. It gathers your content together into digestible chunks and acts as a roadmap, guiding learners on how they should progress.

Let’s take a look at them in a little more detail, and then think about a few ways that you can make them more engaging.

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Learning Pathway

Learning PathwayGenerally, learning pathways will be set up on an LMS, but that doesn’t mean that they can only cover eLearning content. If you want to make face-to-face classroom sessions part of your pathway, then that should be no problem!

Of course, not all of your learners will find every single piece of your content relevant to them. But since you can group and categorise learners through your LMS, you can offer customised learning pathways for each one.

For example, you can offer someone in sales a completely different learning pathway to someone in finance. Or you could create a special pathway for new starters to the business, which the more seasoned employees don’t need to work through.

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Learning Pathways and ROI

So why do we want to personalise your learner’s experience in this way? Well, keeping learning relevant for each and every learner plays a huge part in engagement – who wants to learn about something we will never need?

Instead, these tailored pathways allow learners to put what they have learnt into practice day to day, by not overloading them with information that is not useful to them. All of this means that your employees will be following the most up to date and efficient practices in your business, something that is bound to bring a great return on the investment you have made into their education. You can find more information on how to calculate your training programmes’ ROI here.

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3 ways to add engagement to your learning pathways

Simply giving learners a list of content they need to complete will ensure that they get through everything they need to. But it’s not the most engaging delivery method, and so it won’t help make the training more effective.

Instead, here are a few ideas for adding a bit more spark into your learning pathways:

1. Gamification

With a gamified LMS, you’ll be able to divide up your learning pathway into levels. As your learners work through the path, they’ll level-up. This gives them a burst of engagement each time, and is a clear indicator of the progress they’re making.

This also offers you an opportunity to chunk up your content nicely. For example, you could have introductory content at Level 1, giving learners an overview of the company and its history. Then at Level 2 you might move onto compliance training which has to be completed. Then at Level 3 you might start offering training on key products.

2. Optional content

A learning pathway’s job is to show your learners what they need to complete. However, you might decide that it would be nice for them to complete some of your other content, though not absolutely essential.

You can include this content within the pathway as being ‘Optional’, so that your learners are aware that it would blend nicely with the rest of the work. Also, since they will be actively choosing to take this extra content, they will be more engaged with it as they complete it.

3. Narrative

Working through a learning pathway can be likened to embarking on an adventure. You progress on a journey through all of this wonderful content, and eventually reach your ultimate goal of becoming a better person!

If you’re breaking your pathway up into chunks, then why not run a narrative alongside it? As they progress further along the pathway, the narrative could develop to drive home how much progress your learners are making. Click here for more examples of learning pathway narratives.

learning pathway

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Keep an eye out for plenty more entries into our Online Learning Glossary over the coming weeks!

And if you’re looking to put together a massively successful online training programme, then you’ve come to the right place! Download your free Engagement Engine Workbook to map out a strategy which uses gamification, social and personalised learning:

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