Almost a year ago I suggested that we were at the end of the beginning for what we might need to do to support people in the workplace through the Covid pandemic. I suggested some of the things that I’d been thinking of and they’re worth revisiting.
You’re not going to be able to base your offer on face to face group delivery. You still can’t and, it’s likely you’ll not be able to for a while still. That horse has bolted and you MUST come up with an alternative.
Your online offer has to be as simple to use as Google, recommending like Amazon, as comprehensive as Wikipedia. We’re still miles behind in this place. It’s become clear that automating curation still isn’t working and we need to understand self-determination much more comprehensively than we have before. That means relinquishing the control even more.
People want just in time, just for me, just enough learning. The shift from mandated and compulsory learning seems to have happened a lot more quickly that I’d anticipated. We’re still over-specifying but the signs are encouraging.
People are learning without you knowing and you have to be COMPLETELY comfortable with that. This still feels like we’re not there yet. The idea that people are aggregating and sharing their own resources is accepted but being able to track the data that goes with it is tough and a strand of work that many learning functions appear to be stuck on.
Learning design is nothing without performance data. It’s ALL about the data now; there is so much available we need to be more comfortable interrogating the sources and impacts of the activities we support. If there’s no change in your organisation’s sickness rates as a result of your comprehensive programme of sickness absence management, why did you do it?
You can’t transform to digital learning without skill, will, authority and resource. This is the essence of the conversations I’m having now. The switch to different skills is happening but there seems to be a lack of will in many places. People seem to be waiting for the return to normality. The bad news is that we’re never likely to go back there – we are in a world that needs to operate with the assumption that we’ll have Covid forever. The people who have made that switch of attitude are the most prepared.
Online facilitation needs a certain set of skills you probably don’t have. I’ve sat in some really bad online sessions. People have moved from presenting badly in a room to presenting badly online. The skills are fundamentally different – design is everything – go and learn how to do it properly.
Providers – you have to be able to flex more than you have before and Mexican food won’t do any longer. I use this analogy – same ingredients, folded differently – and people seem to get it. It’s a different offer now and you need to work with the regulatory and awarding bodies so that they get it too. This is especially relevant in the world of apprenticeships.
I’ll come back to this in another year or so – what will be different?