Nuts and Bolts: Bootstrapping | Studying Options Journal
Since the beginning of COVID-19, we’ve seen organizations rush to move F2F training to online formats. In a recent survey by the eLearning Guild, 86 percent of respondents indicated that at least some “live” content had been moved to a different means of delivery. One challenge was to work fast, but do more if possible than just create click-next text screens or offer hours of lectures with little else in a virtual meeting format. In some cases, there are less traditional, perhaps better, alternatives that can be built and deployed more quickly.
Not traditional approaches
Text-based messaging can work well instead of a traditional approach. We see the most common examples of this in organizations that offer content in bites of up to five minutes per message, with messages being delivered over a period of a few days or weeks. Brian Dusablon of Learning Ninjas recently created a sample course for the Arist Contest on Accessibility and Inclusion (you can sign up for the course for free here). Learners can subscribe to texts or emails and choose the time of day when new content arrives. Figures 1-3 show the content of a day.
Figure 1: Introduction to the text-based lesson on accessibility
Figure 2: Part 2 (of 3) of the lesson
Figure 3: The lesson ends with links to additional resources and questions for reflection
As in the textual example above, learning experiences delivered by email can provide spatial learning and stimulus to encourage behavior change and maintain new habits. E-mails are ubiquitous, familiar and comfortable for learners and already embedded in the workflow. In her recent article on learning solutions on the subject, Sarah Mercier explains how email-based learning can be used for various topics such as onboarding and compliance. She also brought the topic to the latest edition of the eLearning Guild L&D at a small online conference.
Figure 4: Example of an email learning bite for a job security course
The email and text examples above illustrate the idea of learning campaigns: a series of learning activities that are offered over time and often involve various media to provide nudges that support behavior change. The following example mainly offers behavioral prompts – easy to difficult – and not a lot of teaching content. The aim of this campaign: Develop the habit of giving feedback. Campaigns can be offered in a variety of formats, from email and text to instant messaging or LMS notifications. You can find more information on learning campaigns in my Nuts & Bolts column from March 2020.
Figure 5: Example of tasks for a learning campaign aimed at helping managers develop the habit of giving feedback
Medtronic’s medical device maker and Allego’s ready-to-sell platform recently partnered to create a solution that will have a significant impact on today’s hospital workers and COVID patients. Hospitals, many desperately looking for ventilators, are literally taking anything they can get, including products they are inexperienced with. This is linked to a situation where representatives of ventilator manufacturers and respiratory therapists are in short supply. Medtronic and Allego have jointly developed the Ventilator Training Alliance app, which contains ventilator training from all major manufacturers (Dräger, GE Healthcare, Getinge, Hamilton Medical, Nihon Kohden, Phillips, Breas, Hillrom, Mindray, ResMed, Ventec Life Systems, Vyaire and Zoll ) everything in one place. In any case, this involved an enormous 24-hour effort for both partners. both to convince manufacturers to share proprietary information in such an open manner and to provide translations for workers in non-English speaking countries. The app is available to all healthcare professionals free of charge. Please visit this Allego website for more information.
Figure 6: The Ventilator Training Alliance app provides healthcare workers with ventilation training from all major ventilator manufacturers
Looking beyond traditional approaches to familiar tools and creative collaborations can help enable timely, effective, and engaging learning experiences. Beyond virtual meetings with your head talking and content on the next button, try looking for strategies to improve your offering, even when working in surprising and difficult circumstances.