The success of training can be measured in many different ways – there are ROI, ROE and profit and performance measures and metrics. In simple terms, training success can be defined as the transfer of information from instructor/facilitator to the learner; and the ability of the learner to then apply that information in their role / work.
Regardless of the quantitative measures used to define training success, what is ultimately required is learning transfer. As learning professionals, this is what we are seeking to prove.
The challenge therefore is to design learning programs that impact the way learners behave AFTER the program is finished when in most cases, we have no control of what the learner does or the environment they find themselves in post training.
Over the last decade, there has been a clear move away from standalone training towards program-based learning, where learners are taken through a learning process – not a learning event. Businesses like BabbleWire, Emzingo, Superb Learning, Lever and others are doing just this; working with clients to create a learning culture and improve learning transfer.
What companies like these have recognised, is that it takes more than a well-designed program to achieve success; it takes the engagement of not only the learner, but their stakeholders as well.
Using a process methodology, learning / instructional designers are now developing programs that engage learners beyond the life of the program; helping learners and stakeholders to understand learning benefits will be gained over time – not in a single event.
A key measure of success in approaching learning as a process, not an event, is the impact on the ‘forgetting curve’ – that is how quickly learners forget what they have learned post-training. With a learning process (as opposed to an event), learners engage with the information over time. And when coupled with interval reinforcement and the opportunity to practice in the workplace, peer and management support, the likelihood of learners retaining information is increased.
Working with our members, we have identified five strategies to maximise the opportunity for learning transfer
- Design a learning process or pathway – not an event
- Create spaced learning activities to embed and continue the learning
- Socialise the learning process with stakeholders – learning happens over time
- Prime, engage and educate the learner about the program – set clear expectations about their learning
- Gain management and peer support – create learning teams in the workplace to support learning transfer
To learn more about these strategies, join us for our On the Learning Couch event on 2 July 2019 in Brisbane where will share simple ways to implement these strategies into any program.