E-learning Curriculum as a Part of Learning Ecosystem

E-learning Curriculum as a Part of Learning Ecosystem

There will be no learning and performance ecosystem if there is no real change in our views about learning and performance, and about how we practice our craft. The new direction is clear: from an exclusive focus on instruction, to a much broader, more strategic suite of solutions that go beyond the classroom, and even beyond delivering training to the workplace, to increasing emphasis on embedding learning into the workflow. It’s time to move forward, being mindful of an ancient proverb: “If we don’t change our direction, we’ll end up exactly where we are headed.”

– Marc Rosenberg in Learning Solutions Magazine

Such powerful and compelling words! I have always been a fan of Marc’s articles, but this one certainly is the best:

  • May be because it echoes my sentiments and beliefs about the way learning and skill development should be handled not just in the corporate context but even in the educational context. Learning has to be experiential and has to extend beyond classrooms and examinations. Marc identifies six components as a part of this learning ecosystem – talent management, performance support, knowledge management, access to experts, social networking collaboration and structured learning.
  • Also because, my son is in the midst of preparing for college admissions. So, we are reading about colleges, their curriculum, way of teaching and the philosophy that they identify with. One of the aspects that I have noticed in the entire process is that there is a lot of emphasis on inter-disciplinary approach in the curriculum. So, a student of arts might have to take up a course in sciences and vice-versa. Not just that, a good possibility that you get to apply the knowledge gained in your core area. Wouldn’t the same be applicable in the corporate context, where a salesperson needs to understand product development and in the same way a product developer also should know the challenges of sales people and what makes the product sell better. So, an inter-disciplinary approach is very much needed even in corporate training too!

eLearning curriculum

In this blog, I would like to share some thoughts on eLearning curriculums that could be one of the parts of this learning eco-system catering to the talent management, performance support and knowledge management components of the learning ecosystem.

Over the past few months, we have been approached by organizations to develop an eLearning curriculum instead of a stand-alone eLearning course. It makes a lot of sense because employees get in-depth knowledge.

Take the example of a course on Stores Management. How much can you share in a 30-40mins eLearning course? Also, what is the guarantee that the employee will be able to retain everything that he has learnt in such a short span of time? In the normal situation, an employee learns mostly on the job picking up information and learning informally.

However, an eLearning curriculum could consist of modules such as introduction to stores, material handling activities, inventory management, safety aspects and also a module that will project stores as a business process. These modules can be covered by the employees over a period of time giving them the chance to mull over the subject matter, assimilate and integrate the knowledge into their jobs.

Now, if you need to train a purchase manager or an HR manager, they may need to understand some basics about store management – may be not in great depth but some overview; to know how the inventory will be managed, once the order is placed by the former and to know what skills are required to do the particular job by the latter. The modules on introduction to stores and other relevant modules could form part of THEIR eLearning curriculum.

Thus, it is important that departments in the organizations need to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach towards training instead of working in their own silos. Developing an eLearning curriculum enables such inter-disciplinary training quite easily as all one has to do is assign relevant modules as a part of the training curriculum. This can be effectively done through the training work flow that is created in the Learning Management System. I will share my thoughts on this in my next blog.

If you want to read the article by Marc Rosenberg, click on the link that follows and get a more detailed understanding of the learning and performance ecosystems.

View E-book on Practical Guide on Custom E-learning: A Handbook for Managers