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Information Overload & Learning

Going through some of the web statistics few days back,  i felt compelled to think about the information overload we have in our lives today. Facebook has over 1.4 Bn users, with millions of pictures uploaded every day, Youtube  similarly uploading hundred

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hours videos every minute. Then you have blog sites, new sites , and other social media websites.  I read somewhere that people are spending averagely few hours every day on these websites and if add what’s app now, it will take the number even higher.

Think about all above, how much information our mind is trying to absorb every day from varied sources on lots of subjects.  Now if i add workplace communication like conference calls, meetings, emails, reports and gossips, i feel terrible about our brain and mind that is not getting any free time to think , reflect, learn, implement and enjoy.

With this kind of information being thrown at us every day, all day long, how do we expect ourselves to learn anything new. Our brain is jumping form on piece of information to another every few minutes. And that  makes it really challenging for L&D professionals to demonstrate solid return on investment by clients. Any behaviour change training rarely yield any result due to this information overload. So much information is preventing anyones mind from registering any new information, and even if it registers for some time, it is overwritten by hundred new pieces of information in next few hours.

 

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L&D Community now has to keep in mind all these factors to come up with something that works in today’s environment for the end users who keep creating thrill with few less than a hundred words on twitter multiple times a day. Their attention span has decreased so much that full day or multiple days classroom training programmes have no takers.

I think this is time to change our focus from training to learning and see how is today’s audience learning. If we bring down our 3-5 days training programmes and break them to serve 4-5 hours sessions to get the learner’s attention or start delivering few lines of messages to their mobile devices.

Whichever delivery mechanism we choose, its time to think about new ways of delivering knowledge that is really useful. And if we don’t move at the same pace as our customers, it will be difficult to survive in coming days.

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