When we first started, 21 years ago, we were working in both marketing and learning. We decided to focus on learning because we loved it the most – but we recognised that digital learning was quite far behind in terms of maturity, and that our years of experience with digital marketing was often invaluable in pushing forward our digital learning thinking.
Many years have passed and eLearning has developed in leaps and bounds. But in many ways one thing hasn’t changed: that digital learning still seems to be many years behind digital marketing. Digital marketing has evolved notions of the MVP (minimal viable product), of A-B testing and of the permanent beta. All these approaches are about learning from users and to use that learning to constantly improve the product.
The thing that strikes me with learning is how rarely this is considered. We may gather some feedback, but the idea that successful delivery is one of never ending improvement is rarely embedded into a learning project. True A-B testing for learning would result in constantly trying tweaks to see if better results can be achieved against a control.
Making a difference through learning means accepting, just like digital marketing, that we don’t really know what works. We need to explore and find out. It is about doing more than just the necessary, for if we only teach what we know we will never be more than what we currently are.
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