The rise of personalised and adaptive learning


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Wednesday 20 April 2022 10:51 BST

Rise Up is a Business Reporter client

Ensure employees gain the skills and knowledge they need through learning that is targeted, engaging and relevant

Learners are a lot fussier these days about what they learn. And why shouldn’t they be? We’ve all got so used to technology personalising our everyday experiences – from streaming services to shopping – that we now expect it in all walks of life, learning included.

Fortunately, most L&D teams and business leaders are also in favour of personalisation, recognising the value of highly targeted, relevant learning that helps people do their jobs better rather than putting the entire workforce through a sheep dip exercise.

What is personalised learning and adaptive delivery?

This has led to the emergence of personalised learning, which is when content and training are tailored to learner profiles. Learning is personalised to the individual, such as a feed of content that will help an employee do their job better. Adaptive learning is more sophisticated and dynamic, going a bit deeper. It’s an extension of personalised learning that is largely AI-driven, tailored to what a person knows and their level of capability and, as that knowledge and those capabilities change, adapts in real-time. Adaptive learning understands where an employee is at on their learning journey and can provide personalised learning at scale in organisations.

Both types of learning are data-driven. They take data on an individual’s existing skills and knowledge and use it to suggest and deliver learning that will move them on to the next level. That process then keeps repeating throughout the employee’s learning journey.

One of the real beauties of personalised learning is that employees don’t need to repeat information they already know. In the past, employees often had to sit through training material they’d already learnt, which was a waste of time and resources and a real turn-off for learners. With adaptive learning, content is targeted, relevant and timely.

Business Reporter: The rise of personalised and adaptive learning

Macro-adaptive and micro-adaptive learning

At Rise Up, we think there are two approaches to adaptive learning: macro-adaptive and micro-adaptive. Macro-adaptive focuses on personalised training pathways, while micro-adaptive focuses on personalised training content.

New research is being conducted all the time into L&D trends, and personalised learning and adaptive learning have been near the top for a few years now. But it took a while for learning teams to get to grips with personalised and adaptive learning, largely because L&D wasn’t sure what to do with the data it was collecting.

Benefits of personalised and adaptive learning

Organisations with effective adaptive learning practices know how to interpret data and use it to drive learning forward. By making good use of data, learning professionals can make informed decisions about what learning is needed, where and why – and they can track its effectiveness.

Even before the pandemic hit, it was generally accepted that the old approach to learning – the one-size-fits-all, bums-on-seats approach – was outdated and didn’t deliver the best outcomes. This has enabled blended learning to flourish, facilitating a highly personalised and adaptive delivery. It allows people to learn through a variety of different mediums and channels according to their needs and preferences and those of their organisation. The move to remote working during the pandemic and then to hybrid working broke down barriers to digital learning. With the rise of the hybrid work environment, it’s even more important that employees have access to personalised learning, wherever they are based.

What now?

Learning teams need to push ahead with ensuring employees have a really engaging, personalised learning experience. An organisation’s people are its best asset and they need to be looked after, with their skills nurtured and developed. Employers need to help employees do their best work by giving them access to the right learning, when they need it, while also fulfilling their career aspirations. Personalised learning is the key to achieving that.

L&D proved its worth during the early days of Covid-19, helping organisations and employees in the shift to digital ways of working and learning. Business leaders realised the pivotal role that learning plays, particularly through times of change and uncertainty. In 2021, it shifted from being a ‘nice to have’ to becoming a ‘need to have’, and learning budgets are looking pretty healthy – lots of L&D teams expect their budget to increase this year. So L&D teams need to think wisely and creatively about their spending, how to bring about change and how to keep hold of that seat at the top table. Providing employees with personalised, adaptive learning experiences has been a top priority for long enough – now is the time for it to become a reality.

Rise Up delivers a dynamic and impactful learning experience through an all-in-one training solution that facilitates personalised employee learning. With an AI-driven adaptive learning capability, Rise Up is leading the way to incorporate experience, culture, need, impact and agility. To find out more, book a short demo with an L&D expert and watch an exclusive webinar exploring what adaptive learning means, how companies are successfully using it today, and what challenges it is helping to solve.

Originally published on Business Reporter

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