While 73% of companies use an LMS for corporate training, it falls short when it comes to improving employee skills that impact the bottom line.
In this blog post we show you how the problem with the LMS is really a problem with the effectiveness of content-based learning strategies.
The LMS is a Passive Learning Mechanism
Content-based learning is a passive form of learning which focuses solely on content delivery. It doesn’t involve any activity, interaction, or feedback — and learners take no participatory role in the learning process.
According to researcher Katy Jordan, only 6.5% of learners complete their content-based training (excluding mandatory training). When it comes to knowledge retention, a report by Imparta reveals that 87% of training content is forgotten within one month of the training, and up to 80% of new skills are lost within one week of training if not used.
LMSs allow limited opportunity to assess how learners are engaging, and no opportunity for application. When the time to apply the knowledge comes, learners have already forgotten what they learned, and the training leaves no impact.
Passive Learning Creates Poor Outcomes
We’re all familiar with learners who complete the minimum tasks, memorise only what is required, and make no effort to participate or engage with the content. This is referred to as a surface approach (Marton and Saljö). These students tend to be passive learners, working in isolation, and see learning as an enforced activity. On the other hand, learners who adopt a deep approach to learning will seek to understand what’s really going on, learn the deeper or underlying meaning of the material, and implement the information.
While most organizations would say they want their employees to engage in deep learning, many of them create conditions in their training programs that are closer to the surface approach. Sometimes training programs can be so packed with content to consume that a deep approach to learning becomes impossible.
Content-Based to Action-Based in 3 Easy Steps
To get the learning outcomes you’re looking for, it’s important to make sure employees apply the knowledge they gain throughout the training and move away from content-based strategies. Action-based learning means learners not only consume information, they also implement it. Incorporating action-based strategies into the training is easy, even if the training is based on videos and textual content. Here’s how:
1. Turn Lessons Into Experiences and Increase Knowledge Retention
Each lesson or piece of information can be easily turned into an experience. For example, after teaching your sales team how to close a deal more quickly by providing them with articles and videos, make sure to get them on a sales call and list the obstacles they came across during the call. After that, you can initiate a discussion with the team. This type of experience will allow the team members to experiment with what they have learnt, better understand their objectives, and get feedback from others. The next time they will get on a call they will be able to identify the prospect’s mindset and close the sale more quickly.
2. Form New Habits for Long Lasting Impact
To create transformational impact in an organization, you need to make sure employees adopt new behaviors. Some actions must be repeated on a daily basis in order to create real behavioral change. If, for example, your sales people form a habit of recording their sales calls, they’ll become a lot more effective in understanding buyer pain points, needs, and tendencies. The more learners practice new skills and behaviors, the more autonomous those skills will become, and the greater the impact will be. Some ways to encourage habit formation are automatic reminders, checklists, and rewards for those who repeat their habits.
3. Give Effective Feedback that Helps Learners Improve
An important part of action-based learning is to provide learners with feedback. Employees who take action as part of training need to understand how they’re doing and what can be improved. Without feedback, no progress can be made and the training has no impact in the long run. If your sales team won’t receive feedback from its managers on how the sales call went, they won’t be able to understand what can be improved or changed for the next call to be more successful.
It’s time to turn your training into an experience that engages learners enough to complete the training and retain the knowledge. It’s time for real, engaged learning experiences through action-based strategies — for transformational impact, tangible learning outcomes and ROI.