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.
Georgina is an experienced Learning Designer, having scripted a multitude of solutions for global clients and varied sectors. With her background rooted in the modern mix and blended learning, she works to bring a 360 degree experience to today's educational platforms.
By Georgina Wilding
Posted 2 March 2018
The digital transformation I’d like to see in 2018 is one allocating more online space for people to fail. Fail miserably. Score below average on all their assessments, cause havoc in health and safety simulations, and select every wrong answer in their scenarios.
It was said by James Joyce that ‘a person's errors are their portal of discovery’. This poses the question, how are we ever to succeed in our strive for innovation and discovery if we don’t enable our digital learners to fail without fear of rejection, learn from their mistakes and try again, next time, more informed.
At its core, scenario based learning is so effective because it appeals to our curious human nature. Scenarios, be they 3D, animated or question and answer led, all allow the learner to run through an event multiple times, try out the ‘wrong options’ to see what happens, make mistakes, and then go on to achieve further levels of success. This is because they have a 360 degree view of the decisions they need to make in their roles, and more importantly, why they need to make them.
According to entrepreneur.com, James Dyson made 5,126 versions of the dual cyclone vacuum before finding one that worked. Thomas Edison is quoted to have said, upon his thousands of trials of the humble light bulb, ‘I’ve not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’ If we have such clear examples of the importance of failure in growth and innovation, and the tools to encourage this in a controlled digital environment, why are we still so afraid of it today?
When I was in school, I was convinced I wasn’t much good at anything. I would sit in assemblies and watch other girls receive awards for sporting achievements, gifted and talented programmes, high grades, and I always ached for a slice of their success. Eventually, thanks to an amazing bunch of teachers, I sat my GCSE’s, followed by my A-levels, and realised that University and academic success was an option for me after all.
I’d always identified as a creative, but as it turned out during my A-levels, I had a knack for Forensic Science, too. Growing up around a traditional family, and with this yearning for academia, it was very much encouraged to pursue my talents in science, so off I headed to Liverpool University to start the journey.
Two months in and I was skipping classes for writing workshops, socialising at poetry gigs, and locking myself in my dorm. Eventually, I quit University. Came back home with my tail between my legs and a sour feeling of ‘I told you so’ from my younger self. In my eyes, that was it. I was a failed academic; a stereotypical working class university drop out and that was the end of that.
However, the friends, teachers, and culture around me allowed me to see that failure is not an end point, simply a change in direction and chance for growth. In an environment where, what I deemed as my failure, was not judged or there to define me, I was encouraged to stop, try again, and keep moving.
Fast forward to today, and I’m a Learning Designer, the founder of poetry publishing house Mud Press, and Nottingham’s First Young Poet Laureate… all with a first class degree from the University of Nottingham, too.
It’s of the utmost importance that we foster organisations that define employees by what they're capable of, rather than what they aren't. Making mistakes and wrong decisions are key to learning about yourself, and actually, to better risk prevention in the future. Providing a multi-faceted digital learning experience will allow users to try, fail, and try again in multiple areas of their practise, minimising real life-risk, creating faster innovation, honing growth, confidence, and the motivation to strive to be the best they can be for themselves and for their organisations.