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Personalised learning experiences

By JAMES COAKES Published 12th Feb 2015
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People learn for different reasons. For some it's just about the desire for knowledge, while for others, it's about learning specific things for specific reasons. People learn in different ways, too; for example, some people learn best by doing, some by reading, listening, and taking notes, and some by discussing new concepts.

Effective training needs to take individual learning methods into account, and provide trainees with several different ways to learn and assimilate new information. It's all about personalised learning experiences, and the tailoring of training exercises to meet people's specific needs in terms of their current and future career goals.

Why personalise learning?

For the kinds of training that people need for doing their current jobs, there's one simple and very good reason to provide more personalised training experiences: the faster an individual is able to learn new concepts, the faster they'll be working at peak efficiency. Training means spending time and money, and less of both is required if employees can learn in the ways that suit them best.

When training is oriented towards improving the skills and experience of employees who are targeted for promotion, it's about getting people ready for the jobs they'll be doing in the future, and keeping them engaged in the present at the same time.

Personalised learning doesn't need to be complicated

It sounds like a lot of work, to create learning experiences that are tailored to individual learner's requirements, but it's not as complicated as it sounds. Personalised learning can be achieved by providing for multiple leaning styles in a single training session, and by tailoring training opportunities to individual employees.

A group learning session might be attended by a number of employees, but include several types of learning activities. If the training objective is to learn to use a new piece of equipment, for example, a training session might include a preliminary discussion, a demonstration, and an opportunity for each trainee to try operating it. A quick question-and-answer session plus a user's manual for each trainee to take away means that all learning styles are covered.

Personalised learning is also about providing employees with learning experiences that are geared towards helping them move along their desired career path. An example of this might be providing an employee on the management track with mentoring opportunities from the organisation's current leaders.

Personalised training is not a prticularly difficult idea to grasp and it's actually fairly easy to implement, provided that individuals in a company have an understanding of what their career path might look like. It is the opposite to off the shelf training and it is a powerful way for companies to increase engagement and also retention rates. 

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