Why Elearning Can’t Be One Size Fits All

The workforce is more diverse than it’s ever been. And we mean diverse in every way. Today’s workforce represents a vast array of cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, genders and geographic identities. 

Now that 68 percent of companies expect remote work to be part of their new reality, that means your learners might live on opposite sides of the country or oceans apart. And the coming of age of Generation Z means for the first time ever, there are now five generations in the workforce, each of which relate to the Digital Age differently. This leads to people arriving to elearning from countless avenues with wide-ranging expectations and varying capabilities. How do we make learning and development accessible for everyone?

1. Our workforce is forever in flux, so the ways we learn must be also.

It can be a challenge to know the best approach to learning and development for the world we inhabit now. No two brains are exactly the same. So why should learning ever be one size fits all? We process new information differently  and have different experiences and skills. How we learn should be adaptable to those differences.

There’s no right way to learn. It’s however you learn. By having a diversity of materials that embrace all types of learning styles, you can make sure you’re engaging everyone. That means more opportunities to upskill, reskill and cross-skill—no matter where your employees happen to be in their career development journey.

2. Different learning styles mean we need more ways to capture attention.

The advantages of a wide catalog is you never have to choose between quality and quantity. You can have both. A marketplace like OpenSesame with tens of thousands of courses from many publishers allows you to match the type of content to the type of learner. Instead of elearning content that’s made in identical styles and treatments, you have modalities that are as diverse as your workforce.

It’s commonly understood that there are at least four learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic. This is known as the VARK Model and was popularized by education researcher Neil Flemming in 1987. 

Read six tips and strategies for cementing engagement in your training initiatives.

Visual learners best process information by seeing it graphically represented. So think of charts, diagrams, animations and sketches. Visual aids for these types of learners can be useful in helping them remember what they’ve learned. 

Auditory learners need to listen to someone explain a concept before they can fully digest it. Hearing information out loud or having key takeaways repeated during a course can improve retention. These folks might enjoy podcasts and audiobooks.

Reading/writing learners love the power of the written text. Reading ebooks and pamphlets allows them to really sit with new information or just quickly skim it for what they need. 

Kinesthetic learners might enjoy interaction and gamification. So courses where they take quizzes and collect points throughout would better motivate them to complete each module. 

3. Individualized learning paths help to democratize career development.  

The various learning styles go beyond just what’s above. Someone who has a short attention span might enjoy bite-sized micro-learning that they can do in 10-minute bursts. Someone who is a tactile learner likely would appreciate workbooks and handouts to accompany lessons. Learners don’t always neatly fall into just one column but may be a combination of several modes. 

So it’s important to find a course vendor that can deliver courses in every format you can think of. With a variety of options, you can personalize a learning path for each individual. And with a feature like SmartPath, elearning experts at OpenSesame can curate the perfect blend of courses and styles relevant to each learner at your company. These customized curriculums are based on your specific goals and tailored to your specific learners.

Every mode of learning has a part to play when it comes to unlocking human potential, and utilizing different types of elearning content is what keeps learning interesting. Flexible learning that varies in style, format and even language has the power to bridge the gap between diverse learning needs. By catering to our learning differences, we ensure that elearning can truly be for everyone. 

Book a demo to see how SmartPath can match the needs of every learner!

Spencer Thornton is the Senior Vice President of Curation at OpenSesame. He has more than 20 years of learning and development expertise. Before joining OpenSesame, Spencer served in leadership positions with several global HCM organizations, including SumTotal Systems (SkillSoft), GeoLearning and Dice.