By Chris Frederick Willis, CEO, Media 1
Corporate learning has too long been dictated by old paradigms. Over the last decade, the focus has remained on saving cost and pushing knowledge to a global workforce through disparate learning events—courses. Today, a course may be delivered as self-paced online learning (WBT) or instructor led via a virtual classroom or Webinar, but the underlying learning model for most corporate learners remains the same as it has been for decades. When it’s time to participate in a learning event, learners visit a learning management system (LMS) as the enterprise learning hub. The LMS follows a traditional classroom model for registering from a catalog of courses, recording learner progress, and reporting to management.
Think about the last time you engaged in a learning activity at your workplace. Did the course give you what you needed at the right time? Did it clearly relate to your career, building on your existing skills, and moving you closer to completing a business requirement or meeting a personal career goal? Or did it feel more like something you had to do in order to check off a box on a list of requirements? Register. Complete. Move on.
Enter Integrated Learning
We at Media 1 believe effective learning needs to happen as a process, not a series of disconnected events strung together out of context. The time has come for a new, integrated model for corporate learning. Technology should provide a platform for seamlessly delivering carefully selected, timely, role-appropriate learning opportunities at the right point in career development. Learner needs must drive the LMS, not the other way around.
With that, we at Media 1 declare this first iteration of The Integrated Learning Manifesto:
I want to learn. I want to succeed. Help me by providing learning opportunities that are:
The goal of this Manifesto is to shatter old corporate learning paradigms and spark thoughts and conversations in new directions. Meeting some of these goals requires simple changes in the way we manage our current corporate learning environment—finding new ways to direct learners through our existing curricula and across systems. These short-term goals can be accomplished in the weeks and months ahead. Others require changes in policy or implementing new technologies; establish those as long-term goals, and start planning and working toward them one step at a time. There’s no reason not to start today.
Chris Frederick Willis is CEO of Media 1, a consultancy specializing in integrating people, technology, and performance to drive Human Capital Improvement (HCI). Willis is passionate about melding the best practices of multiple disciplines and the power of SharePoint™ technology to support integrated learning and talent management—developing innovative solutions for onboarding, sales, and leadership. She has led dozens of corporate learning projects from conception to delivery, and speaks and writes about the power of social media and collaborative technology to shape the future of learning. Willis holds a B.S. Degree in Arts & Media from Grand Valley State University. Her company, Media 1, has won numerous business awards, including 2009 Women Owned Business of the Year by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.