Make Them Relevant, Engaging, And Actionable
According to Harvard Business Review, curated learning pathways are learning activities and experiences in varying modalities, including courses, videos, articles, and podcasts. They’re designed to help learners close their skills gaps and get better on the job. Curated learning pathways are foundational to personalized learning. This means they can be tailored to the needs and interests of the individual learner, helping them build the skills they need to succeed on the job. Learning Experience Systems (LXPs) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) offer several functionalities for L&D teams to establish and curate learning pathways.
What Are The Benefits Of Curated Learning Pathways?
Curated learning pathways offer several benefits to the learner, including clarity, flexibility, and agency for their lifelong learning journey.
A benefit of curated learning pathways is that they provide individuals with a clear learning path. Unlike traditional education, which can often be confusing and overwhelming, they offer individuals a clear roadmap to acquire the skills and knowledge they need. This means that curated pathways will need to include a description of what the learner will encounter in their learning journey, how long it will take to complete each asset in the pathway, and what will be their Return On Time Invested (ROTI).
Another benefit of curated learning pathways is that they are flexible. Unlike traditional education, which is often rigid and inflexible, curated learning pathways are designed to be flexible and adaptable to the individual’s needs and schedule. This means that individuals can acquire the skills they need on their own time, at their own pace, and in the modality they prefer. Curated learning pathways offer flexibility because they save time, as the resources are already vetted and selected. Learners don’t need to spend hours searching for resources that are relevant to their learning goals.
Learning pathways provide learners with agency and ownership of their learning journeys and can help them cultivate their lifelong learning. Research by McKinsey shows that learners and organizations approaching learning as a mindset rather than a one-shot to learn a skill tend to learn better and faster, which, in turn, helps with tackling change. Research by psychologist Robert Keegan revealed that learners want to hide their weaker areas of knowledge and, as a result, hesitate to ask for help. Learning pathways offer them the agency to tackle that tendency and learn on their own, with material that has been personalized for them. Now, they don’t need to ask for help, as it’s readily available at their fingertips.
Structuring Curated Learning Pathways
Learning And Development organizations can curate learning pathways with the content they would like the learners to complete, as well as offer the option of open pathways. These allow the system algorithm to curate content from various resources available online. Those can include articles, TED Talks, videos, tools, and infographics that pertain to the learner’s particular topic of interest. In structuring curated learning pathways, it is crucial to consider the following 5 tactics to ensure the pathways are engaging, relevant, measurable, accessible, and actionable.
5 Tactics In Curated Learning Pathways
The curated learning content needs to be engaging and inspiring for the learners. This means that content should be crisp, inviting, and exciting, as opposed to dense, dated, and daunting.
The content of the curated learning pathway should be relevant, up-to-date, and of high quality. This means that the content should be based on the latest research and best practices in the field and should be designed to meet the needs of the individual. Curated learning pathways provide high-quality resources that have been vetted and approved by experts in the field. This ensures that learners receive accurate and up-to-date information that is relevant to their learning goals.
The learning objectives of the pathways should be clear and measurable. This means that individuals should know what you expect them to learn, how long it will take them to complete each learning experience, and how to track their progress.
Curated learning pathways must be easily accessible on all devices, primarily on smartphones, so that learners can benefit from learning anywhere, anytime, and in any modality that they choose. Since they are available online, they make learning convenient and accessible to learners who may not have the opportunity to attend in-person training. This can be especially helpful for learners who live in remote areas or who have limited access to traditional learning resources.
The learning assets curated in the learning pathway should be meaningful and actionable. This means that learners can engage with learning experiences that offer them opportunities to practice their knowledge and skills and clearly connect the dots on how they will put these skills into action in their job. Learners can choose the resources that are most relevant to their learning goals, and they can progress through the pathway at their own pace. This ensures that the learner is not overwhelmed with irrelevant information and can focus on the areas where they need the most support, learn the skills, and put them into action.
In this era of accelerating and constant change, learners are challenged with information overload and digital distractions that prevent them from learning effectively and efficiently. Curated learning pathways offer learners clarity in what they need to know and why, flexibility in when, where, and how to learn, and agency to own their learning journey. As an L&D leader, you can address this learner challenge by successfully curating learning pathways. In these, you will need to include learning resources that you have carefully selected and organized to help learners achieve specific learning objectives and close their skills gap. These learning resources can consist of online micro-learning, articles, videos, podcasts, and more, providing learners with a clear roadmap for their learning journey. Key tactics to consider as you curate the pathways include ensuring that the pathways are engaging, relevant, measurable, accessible, and actionable. Curated learning pathways are a powerful learning tool that offers learners personalized, curated content in varying modalities to help them close their skills gap, get better at problem-solving on the job and grow personally and professionally.