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I want to talk to you about the challenge of learning and how we provide a solution. If we are to meet the existential challenges posed by the digital revolution, the climate crisis and global inequality, then we must deliver far greater levels of productivity, innovation and sustainability.
Read on below…
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To look at this more deeply, I suggest we categorise our current societal approach to learning in three ways:
Firstly, education. By which I mean formal teaching, training and instruction, mainly still delivered in-person lectures using didactic methods. There’s no doubt that a charismatic teacher can inspire students. Still, can we rely on this happening often enough in the current resource-constrained environment?
Secondly, online courses, sometimes called MOOCs, commonly follow traditional forms of teaching delivery, despite technological advancement. For example, it’s common to see the 45-minute lecture format persist online, even though cognitive science research suggests this does not lead to highly productive learning.
And thirdly, various forms of experiential training, including on-the-job training.
At Dare2know, we combine the advantages of each while avoiding the downsides. The creative use of technology allows us to move from teaching-centric to learning-centred approaches, where we focus on social learning, self-direction and validated work application, resulting in much higher learner engagement.
While each has its advantages, the current three methods available to us present a problem.
Traditional forms of education and training offer the ability to scale. Still, they can be linear, slow to deliver and unresponsive to rapid changes – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity- often overwhelm traditional forms of structured education. Classroom teaching and off-site training can also become detached from day to day realities of society. It’s worth noting that University student satisfaction has fallen in the UK, from 86% in 2016 to just 80% in 2022. This decline is despite the investment in schools, lecture theatres and technology.
MOOCs might be convenient, but there’s a high drop-out rate, which research suggests is around 85%. MOOCs can also suffer from the same silo effect of separate disciplines and rigid thinking as traditional forms of education. For instance, online courses still mainly organise around traditional subject disciplines, such as economics, psychology, sociology, computing and so on, which is not really how life works.
Experiential learning might have a practical focus, but it’s hard to validate. The phrase “on-the-job training” can all too often be a euphemism for no training at all.
We don’t always learn through action alone. Learning requires critical reflection, planning, rehearsal, repetition, feedback, mentoring and a coherent study framework, which can be hard to deliver amid a busy life.
Dare2know offers a different approach based on effective learning design, leading-edge technology and action research methodologies. For example, good learning design enables us to deliver content in micro-bites of 2 to 5 minutes, with quizzes, reflective exercises, and so on, which is challenging to do in the traditional lecture format.
We offer advanced course navigation tools and online psychometric instruments. We also provide trans-disciplinary content on leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship themes. These topics fall outside of traditional academic categories but relate more directly to our challenges.
Learners also upload work and receive ongoing coaching and feedback during the course.
We also use an advanced learning management system and social learning platform to create an accessible, well-structured program. For example, learners can make notes directly on the screen as they view the videos and plan their assignments. And learners can also adjust the settings on the screen to adapt to their learning style. This is something that traditional education struggles with, given the “one size fits all” approach.
We also believe that group learning creates the “cohort effect” and fosters peer mentoring. So, our platform has social features that match the very best in the industry.
These features enable Dare2Know to offer blended approaches, combining automated online delivery content with live classes, project-based work, journaling, tutorials, assignments and coaching feedback.
The key outcome is that the learning impact is considered in the specific work setting, not simply recorded as a paper certificate.
Our approach is to co-design with clients and create a broad level of participation across varied learning styles, supported by course certification and badging, and most important of all, work-based validation. We work with organisations to build self-paced autonomous programs with feedback loops validated by the observed outcomes in the workplace.
We look forward to working with you to meet your specific learning challenges. Click below to read more about our approach, client testimonials and how we deliver results.
Thank you for listening.