Purposeful Talent Development: Supporting the Modern Learner

three boxes on a chalkboard with green checks in them signifying things to do for talent development
Jennifer Stangl Photo
Director of Professional Development

3 minutes

3 key boxes to check to ensure online education includes personal elements

Educational offerings need to check more boxes than ever before, as expectations from learners increase. In particular, demanding personal and professional schedules and technology have changed the way modern learners access professional development.

With this shift, educators still offer and people still access face-to-face learning experiences, but online courses, e-learning modules and videos have become much of what learners consume. This has many positives, including access to content when you need it, the opportunity to learn about content of interest and fitting with schedules. However, the belief that reading or watching ensures learning—and the ability to apply it—is problematic. When we place responsibility on the learner to engage in the application of learning, it can be forgotten or even ignored in place of daily tasks. And, with so much focus on the resulting microlearning and on-demand offerings, have we lost sight of the value of personal interactions with development? 

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Checking all the boxes to support the modern learner requires building application into learning and offering opportunities to build relationships. Within your talent development offerings, how many of these boxes can you check? 

  • Virtual Classrooms: So many online self-paced, on-demand courses are available to learners today, allowing them to work at their own pace at a time that’s convenient for them. However, with such courses, learners miss out on the interactions with the instructor and the opportunity to learn from others. A virtual classroom, as opposed to a webinar or recorded online course, should give you access the facilitator and an opportunity to engage with others in the course to share ideas, ask questions and engage in conversation.
  • Online Communities: Scheduling meetings with someone in your own office can be hard these days, let alone someone in a different city, state or time zone. In today’s world though, we don’t need to have face-to-face interactions to share expertise, we just need to have access to people.  With so much connectivity available, we have an opportunity to create digital human-to-human relationships, allowing us to grow our network, share ideas and experience, all on our own schedules. Using online communities to pose a question, share resources or start a dialogue, creates connections and opens our minds to new perspectives we may not have otherwise experienced.
  • Direct Access: The International Data Council states that we spend up to 25 percent of every work week searching for information. Every time we find information to help with a project or research new opportunities, we learn, but we waste so much time looking, or re-looking if we want to refer back to something. Knowing where to go to access quality content (either developed or curated), reduces the amount of time you spend searching for information. The ability to save the content you’ve consumed (articles, videos, courses) and review key points you took away from the content can save you time, boost your retention, and increase your efficiency in both your learning and your work.

Check the boxes to better support the needs of your modern learner. 

Jennifer Stangl is CUES’ director of professional development.

CUES Learning Portal, CUES Elite Access and a CUES Net community refresh are part of the new 2019 memberships, providing access to curated content and pathways aligned to drive development, alleviating the burden of searching for quality resources.

If you liked this post, you might enjoy the CUES Webinar “Talent: Developing & Leveraging Your Most Valuable Asset.” 

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