The best learning helps employees, business partners and customers to meet the objectives that they are trying to accomplish. Great learning helps people to “Do Your Job and Do It Right”, or DYJADIR (pronounced “didjadear”).
Youtube is an excellent example of DYJADIR.
Youtube is arguably one of the most popular learning sites on the Internet. It has reached over a billion users in more than 88 countries, reaching more 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the U.S. The site is used by young children teaching each other how to put together new LEGO kits and assemble new creations, but grandparents teaching their families how to cook their traditional dishes and high-tech workers teaching others how to use software applications. In all of these examples, people are trying to accomplish a goal, get their “jobs” done and do it right, and are looking to the advice of experts for help.
Micro learning is an example of DYJADIR.
Micro Learning is an approach to learning that creates small bites of learning that address a single objective and can be consumed on demand. What makes micro learning exciting is that it has the potential to deliver just what the person needs (nothing more and nothing less) just when they need it. It’s driven by the learner expressing some curiosity or a need to achieve a goal. It helps them in the moment of need. Many of the Youtube videos mentioned previously are examples of micro learning, as well.
Content is king.
Several years ago, a large enterprise rolled out a major release of a network management product. The enterprise spent substantial effort on formal instructor-led training for business partners and customers. The course book was professionally executed by the learning team, well written, instructionally-sound with amazing graphics. The course received 4’s and 5’s on a Level 1 evaluation “smile sheets.”
Towards the end of the training, the learning team hosted a Q&A with development subject matter experts (SMEs). At one point, a business partner asked a question about the interactions between daemons (background processes) and databases. Other business partners sat forward in their seats, completely engaged. The SME pulled out a crumpled old, coffee-stained printout of a database schema that showed the interactions and redrew parts of his diagram on the whiteboard. Business Partners flocked to the speaker’s stand, asking for copies of the paper. It was one of the most successful sessions of the entire training event.
The moral is, content is king. People typically want training that will help them to accomplish their goals, “do your job and do it right” or DYJADIR.
Evaluate shiny objects with healthy skepticism.
Though continuous improvement and innovation are key elements of Dark Learning, it’s important for learning teams to consider and evaluate shiny technology objects with a healthy skepticism.
A few months ago, a sales professional reacted to gamification intended to motivate him to meet his quota. There was a leader board that boldly identified who was ahead for the period, what the goals were and how close each person was to achieving targets. The sales professional candidly stated, “This doesn’t make a difference to me. I’m plenty motivated already and that board is irrelevant. If I don’t make my sales quota, I can’t pay my bills.”
Yes, there are times where gamification can encourage the desired behaviors. But, adopting technology because it’s “the latest thing” can be a wasteful mistake.
Dark Learning focuses on DYJADIR.
Dark Learning is fixated on helping people to get their jobs done as transparently, efficiently and seamlessly as possible.