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7 Keys to Create Learning Journeys People Want to Take

Blog posts | 06.07.2021


Shaping the future of learning

“It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you have fond memories of a road trip? What made it special and memorable? Are you the type that puts the pedal to the metal and makes it in record time or do you make the most of your time on the road? If you’re honest, it was that stop to see the world largest something, the character you met at the small town diner and the best fudge you’ve ever tasted in the town you can remember that seared the memory of the trip into your memory.

As learning and development professionals, what can we take away from knowing that a compelling journey can increase retention, engagement, and enjoyment?  A rewarding learning journey, just like any enjoyable road trip, should include the following components for maximum satisfaction:

1. A map: Learning experiences, just like any traveling experience, require a clear path to success. Allow learners to progress at their own speeds without unnecessary roadblocks or needing to head for the off ramp.  Any challenges should provide meaning and context to the learning experience, and should be part of the learning process, so long as the final destination is attainable and clearly defined.

2. Snacks: Undoubtedly, road trip snacks are one of the most enjoyable parts of the trip. They provide nourishment during long stretches of the drive, and can help keep you awake and help you maintain energy and momentum. Microlearning functions the same way in a learning programme, by providing small pieces of learning that tide learners over until the next stop. Don’t pack a learning programme entirely full of long, dense courses, and make sure to provide learners with bite-sized content items when all they need is a “snack.”

3. Good friends and great conversation: Having a friend along for the ride during a long drive can be an excellent bonding experience and can make passing the time much more enjoyable. It’s no surprise that the same is true for learning! By making use of learning communities, cohorts, social learning, discussion boards, and more, learners can form meaningful relationships and truly learn from one another. Boost engagement and retention by giving learners the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise, ask questions when needed, and reflect on the content by engaging in natural social behaviour.

4. Souvenirs: Chances are that somewhere in your house you have a memento from a trip, such as a t-shirt or a snow globe to remind you of the experience. Learning experiences may center around mental activities, but physical take-aways such as participant guides, job aids, and other resources give learners something to refer to at later dates and help with the recall of important information as they advance towards their final destination. Don’t expect your learners to memorise every fine point, and make sure to assist them with helpful guides (or souvenirs of their learning experience) that they can reference when needed.

5. A killer soundtrack: Popular streaming services feature road trip playlists, and learning experience platforms provide a similar service by presenting a variety of modalities to keep learners interested and engaged. Create immersive learning experiences by making use of podcasts, videos, articles, even songs, alongside more traditional assets such as eLearning courses. Engage their senses and open their minds to delightful learning experiences that aren’t limited to just text and lecture.

6. Unforgettable stops along the way: Most road trips include at least one major highlight, such as a national park. Consider your formal learning assets to be the unforgettable stops in your learners’ journeys. You may never forget gazing at the stars under a clear sky, and a beautifully-crafted, informative course can be just as impactful when it illuminates a learning journey. Create capstone moments for your learners that will be worth writing home about.

7. A warm welcome when you finally get there: Imagine your loved ones standing on the front porch waving as you arrive at your final destination, then create a similar warm, fuzzy feeling when your learners complete the journeys you have designed. Whether this includes placing them on leaderboards, awarding certificates of completion, or entering them into alumni cohorts where they can guide future learners, celebrate your learners’ accomplishments in a way that will be meaningful to them. 

In order to have a lasting impact, it’s important to think about the experience you want learners to have as you take them where they need to go. By engaging their hearts and minds, you’re not only designing more enjoyable learning experiences; you will also positively impact their retention of the content and, ultimately, improve their performance on the job. Draw inspiration from other highly motivating, rewarding experiences in life such as travel, and create similarly life-changing experiences for your learners. They deserve nothing less.

Remember, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. 


Shaping the future of learning

Kineo helps the world’s leading businesses improve performance through learning and technology. We’re proud of our reputation for being flexible and innovative, and of our award-winning work with clients across the world.