Friday, April 26, 2013

Are L&D Programmes getting bigger or smaller? Or possibly both at the same time?

Are L&D Programmes getting bigger or smaller?  Or possibly both at the same time?

Remember the scene in which Alice, in quick succession, drinks and then eats mysterious items that make her shrink and then grow enormously.  Modern L&D seems to show similar Alice-like tendencies.

One trend is to ever shorter and more intense L&D sessions, perhaps in the form of a ‘Lunch & Learn’, taster session or webinar in which a subject is explored in a ‘bite-sized’ session.   This sort of session might be from 30 minutes to a couple of hours in length and arises in response to the challenges of getting learners away from busy operational roles for longer periods.

At the same time increasing sophistication in the use of blended learning programmes is leading to L&D programmes that are longer and made up of several elements spread over a period of time, perhaps months.   These programmes combine several different learning methods and are usually undertaken alongside work.  These blended learning programmes typically combine off-the-job workshops, with self-study and on the job learning such as job shadowing, coaching and experiential learning.  Some blended learning programmes are designed to have a single learning route; whilst others are created with a choice of pathways or with optional elements.  Many programmes designed in this way create a single substantial learning programme from a mix of much smaller learning activities – rather like a mosaic created from a myriad of tiny tiles.

What trends do you notice in your organisation?  Are L&D programmes shrinking or growing?  Or like Alice are they doing both?

Rachel Burnham
Burnham L & D Consultancy specialises in the development of L&D professionals, blended learning and evaluation
Follow me on Twitter @BurnhamLandD

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