The Community Edition

Collaboration is important to us at Saffron, so, with a lot of help from those working in learning and development we’ve created a new edition in our ‘Spicy Learning Guide’ series. We’re proud to introduce ‘The Community Edition of the Spicy Learning Guide,’ which includes top tips on how to improve your learning strategy, with insights on planning, designing, delivering and evaluating along with some very useful words of wisdom!

Plan

In the rush to design or deliver, learning strategy is often not given enough importance

 

#1

A strong analytics platform giving an accurate dashboard of your learning and development department health will allow you to accelerate organisational change.
David Cameron, Director of tools and technology, Electronics

#2

Communication is key. Staff can only engage in training, feedback and take part in learning development if they are made aware of what is available to them.
Alex Mckeown, Learning and development co-ordinator, Healthcare

#3

Shadow employees from all departments within your organisation. Make an effort to understand how the department works.
Anton Suleman, Learning and organisational development administrator, Not-for-profit

#4

Operational buy-in is critical.
Ian Forrest, Commercial manager, Training

#5

Never lose sight of the business problem you are trying to solve.
Duncan Cruse, Training specialist, Not-for-profit

#6

Link your learning to your core values.
Doreen Miller, Head of learning and organisational development, Not-for-profit

#7

Students don’t need converting to digital learning – they are residents – but as digital visitors lecturers need support with teaching digitally.
Lise Foster, Associate director, Education

#8

Always consult your service users before developing any learning strategy – it has to be relevant to them, not developed with what you think they want!
Jo Sharpen, Policy manager, Not -for-profit

#9

Plan and agree your post-intervention measures of success with the end users before your intervention to keep everyone aligned and drive embedding of training!
Helen Bligh, Development partner, Biotechnology

“Remember: learning is a behaviour not a department.”

Catarina Ramos, Head of learning, Consulting

Design

A user experience that is engaging but also functions well is essential for your audience

#1

Designing a self-paced program that gives instant feedback can be one of the ways to optimise learning and development strategies.
Gabriel Uunona, Senior ICT education officer, Training

#2

Create interactive content to engage the creative and ‘playful’ side of the brain.
Pedro Da Silva, European learning manager, Electronics

#3

Surprise is a key element to keep people engaged.
Mel Denholm, Training manager, Retail

#4

Optimise peer-learning by registering your learners for a social media platform.
Philip Broomhead, Head of quality, Training

#5

Ensure every piece of content is directly relatable to your desired outcomes. Superfluous content clouds your messages and makes it harder for your audience to remember. Keep it simple, keep it clear.
Matt Ash, Lead designer, Training

#6

Always keep in mind the behavioural change you are seeking when designing your learning.
Richard Diston, Training manager, Electronics  

#7

Test, test, test! With responsive adaptive learning these days you need to see it working on as many different screen sizes and browser setups as you can!
Helen Maffin, eLearning developer, Education

#8

Remember the learner and the learning always comes first. Only add complexity if it adds to the learning experience, never just because you can.
Ian Sharp, Learning architect, Training

#9

Effective, interactive tools make your teaching more engaging.
Hannah Hayes, Tutor, Education

#10

Engaging elearning requires 20-minute chunks. Not an hour long and bombarded with videos. Interaction also helps!
Edward Thomas, Learning technologist, Education

#11

Deliver the same content through a variety of different media in order to maximise its effectiveness.
Anthony Wilkinson, Director of operations, Not-for-profit

#12

I use the rules of ADDIE when developing course Content: Analyse, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate.
Sean Ryan, Global training and documentation manager, Retail

“Managers say ‘Go’. Leaders say ‘Let’s Go’.”

Daniel Megson, Learning technology specialist, Retail

Deliver

The way in which your learners experience the learning content is as important as the content itself

#1

One size does not fit all – know your learner.
Denise Maguire, Learning and development advisor, Local government

#2

Save time and money by focussing all your energy into making your learning stick!
Carol Ridlington, Materials developer, Not-for-profit

#3

Try to give your learners a voice, they’re a great resource and trainers in themselves.
Elizabeth Mileham, Training manager, Technology

#4

Tell people stories,  it will help them engage with your content.
Merih Tangun, Managing partner, Training

#5

Interaction is everything, such as questions and quizzes. Don’t let your learners be passive.
Mia Worthington, Media author and trainer, Energy

#6

Ensure your training has a real purpose, and achievable objectives and outcomes can be met as a result of the session.  Too many training sessions are held without a real purpose.
Carl Lummis, Learning and development coordinator, Not-for-profit

#7

Never stop searching for a new and better way of delivering your critical material!
Nerys Fowler, Learning and development manager, Manufacturing

#8

p training content short and concise. Bite-sized snippets are what you need to deliver.
Gary Prince, Accountant, Banking and financial services

#9

Reinforcement is important. Encourage the learners to share what they have learned immediately after the learning.
Roger Ball, Programme manager sales training, Retail

#10

Show 2+2 to users. Don’t just give them 4. Giving learners the process to tackle a challenge – not just the solution – is key in ensuring behavioural change and independent thinking.
Paul Watson, Senior creative, Training

#11

Give participants a chance to ask questions during or after a training session and let them know they will receive answers afterwards – it helps them to stay focused on what the training is about. Then send personalised follow-up information to participants based on their questions.
Lynn Cullimore, eLearning technologist, Education

#12

Ensure a fear-free environment, where getting the wrong answer isn’t a problem, but encourages all participants to engage and learn from ‘wrong’ answers. Open up the debate to explain why answers are incorrect, giving them double the learning opportunity: a) the right answer b) the understanding why.
Marion Huett, Senior lecturer, Education

“Manage your training intake as you would a diet; little and often!”

Gary Grant, Head of national accounts capability, Not-for-profit

Evaluate

Creating effective learning content doesn’t stop when the learner begins a course

#1

Try it, see if it works, evaluate and iterate.
Ed Scruton, Digital learning consultant, Food and beverage

#2

Always ask for feedback and use it to improve on future sessions!
Felicity Fletcher, Field operations trainer, Consulting

#3

Shadow employees from all departments within your organisation. Make an effort to understand how the department works.
Anton Suleman, Learning and organisational development administrator, Not-for-profit

#4

Relate everything back to the learner’s role. Why is the training important to them?
Adam Priston, Multichannel trainer, Retail

#5

Begin with the end in mind – think about your measurement strategy as part of your overall learning strategy. How will you align with the business objectives and measure the success of your learning? What impact to performance and business results do you want to make ?
Kira Gamble, Training and development manager, Hospitality

#6

Always start by assessing the gap between the current skill level and attitude, and the required skill level and attitude.
Jodene Murphy, Project management office manager, Training

“Both positive and negative experiences give the opportunity for growth.”

Jacqueline Campbell, Human resources business partner, Local government

Share your Spicy Learning tip!

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