Hot Learning Trends For Tomorrow’s Workplace

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source: stuff.co.nz

source: stuff.co.nz

In the future, I imagine arriving at work via a teleportation machine like the ones they had on Star Trek; which would beat having to jostle for space on the public commute.

I also imagine working alongside human colleagues and robotic colleagues. Preferably robots which come equipped with both jaw-dropping features aka EVE from Wall-E, and a heart-warming disposition aka Wall-E from Wall-E.

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In Entrepreneurship: All You Need Is Love

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Throwback Photo: Back in 2011 with my team, X-Pest, at SAGE Global in New York.

Throwback Photo: Back in 2011 with my team, X-Pest, at SAGE Global in New York.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to judge at the Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship Singapore (SAGESG) Nationals. Having not been in touch with the Youth Entrepreneurship scene for a while, it was thrilling to be surrounded by teams with so much energy and people who were excited about their ideas to change the world.

Personally, I have been involved in SAGESG through various stages – as a university mentor, a trainer and a judge; and through this journey, I have gained more insight on what it means to be an entrepreneur. Let me share with you two of my biggest takeaways:

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Great Managers Develop People, Not Excuses

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source: bizjournals.com

source: bizjournals.com

The good managers ask: “How can I maximize the performance of my team?”

While the great managers ask: “How can I maximize the performance of my team while supporting their growth?

And the best managers understand that fulfilling the second part of the last question will help them achieve the first part of it.

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When The Shelf Life of Employee Skills Is Less Than A Slice of Bread

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source: the atlantic.com

source: the atlantic.com

In the workplace of the future, a slice of bread might have a shelf life longer than the skills and knowledge we possess to do our jobs.

Perhaps, that’s an exaggeration. But in a world where technology changes at lightning speed, certain skills and knowledge do lose their relevance quickly, and anticipating which skills we need next will prove as futile as consulting the Magic 8 Ball for advice.

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How To Create Microlessons

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source: onlinecrowd.com.au

source: onlinecrowd.com.au

The workplace is made up of people each with their own unique set of skills, knowledge and abilities. So really, everybody has something to teach a fellow co-worker. And it would be great if we could facilitate this exchange of information, tips, techniques, know-how and strategies to build a richer learning culture.  But doing so practically, bearing in mind that we all have deadlines to meet and a boat-load of responsibilities to take care of.

Microlearning is one way we can teach and learn from others in demanding, fast-paced business environments. They can be produced quickly and easily to help others learn and act with practical knowledge. And they don’t necessarily have to be created by someone from the HR or Training departments. Creating a microlesson is much less daunting than say creating a 30-minute elearning course. So anyone can create a microlesson – anyone with anything worth sharing.

A Primer to Microlessons

A micro lesson is a very short, focused lesson. It could be as short as 60 seconds, and is best capped at 3 minutes.

Now you might wonder: what the heck can I learn or teach in 60 seconds?  Well, a lot can be achieved in small learning doses. Each microlesson can definitely pack punch on its own delivering learning points that can be readily digested by the learner.  But we should also appreciate that microlessons are especially effective as a collection of ideas adding to the understanding of a larger topic.

You can use microlessons to:

  • Hold Attention – In business cultures where employees are time-starved and have diminishing attention spans, lessons that are bite-sized and go straight to the point are going to grab attention more than lengthy 30-minute courses.
  • Enhance RetentionPeople can only hang onto so much in their working memory. Small doses of knowledge won’t overload the learner and make the lessons stick.
  • EngageBite-sized information is primed to be accessed quickly and easily on-the-go, wherever and whenever someone has a couple of minutes to spare.

Creating microlessons are relatively simple,  but you still need to put a little muscle into it to get it done well. Take heed from the following guidelines, and you’ll be on your way to creating lessons that are mini and mighty. Great things can come in small packages!

Steps to Making Microlessons Pop

#1 Know the end-goal

As with everything related to learning, it helps to start with the learning objective. What does your intended audience need and the problems they’ve expressed; and correspondingly what do you want them to learn and achieve at the end in order to address them?

Keep your end-goal in mind as you develop your microlessons, and this will help you stay on track to creating something people actually need.

#2 Pick a format

There are plenty of formats to present a micro lesson. They vary from the simple and familiar to produce such as emails, powerpoint slides, quizzes, image and sound files, to the more complex and interactive like videos and games.

When picking a format consider:

  • The skills you have – Do I have to pick up a new skill from scratch to create this? Or, can I use the tools I’m familiar with?
  • What would be best suited for the content –For instance, videos work well for things that need to be demonstrated.
  • The budget you’re working with – When you’re first starting out, you probably don’t have any budget to speak of. There are cheap or free ways to go about it for your first few iterations. Let’s say you want to produce some video content, you can shoot a video on your smartphone, make basic edits from your phone, and upload and share the video to video-hosting sites like YouTube.

#3 Outline your Content

Once you know what your goal is, you’ll start to collect content related to your objective. From there, it’s time to organise and whittle it down.

You can organise your content by identifying the key ideas central to the learning topic and then arranging them in a logical and progressive order.

Within each key idea, you would have essential content and supporting content. Separate what’s essential from the rest; this is content that will form the bulk of your microlessons. Supporting content can be offered as an option, perhaps as an optional link within the microlesson.

#4 Break Up the Content

Now it’s time to break things into more manageable slices, because you don’t want to drown people in information. So break content up into smaller, granular lessons. Each lesson should have its own focus that contributes to the greater learning objective.

#5 Make it Sticky

To engage your audience, you can use context, story and visuals to help keep the information stuck in their heads.

Using context is about making the content relevant to the learner, binding them with a strong emotional connection to what’s being presented. One way is to make use of real-life examples faced in the workplace to illustrate the learning point and get people to see how it’s relevant to their work.

You can also share stories or personal narratives to engage people. A story can be told in a matter of seconds, within a single frame or a single picture. As the saying goes: “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

#6 Collect feedback

Find out what people thought of your microlessons. Were they able to learn something new? Did it help them at work? Do they want more microlessons around the same topic?

You can even add a simple assessment at the end of microlessons to see if they understood what was presented. This provides some feedback on areas where people struggled with, and gives you the impetus to tweak your microlessons to make them more helpful for your audience.

 

Will you be creating microlessons for the workplace? What would you be creating them for? Share with us in the comments below.