LAS is an award-winning provider of elearning consultancy, design, development and training services in the UK and internationally.
Established in 2005 as LearningAge Solutions, we work with some of the best known organisations in the world to boost their performance through the innovative use of learning technologies. Working in partnership with our customers, we draw on proven principles from human behaviour, how people learn and how the brain works to create impactful digital learning solutions with real return on investment.
Tess is a director of LAS. She has worked in a learning environment for over fifteen years. First, as a senior manager in universities, moving into digital learning seven years ago.
By Tess Robinson
Posted 30 January 2018
Back in October last year, Rob introduced the idea of the Next Generation Blend.
1. An evolution of the traditional blend which:
2. Addresses big problems or opportunities
3. Takes account of the capabilities and limitations of the human brain
4. Includes more advanced forms of deliveryIs more like a campaign than a courseBut how is this actually put into practice?
We were approached by a large pharma company to help train a new team on an innovative new drug. Their philosophy has its foundations in a patient-centred approach, so it was vital to put the patient at the very heart of the learning. This was a massive opportunity for them, to be the first to market and also to make a life-changing difference to people suffering from this particular disease.
Their previous experience of elearning had been fairly traditional but they had a real appetite to do something different. We decided on a transmedia approach – storytelling that bleeds into the real world using different channels. Transmedia was made popular for marketing purposes but also can also be equally and very effectively, applied to learning.
We used an actress to play a patient through 12 years of her condition. The patient’s story unfolds through ‘self-shot’ video diary entries, Facebook updates and SMS conversations over the course of the programme. The actress was aged with make-up and costume to make it really authentic. The narrative arc was designed so that the content maps to it logically. For example, after being married a while, the patient and her husband start to think about starting a family and she has to consider her choice of treatment during pregnancy. At this point on the learning journey, the learners explore the different types of treatment and the possible side effects and make recommendations about which might work for her.
Living with the condition through the patient is highly emotive. The learners see her upset, happy, despairing, relieved. They share good news and bad with her. We know that we are more likely to pay attention to things that create an emotional response in us. Developing that connection through storytelling is a very powerful aid to memory.
Alongside the story, they also access other learning assets along a learning pathway. These include videos. animations, documents, interactions, quizzes, Google Hangouts, research activities, offline activities and team activities. The programme runs over 5 days and the learning is drip fed as a campaign over this period, although they can go back and access the assets at any time as a reminder.
This way of blending is a step-change from the simple blends of the past which may have included an Information-based elearning course, a workshop to practice skills and maybe an implementation document to help put learning into practice. It plays on our natural human curiosity and emotions, mixing up the modes of delivery and making the learning into more of an adventure. This is what helps it to really stick.