Learning is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

person-thinkingWhen I have conversations with people about elearning, training, and all things related, it I find a curious similarity in the way these events are described.

All seem to be referred to as standalone, finite events.

While less common in the educational sector, I found this to be unanimously true with my corporate consulting engagements.

Leadership wanted to define the single learning event, creating training (both elearning and instructor-led events), schedule the delivery, and measure the results.

A logical sequence, but in my opinion is too narrow in scope.

Learning initiatives at any organization are not the same as implementing a new product or procedure. It’s not as simple as pressing “go” then looking at the numbers.

Learning programs require cultural buy-in and continuous message reinforcement.

Learning is all about the long-game. Sure there may be initial peaks and valleys after training takes place, but these are just preliminary (often unreliable) stats.

Assessment of any elearning or live training event has to be done over-time. The learning also has to be continuously reinforced, key stakeholders have to be on board, and the emphasis on the importance of training to real organizational goals should be consistent.

Companies that do this are successful.

Those that don’t just waste time and money – and oddly come to the conclusion that employee learning initiatives aren’t effective.

Whether your organization is planning to implement an internal training program, or even sell courses to consumers and businesses, your approach on implementation and evaluation cannot be finite. These programs are a marathon, not a sprint.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

One Comment
  1. John Morley

    Thanks Justin,
    I have experienced the same sad situation more often than not. And the way I phrase it is that learning is a process, not an event. A sad corollary that I have also seen too often is trainer-centered learning, in which primary focus is on the trainer knowing the material and being able to recite the facts correctly or click through the computer application, with little concern over how learners are affected, other than a level 1 smile sheet assessment.

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