How Studying Truly Works In The Actual World
Facilitate the learning process
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading my interview with Rhys Giles, Fuse Product Director, on “Why Content Aggregation Is NOT the Answer to the Skills Gap,” I highly recommend it. Rhys provided a lot of insight and helped me understand why the LXP approach to competencies is not helping to close the skills gap and the importance of building a picture of how learners interact with content on learning platforms.
By the end of our content aggregation chat, we had identified some issues and were just beginning to resolve them when our time suddenly ran out. Instead of leaving one stone unturned, I sought the opportunity to speak to Rhys again to continue our conversation and hear his thoughts on how people actually learn and how Fuse was built so that learning teams can facilitate the whole process of learning .
It immediately became clear that Fuse had invested a lot of time in understanding the user learning experience and the workflow involved. Unsurprisingly, I had a lot of questions. So read on to hear how this top expert explains how learning actually works in the real world, and how Fuse complements the learning experience.
Q: Before we begin, I think you said you had a diagram that could help me and our readers put the backup theory of the learning experience and workflow into perspective. Could you share that with us?
Rhys: Sure, here it is:
Q: Thank you. This really illustrates the learning experience and workflow that the backup is based on. Without being annoyingly linear, can you explain how the fuse absorbs knowledge beyond what is shown in the diagram?
Rhys: As you mentioned earlier, we focus on how learning actually works in the real world, and this goes beyond the general learning requirements and immersion in the micro-need for knowledge. For us, it’s about studying how to get started with all of the different sources of knowledge a company needs and pulling them together.
We have a content methodology that allows all of our clients to focus on creating really engaging modern types of knowledge and bring them together through videos, internal articles, or even links to external websites. For example, if there was a great piece of knowledge somewhere in Harvard Business Review, we could bring that knowledge to bear.
To add an extra level of detail, it’s important to know that we’re not assuming 10,000 pieces of content, for example. We’re assuming the 200 that you really need to have access to because they’ll help you with your work. The point is, you might have hundreds of thousands of content on other platforms. But people want access to a more focused number of pieces, with the ability to further narrow them down to what is actually really relevant. This is where customers see the value of Fuse every time they interact with it.
Q: If the focus is on knowledge on creation and contribution, is it about consumption and understanding?
Rhys: Yes, but as the diagram shows, context is also about understanding, translating and enriching knowledge, and this is where our expertise and AI come into play more and more. By using it more and more over time, we can break down content and create smart links and tags within that content. For example, it helps us understand more about the subject type and category and where they might be in an industry. This is important because knowledge needs a context that is relevant to the learner. Think of context as the lens through which you access and consume knowledge.
And then we can enrich this content by comparing it and providing it in the right context. This often means delivering it to the right communities focused on job roles, teams, or departments.
Q: About exercise and feedback – can you explain it to me using a real-world example? What does “safe space” really mean?
Rhys: Certainly. Let’s do the exercise first. To actually embed learning, you need to be able to practice in an environment that you are comfortable in. The moment I understood that was when I was given a piano. Learning to play the piano is such an encroachment on other people’s lives that in the end I didn’t learn! Even though I was motivated, I didn’t have the right environment: the safe space.
So last Christmas I bought a digital piano and headphones that I could use to create a safe space. It has allowed me to practice until I am confident and ready to play (or perform!) Out loud
It’s no different from how people learn in a company. We all need the time and a “safe space” to practice.
Q: What about the feedback element?
Rhys: So we found that learners need to practice in safe environments to build understanding. But you also need feedback from experts. The Fuse platform’s task-based learning enables structured practice activities in the workplace, including posting evidence to the community, with experts, or when assessing understanding. All of this serves to build understanding and competence.
Q: When we look at the application of learning in the workplace, how does securing it support it in the workflow?
Rhys: The more opportunities users see to practice and receive quality feedback, the more they will use it unsupervised on the job. The application promotes competence, which in turn enables better practice and feedback. This results in learners performing better and eventually becoming experts to feed into the Fuse engine when they have tacit knowledge that can add context to the existing learning.
It’s about contributing through a social context to keep the engine running and solve more business problems. What we saw is that this creates a continuous learning culture where Fuse is seen as the place where questions are answered and problems are solved. With that in mind, it’s really about democratizing learning.
Another point to add here is that there will be a shift when we get to that point. It is no longer up to the L&D team to do everything. Think about it: you can’t scale a learning strategy that applies to a company of 250,000 employees with a team of just five or even ten people. You need to be able to set up a facilitator for the strategic initiatives and let the operational units take care of their own learning.
Fuse is about giving companies the tools to do it. We empower learning teams to simplify the entire learning process by incorporating knowledge provided in context and practicing expert feedback to accelerate performance.
Used by over 150 progressive organizations worldwide – including Hilti, Vodafone, Panasonic, Scandic, and Avon – Fuse ensures active engagement for deeper learning experiences that improve employee performance.
Originally published on blog.fuseuniversal.com.