Weiterbildung liegt im Trend. Doch Erwachsenen fällt es oft schwer, plötzlich wieder zu lernen. Mit der richtigen Planung und Motivation gehts einfacher.

Vor der ersten Schulstunde hatte Silvie Kehl ein mulmiges Gefühl. Würde sie acht Stunden zuhören können? Würde ihr Kopf etwas aufnehmen? Irgendetwas behalten? Zum Auftakt stand ausgerechnet Anatomie auf dem Programm. Unzählige komplizierte Bezeichnungen von Körperteilen, Organen, Muskeln – und alles würde sie auswendig lernen müssen.
Silvie Kehl ist 49 Jahre alt. Die letzte schriftliche Prüfung liegt 18 Jahre zurück. Lernen sei ihr nie leichtgefallen, sagt sie. Dennoch entschied sich die Mutter zweier Kinder für eine Ausbildung zur Personal Trainerin: Menschen zum Sport zu motivieren und sie professionell zu begleiten, darin sieht sie die ideale Ergänzung zu ­ihrem 50-Prozent-Job am Empfang einer Firma in ­Zürich. Wenn da nicht das Lernen wäre. «Und das im Vergleich zu ­früher schlechtere Gedächtnis.»

Wie alles unter einen Hut bringen?

Eine gute Nachricht für alle, die sich mit Lernen schwertun:

Die Vorstellung vom «rostenden» Hirn ist zwar verbreitet, aber falsch.

Die Wissenschaft hat bislang keine Hinweise darauf, dass die Hirnleistung mit dem Alter zwangsläufig nachlässt und sich die Lernfähigkeit verschlechtert (siehe Interview «Das Alter ist keine Ausrede» mit Lernforscherin Elsbeth Stern). Richtig ist hingegen, dass Lernen gelernt sein will – und viel Planung, Übung und Zeit benötigt. Gerade mit dem Zeitmanagement tun sich aber viele schwer. Job, Kinder, Partner, Haushalt, Hobbys, Freunde und auch noch eine Weiterbildung unter einen Hut bringen – das klingt nicht nur schwierig, sondern ist es auch. Wer verzichtet schon gern auf das wöchentliche Jassen oder die Yogastunde, weil er für die Weiterbildung lernen sollte?

Auch Silvie Kehl hat viel um die Ohren. Vorsichtshalber hat sie deshalb beschlossen, die Module ihrer Ausbildung auf zwei Jahre zu verteilen. Das ändert aber nichts daran, dass sie neben den Schulsamstagen regelmässig lernen muss. Sie nutzt dazu die Zug- und Tramfahrten zur Arbeit und zurück sowie die Mittagspausen. Ausserdem steht sie sonntags früh auf. Ihre ­Kinder sind Teenager, «die schlafen am Wochenende glücklicherweise länger», sagt die an­gehende Personal Trainerin.

«Die Wundertechnik gibt es nicht»

Ob unterwegs oder zu Hause: Wichtig ist, sich fürs Lernen regelmässige Zeitfenster zu schaffen – und sie dann auch zu nutzen. Dabei gehört das Handy ausgeschaltet, das Mailprogramm ebenso. Kinder, Partner und Freunde instruiert man vorher, dass sie nur in wirklichen Notfällen stören dürfen.

Ebenso sinnvoll ist es, einen ständigen Arbeitsplatz einzurichten, an dem man ­Bücher und Unterlagen auch mal liegen lassen kann. Die einen lernen am besten mit Hintergrundmusik, andere greifen zu Ohrstöpseln, um noch das kleinste Geräusch auszusperren. Am besten probiert man, was gut zu einem passt.

Das gilt auch fürs Lernen an sich. Der Zürcher Lernpsychologe Donatus Berlinger sagt: «Die Wundertechnik, mit der der Stoff sofort und problemlos hängenbleibt, gibts nicht. Auch wenn im Internet unzählige davon angepriesen werden.» Berlinger bildet an der Akademie für Erwachsenenbildung Leute aus, die später Erwachsene unterrichten. «Wie lernen?» ist dort eine zentrale Frage. Einige setzen auf Lernkarteien, andere schreiben Zusammenfassungen, wieder andere konstruieren Mindmaps.

Berlinger plädiert dafür, ein paar ein­fache Dinge zu beherzigen. Besonders gross ist der Lerneffekt, wenn man nicht stundenlang frustriert über dem Stoff sitzt, sondern in Portionen lernt: 25 Minuten Büffeln, fünf Minuten Pause, dann von vorn. So lernt es sich nicht nur motivierter, sondern auch über eine längere Zeit effi­zient. Damit die Motivation nicht sinkt, sind realistische Zwischenziele nötig: Es ist nicht sinnvoll, ein 400-seitiges Buch in ­einem Tag lesen zu wollen.

Die Chance, dass längerfristig etwas hängenbleibt, ist auch grösser, wenn man sich regelmässig mit einer Materie beschäftigt und nicht erst kurz vor der Prüfung. Den gleichen Effekt hat es, wenn der Stoff nicht chaotisch, sondern strukturiert gelernt wird. Zudem gilt: Je mehr etwas auf bereits bestehendem Wissen aufbaut und aktiv mit diesem vernetzt wird, umso nachhaltiger kann man es sich merken.

Die eigene Neugier wecken

Lernpsychologe Donatus Berlinger rät, die eigene Neugier zu wecken – er zieht einen Vergleich zum Film: «Wer sich während des Krimis fragt, wer der Mörder ist, ­beschäftigt sich aktiv mit der Geschichte. Selbst wenn am Schluss ein anderer der Täter sein sollte: Die Handlung wird einem bleiben.» Deshalb sollten sich auch Lernende vor und während des Arbeitens – ­etwa beim Lesen eines Fachbuchs – Fragen notieren und versuchen, diese zu beantworten. Es hilft ebenfalls, anderen Menschen in eigenen Worten vom Gelernten zu erzählen und einen Bezug zum Alltag zu schaffen. Zum Beispiel: Die lateinischen Bezeichnungen für Muskeln merkt man sich leichter, wenn man sie während des Fitnesstrainings jedes Mal aufsagt.

Repetition ist ohnehin das A und O des Lernens. Man sollte früh damit beginnen, denn das meiste Gelernte geht schnell ­wieder vergessen.

Silvie Kehl weiss nach bald einem Jahr Schule, welche Lerntechniken für sie funktionieren. Sie schreibt nach den Schul­tagen die wichtigsten Fragen auf kleine Karten, die Antworten kommen auf die Rückseite. Mit den Karten lernt sie bis kurz vor den Modulprüfungen. Dann fasst sie alles Wichtige nochmals in einem Notizbuch zusammen: «Ich merkte irgendwann, dass die Dinge eher haftenbleiben, wenn ich sie aufschreibe.»

Nach dem Spass im Ernst suchen

«Lernen ist etwas sehr Individuelles», sagt Experte Berlinger. Deshalb sollten die Lernenden vor allem sich selbst gut beobachten. Welche Lernstrategie funktioniert? Welche nicht? «Am besten hört man auf sein Bauchgefühl und sucht nach Strate­gien, die Spass machen.» Es sei einer der grossen Lernirrtümer, dass Lernen nur mit Anstrengung und Pauken verbunden sei. «Die Motivation und der Lerneffekt sind viel grösser, wenn etwas Freude bereitet.» Auch wissenschaftliche Studien zeigen, dass Aufgaben viel lieber gelöst werden, wenn sie als Spiel getarnt sind.
Silvie Kehl reiste vor der ersten Modulprüfung nach Ägypten und lernte am Meer. «Da fiel mir das Repetieren leicht.» In den Ferien ist auch das Belohnen – ebenfalls eine wirksame Lernstrategie – einfach, etwa in Form eines guten Abendessens.

Oft stehen sich Erwachsene bei Weiterbildungen selbst im Weg, beobachtet Donatus Berlinger. «Viele meinen, sie könnten nicht rechnen, weil das damals in ihrer Schulzeit so war. Oder sie sind überzeugt, sich nichts merken zu können.» Das habe natürlich einen negativen Effekt aufs Lernen. «In solchen Situationen braucht es die grundsätzliche Bereitschaft, es dennoch zu versuchen.» Mit jedem kleinen Lernerfolg steige dann das Selbstbewusstsein.

«Das Lernen fällt mir jetzt schon viel leichter als am Anfang», sagt Silvie Kehl. Im Unterricht bleibt vieles hängen, und auch konzentrieren kann sie sich meist gut. Für sie steht fest: «Ich werde nie mehr mit dem Lernen aufhören – damit ich nicht wieder aus der Übung komme.»

Simple Tricks für geordnetes Trainieren

Schlüsselwort-Technik

Mit Eselsbrücken kann man sich Dinge besser merken. Muss man Vokabeln lernen, hilft es, ein Wort in der Muttersprache mit ähnlichem Klang zu suchen. Aus beidem kreiert man ein Bild. Zum Beispiel: An einem Maiskolben knabbernde Mäuse, wenn man das englische Wort «mice» (klingt wie «Mais») lernen muss. Bilder sind einfacher zu merken als Wörter. Es braucht allerdings etwas Übung, das Bild vor dem inneren Auge so präzise zu zeichnen, dass es bleibt.

Orte-Technik

Will man sich eine Abfolge von ­Begriffen merken, platziert man diese an bestimmten Orten. ­Entweder kreiert man diese im Kopf oder benutzt reale. Beispielsweise stellt der Kleiderschrank ­Europa dar, die Fächer links ­Westeuropa, wobei jedes Land ein Wäscheabteil zugewiesen bekommt. Osteuropa steht dann rechts. An einer Prüfung kann man sich den Schrank bildhaft vorstellen und sich an jedes Land erinnern.

Lernen in Gruppen

Gemeinsam mit anderen zu lernen hat viele Vorteile. Man kann Unklarheiten besprechen, Antworten suchen, das Gelernte diskutieren. So setzt sich der Stoff besser. In der Gruppe ist die Chance meist grösser, eine Lösung zu finden, als wenn man allein verzweifelt über einer Aufgabe brütet. Zudem merkt man schnell, ob man das ­Gelernte wirklich beherrscht, wenn man es jemandem in eigenen Worten erzählen muss.

Listen, Diagramme, Mindmaps

Komplexe und grosse Stoffmengen sind schwierig zu lernen. Da gilt es, Struktur ins «Chaos» zu bringen. So merkt man automatisch, was die Kernelemente sind und wie die Dinge miteinander verbunden sind. Dabei sind etwa Listen nützlich, in denen Ober- und Unterbegriffe geordnet werden. In Diagrammen kann man mit Linien verbinden, was zusammengehört. Auch Mindmaps erleichtern den Überblick über ein Thema. Machen Sie zudem Zeichnungen zu gewissen Begriffen – oft bleibt Gezeichnetes besser hängen als Geschriebenes.

Lernkarteien

Auf kleine Karten schreibt man vorn zum Beispiel ein französisches Wort, das man lernen muss – und am besten einen Satz, in dem das Wort vorkommt. Auf die Rückseite kommt die deutsche Übersetzung. Wichtig ist, die Reihenfolge der Karten zwischendurch zu ändern. Am besten legt man die Karten, die man beherrscht, beiseite und geht sie später nochmals durch.

Source: Claudia Imfeld

Corporate Learning Is More Important Than Ever” An Interview with Josh Bersin

In today’s “always-on” workplace, companies should not be afraid to invest in new tools and platforms that deliver the learning people want and aspire for, saysJosh Bersin, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and founder and editor-in- chief of Bersin. “Artificial intelligence, chatbots, video, and virtual and augmented reality will significantly change learning in the years ahead.”

Bersin is the leading provider of research and advisory services focused on corporate learning. More than 60% of the Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For are Bersin members, and more than a million human resources professionals read Bersin research every month.

In this interview, Josh Bersin talks about the transformations that are taking place in the learning & development segment and analyzes the trends and challenges that will shape the future of corporate learning.

What changes have you observed in L&D in the past 10 years?

Ten years ago we were building page-turning e-learning programs and they barely ran on mobile devices. The content was really a “repurpose” of instructor-led training and much of the content development was based on the ADDIE model. We developed the concept of “blended learning” (which is now called “flipped learning”) so people could study online and then attend a class in person. And we had very traditional learning management systems, which arranged content into courses, programs, and curricula.

As social media entered our lives, of course all this changed. Employees and consumers now want bite-sized instructional content (now called “micro-learning”), they want content that is very easy to find, and they want a user experience that feels more like a search engine or a TV set, not a course catalog. We have been trying to build this infrastructure for the last five years, and now in 2018 it’s finally possible. Consumer libraries and many others have accelerated this shift.

According to a survey by Deloitte Consulting LLP, from 2016 to 2017, business and HR leaders’ concern with learning and career development skyrocketed, up by almost 40%. To what do you attribute this growth?

There are two huge drivers of learning today. First, the economy is booming, so companies are hiring, training, and reskilling their people faster than ever. Second, the rate of change in technology, tools, and business practices is breathtaking.

The digital revolution, growth in AI and new algorithms, growth in the use of software, and all the automation at work has forced us all to go “back to school.”

So employees and leaders are very focused on reskilling our people (at all levels) and the appetite for modern, easy to consume learning is enormous.

Photo Josh Bersin, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Founder and editor-in-chief of Bersin

Josh Bersin, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Founder and editor-in-chief of Bersin

How do you foster and build a learning culture within the company? What are the main issues for a company to become a high impact learning organization?

In all the research we’ve done (and we’ve done a lot), we always conclude that no matter how good or weak your learning technology is, it’s culture that matters. When a company has a “culture of learning” – people take time to reflect, they have time to learn, they talk about mistakes in a positive way – people can learn.

While technology-enabled learning is important, it’s not as important as giving people mentors, sponsors, and experts to learn from – and giving them the time, rewards, and environment to learn at work.

Companies that embrace a learning culture can adapt, reorganize, move into new product areas, and grow in a much more sustainable way – and our research proves this.

„While technology-enabled learning is important, it’s not as important as giving people mentors, sponsors, and experts to learn from – and giving them the time, rewards, and environment to learn at work. “ Josh Bersin

What is the key to creating a successful L&D program that really impacts the company results?

I’ve written two books on corporate training and it’s not a simple process. The first step is to really diagnose the problem you’re trying to solve. Is your “sales training” program designed to help people sell? Upsell? Increase new sales? Or increase close rates? The clearer and more prescriptive you are in problem definition the easier it is to really identify the learning objectives and the learning gaps.

Second the designer must use what is now called “design thinking” (we used to call it performance consulting) to understand the learners’ work environment, existing skills, educational background, and managerial environment. A training program alone won’t solve a problem if it doesn’t reinforce and support the entire work environment.

This also means understanding what type of learning experience will really “grab” the employees and get them to pay attention.

And this also involves interviewing people in the role, to see what gaps exist.

Third, the designer must build a set of small, easy to absorb, highly interactive learning experiences, content, and interactivities that drive a learning outcome. This is the instructional design stage, and the designer should be up to date on the latest technologies and approaches. Right now micro-learning, virtual and augmented reality, chatbots and video are really exciting approaches. But often a face to face exercise, simulation, or project is needed.

If you do all this work, and test and iterate on your design, your program will really drive value. I always encourage L&D leaders to evaluate learning by asking employees “would you recommend this?” and “have you used this?” This kind of practical analysis helps you stay grounded in reality, and not spend too much time creating academic content that may not really drive the business result.

Recently you characterized Blackboard as a “Program Experience (Delivery) Platform.” Can you speak more about what that means and how Program Experience (Delivery) Platforms impact business and learning at organizations today?

Yes. Throughout the L&D market companies need platforms to help them design, build, implement and measure their training programs. The original LMS vision was to be this platform, but it really became a learning “management system” and not a true “learning system.”

Today, given the enormous growth in micro and macro forms of online learning, there is a need for a new set of platforms. These include systems that can manage content, administer traditional training, and programs that can bring together instructor facilitated programs (ie. leader-led or instructor-led courses) in high-fidelity programs like onboarding, sales training, customer service training, ethics, and other high consequence programs. Blackboard falls into this category. Where most education has a teacher, Blackboard’s platform provides a solution for training programs that involve an instructor, a subject-matter expert, or a mentor or coach. Many companies need this type of solution, and Blackboard’s specific design can be useful for many training applications.

What are micro and macro-learning and how can companies help employees identify what type of learning they need?

Every learning solution has macro and micro-topics. Fundamentals, background, and theory are always macro or longer-form topics. For example, if you want to learn how to become a Java programmer, you need fundamental education in data structures, syntax, language, and use of the various Java tools. Once you become a programmer and learn how to code, however, you may need lots of “add-on” education which teaches you special techniques, solutions to common problems, and small answers to typical questions in a micro format.

This blend is common in every type of learning. Macro learning is fundamental. Micro-learning is applications, answers to questions, and new applications.

How can companies select and apply technology in a way that truly engage workers in their learning programs?

As I mentioned above, the hot new topic is “learning experience design.” What will it really feel like to take this course or program? Will it fit into the flow of work? Will the learner enjoy it and feel compelled to complete it? Will the learner meet others and feel inspired to create a community from this course? Will it help them move their career goals forward? Will it provide the types of learning (auditory, lecture, example, simulation, virtual reality, video, project, etc.) that the learner enjoys and remembers? Will there be enough “spaced learning” to let the material sink in and really stick? All these questions are independent of the topic, and they represent the excitement and design opportunities for learning leaders to build something truly amazing for their companies.

An oil and gas company I know recently built a 3D virtual world to teach employees about geology, history of rock and sediments, and the different types of chemistry that go into the formation of fossil fuels. The experience is more fascinating than a movie, and extremely memorable. This type of program would be boring in a classroom and probably boring in traditional e-learning, but using virtual reality and 3D animation they made it compelling and very memorable.

You have mentioned in a lecture that companies tend to increasingly reward workers for skills and abilities, not position. At the same time, recent research indicates that people are looking for non-traditional, short-term degrees and certifications. They want to learn specific skills that help them grow and evolve at work. How can corporate learning contribute to that?

Every organization rewards people for their formal education, certificates, and certified skills. But beyond that, real performance is based on an individual’s true abilities, experiences, their natural gifts, and their desire and passion to solve problems. These “non-certifiable” areas of capabilities are what we try to assess in behavioral interviews, reference checks, and on-the-job assessments and exercises. Knowing that someone is “certified” in Sales or Engineering may mean nothing about their actual experience and capabilities in different domains of these fields.

We in L&D have to help recruiters vet this out, and our true learning challenge is to identify these “non-certified” capabilities and skills and teach people to focus on improving in these areas, giving people experiences to learn, and coaching and mentoring people with strong advice on how to improve.

Research indicates that individuals now are working harder and they are more distracted and less productive than ever. In a scenario where employees are overwhelmed by information, how can companies make continuous learning easier?

This just gets back to the topic of experience design and micro-learning. Can you give me “just enough” learning to solve my problem without forcing me to complete a course when I don’t need it? That’s the magic of a modern learning experience today.

What trends will define the future of corporate learning?

In summary, I would say that corporate learning is more important than ever. Today, we have a vast amount of new technology, terminology, and concepts to teach people. But at the same time we want to teach people “how to perform better” – as technical professionals, managers, leaders, or workers. These “performance learning” programs are always custom-designed and need to reflect “what works in your company.” So our job in L&D is to apply all the new technologies and design approaches to making our particular company perform better.

Finally, I would say that artificial intelligence, chatbots, video, and virtual and augmented reality will significantly change learning in the years ahead.

We now have algorithms that can observe what works best, communicate with us in human language, and show us how to do something that might be expensive or dangerous in the real world. I strongly urge L&D professionals to experiment with these new tools, many will become the most powerful technologies and solutions in the future. And of course don’t be afraid to invest in new platforms. Now is the time to look for new platforms that deliver the learning people want and aspire for in today’s “always-on” workplace.

Quick take: Expert on corporate learning, Josh Bersin helps companies prepare for the future of work by investing in their people.

Source: Priscila Zigunovas and Josh Bersin

Help your learners beat the forgetting curve

We forget 75% of everything we learn within one month of learning it.

This has been called the ‘forgetting curve’, but there is a way of flattening out the curve and preventing such precipitous loss of learning. The key is regular, repetitious revision of the learning.

Micro-learning, delivered to any device, provides learners with the best possible opportunity to continue refreshing their learning until it becomes embedded. Micro-learning is not just about chunking up content into bite size pieces. Just as importantly, micro-learning must be designed to meet precise learner needs.

Content must be relevant, engaging and role specific.

Learning that fits

One way of ensuring that learning content is engaging, particularly content aimed at reviewing and revising learning repetitively, is to introduce elements of gamification. The best mobile-based digital games keep players coming back for more, using a combination of competition, with achievable goals, community and feedback.

Today’s employee is time-pressed and impatient. Gamified micro-learning is essential if you are expecting learners to spend time refreshing their learning. It also has the advantage that testing skills acquisition is built-in to the game, reducing the potential for employee perceptions that they are being constantly tested.

An effective method of checking that learners have acquired skills is getting them to teach those skills to others.

This type of digital learning delivery should be part of a blend of learning that combines digital micro-learning with human coaching and mentoring to drive language and communication skills acquisition. Language learning is most likely to become fully embedded if the learner continues to combine self-study with speaking and listening practice, backed by regular trainer feedback on how they are doing.

Combine individual video-based training exercises with social and collaborative learning and enabling learners to bounce off and learn communication and language skills from each other. Social collaboration technology enables individual learners or groups to benefit from personal, human coaching and mentoring via their digital device.

An effective method of checking that learners have acquired skills is getting them to teach those skills to others.

Engage with learner experiences

Learning is most effective when employees really buy into the need for it. So, continue to remind them of the benefits that will come from improving their language and communication skills. Multilingual employees may be first in line for promotion and for opportunities to live and travel overseas.

Make sure that there is a system in place to reward employees for their achievements in improving their language and communication skills. Rewards might range from pay rises to small gifts. Equally important is recognition. Public recognition by management or peers of an individual’s newfound skills can be highly motivating.

The crucial role of AI in customizing learning

Of course, each individual learner is different and each person’s different learning styles mean that they respond individually to learning delivery. The ideal is to provide industry and even job-specific learning paths and customize content that closely matches an individual’s progress and learning styles. Artificial intelligence technology can help with this.

If that sounds expensive, it needn’t be. And consider this, businesses around the world spend about $140bn on L&D every year – that’s $500 to $3,000 per employee depending on the industry. If learners are forgetting 75% of everything they have learnt within a month, that means that 75% of training investment is lost, up to $2,250 per person.

Taking steps to improve learning retention, combining micro-learning with long-term learning objectives and ongoing performance support, will help organizations to improve return on investment and even more importantly ensure they achieve the skills development they need for success.

Source: Armin Hopp

 

Why is Key & End User Enablement so important?

Key & End User Enablement get’s in a fast changing world more and more importance.

72% of global CEOs believe the next 3 years will be more critical for their industry than the last decades. – FORBES INSIGHTS, 2016 KPMG Global CEO Outlook

Many customer organizations are heavily investing in digital technologies to underpin their various business priorities. SAP innovations bring the answer to the various industries and business supporting their transformation.

However SAP customers are challenged to understand and adopt SAP innovations which makes the user adoption, by facto, present on the critical path of their digital transformation.

Our task is to ensure a successful user adoption across all of SAP solutions powering and securing the digital transformation.

Key users and end users are the primary audience for the overall customer organization adoption. When key and end users are enabled and productive at an early stage of the solution implementation the technology adoption increases highly and it plays an important role in the path of a successful digital transformation.

What do we offer to support our customers

Learn in the app and through the app while performing the tasks, this is the goal for the user adoption.

To support customer organizations to turn innovations to adoption, SAP has developed an integrated and blended enablement portfolio for key and end user audiences.

The portfolio is structured through a variety of content designed and produced to offer the best learning experience for the key user and the end user.

This content is designed on the basis of SAP Enable Now simulation tutorials. Each tutorial represents a process execution that helps the user to understand and quickly gain a first experience on how to perform his/her task.

To get more information and how it works have a look at the introduction movie above.

To get more information about EPSS (Electronic Performance Support System) or just in time in-app help have a look here.

 

 

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett And Oprah All Use The 5-Hour Rule

Article featured: Inc., Time, Observer, Business.com, Life Hacker, & Yahoo.

In the article “Malcolm Gladwell got us wrong”, the researchers behind the 10,000-hour rule set the record straight: different fields require different amounts of deliberate practice in order to become world class.

If 10,000 hours isn’t an absolute rule that applies across fields, what does it really take to become world class in the world of work?

Over the last year, I’ve explored the personal history of many widely-admired business leaders like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg in order to understand how they apply the principles of deliberate practice.

What I’ve done does not qualify as an academic study, but it does reveal a surprising pattern.

Many of these leaders, despite being extremely busy, set aside at least an hour a day (or five hours a week) over their entire career for activities that could be classified as deliberate practice or learning.

I call this phenomenon the 5-hour rule.

How the best leaders follow the 5-hour rule

For the leaders I tracked, the 5-hour rule often fell into three buckets: reading, reflection, and experimentation.

1. Read

According to an HBR article, “Nike founder Phil Knight so reveres his library that in it you have to take off your shoes and bow.”

Oprah Winfrey credits books with much of her success: “Books were my pass to personal freedom.” She has shared her reading habit with the world via her book club.

These two are not alone. Consider the extreme reading habits of other billionaire entrepreneurs:

  • Warren Buffett spends five to six hours per day reading five newspapers and 500 pages of corporate reports.
  • Bill Gates reads 50 books per year.
  • Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book every two weeks.
  • Elon Musk grew up reading two books a day, according to his brother.
  • Mark Cuban reads more than 3 hours every day.
  • Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot, reads two hours a day.
  • Billionaire entrepreneur David Rubenstein reads six books a week.
  • Dan Gilbert, self-made billionaire and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, reads one to two hours a day.

2. Reflect

Other times, the 5-hour rule takes the form of reflection and thinking time.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong makes his senior team spend four hours per week just thinking. Jack Dorsey is a serial wanderer. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner schedules two hours of thinking time per day. Brian Scudamore, the founder of the 250 million-dollar company, O2E Brands, spends 10 hours a week just thinking.

When Reid Hoffman needs help thinking through an idea, he calls one of his pals: Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, or Elon Musk. When billionaire Ray Dalio makes a mistake, he logs it into a system that is public to all employees at his company. Then, he schedules time with his team to find the root cause. Billionaire entrepreneur Sara Blakely is a long-time journaler. In one interview, she shared that she has over 20 notebooks where she logged the terrible things that happened to her and the gifts that have unfolded as a result.

3. Experiment

Finally, the 5-hour rule takes the form of rapid experimentation.

Throughout his life, Ben Franklin set aside time for experimentation, masterminding with like-minded individuals, and tracking his virtues. Google famously allowed employees to experiment with new projects with 20% of their work time. Facebook encourages experimentation through Hack-A-Months.

The largest example of experimentation might be Thomas Edison. Even though he was a genius, Edison approached new inventions with humility. He would identify every possible solution and then systematically test each one of them. According to one of his biographers, “Although he understood the theories of his day, he found them useless in solving unknown problems.”

He took the approach to such an extreme that his competitor, Nikola Tesla, had this to say about the trial-and-error approach: “If [Edison] had a needle to find in a haystack, he would not stop to reason where it was most likely to be, he would proceed at once with the feverish diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search.”

The power of the 5-hour rule: improvement rate

People who apply the 5-hour rule in the world of work have an advantage. The idea of deliberate practice versus just working hard is often confused. Also, most professionals focus on productivity and efficiency, not improvement rate. As a result, just five hours of deliberate learning a week can set you apart.

Billionaire entrepreneur Marc Andreessen poignantly talked about improvement rate in a recent interview. “I think the archetype/myth of the 22-year-old founder has been blown completely out of proportion… I think skill acquisition, literally the acquisition of skills and how to do things, is just dramatically underrated. People are overvaluing the value of just jumping into the deep-end of the pool, because like the reality is that people who jump into the deep end of the pool drown. Like, there’s a reason why there are so many stories about Mark Zuckerberg. There aren’t that many Mark Zuckerbergs. Most of them are still floating face down in the pool. And so, for most of us, it’s a good idea to get skills.”

Later in the interview he adds, “The really great CEOs, if you spend time with them, you would find this to be true of Mark [Zuckerberg] today or of any of the great CEOs of today or the past, they are really encyclopedic of their knowledge of how to run a company, and it’s very hard to just intuit all of that in your early 20s. The path that makes much more sense for most people is to spend 5–10 years getting skills.”

We should look at learning like we look at exercise.

We need to move beyond the cliche, “Life-long learning is good,” and think more deeply about what the minimum amount of learning the average person should do per day in order to have a sustainable and successful career.

Just as we have minimum recommended dosages of vitamins, steps per day, and aerobic exercise for leading a healthy life physically, we should be more rigorous about how we as an information society think about the minimum doses of deliberate learning for leading a healthy life economically.

The long-term effects of NOT learning are just as insidious as the long-term effects of not having a healthy lifestyle. The CEO of AT&T makes this point loud and clear in an interview with the New York Times; he says that those who don’t spend at least 5 to 10 hours a week learning online “will obsolete themselves with technology.”

Source: Michael Simmons

5-Hour Rule: If you’re not spending 5 hours per week learning, you’re being irresponsible

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none. Zero.”

Source: Charlie Munger, Self-made billionaire & Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner.

Why did the busiest person in the world, former president Barack Obama, read an hour a day while in office?

Why has the best investor in history, Warren Buffett, invested 80% of his time in reading and thinking throughout his career?

Why has the world’s richest person, Bill Gates, read a book a week during his career? And why has he taken a yearly two-week reading vacation throughout his entire career?

Why do the world’s smartest and busiest people find one hour a day for deliberate learning (the 5-hour rule), while others make excuses about how busy they are?

What do they see that others don’t?

The answer is simple: Learning is the single best investment of our time that we can make. Or as Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

This insight is fundamental to succeeding in our knowledge economy, yet few people realize it. Luckily, once you do understand the value of knowledge, it’s simple to get more of it. Just dedicate yourself to constant learning.

Knowledge is the new money “Intellectual capital will always trump financial capital.”

Source: Paul Tudor Jones, self-made billionaire entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist

We spend our lives collecting, spending, lusting after, and worrying about money — in fact, when we say we “don’t have time” to learn something new, it’s usually because we are feverishly devoting our time to earning money, but something is happening right now that’s changing the relationship between money and knowledge.

We are at the beginning of a period of what renowned futurist Peter Diamandis calls rapid demonetization, in which technology is rendering previously expensive products or services much cheaper — or even free.

This chart from Diamandis’ book Abundance shows how we’ve demonetized $900,000 worth of products and services you might have purchased between 1969 and 1989.

This demonetization will accelerate in the future. Automated vehicle fleets will eliminate one of our biggest purchases: a car. Virtual reality will make expensive experiences, such as going to a concert or playing golf, instantly available at much lower cost. While the difference between reality and virtual reality is almost incomparable at the moment, the rate of improvement of VR is exponential.

While education and health care costs have risen, innovation in these fields will likely lead to eventual demonetization as well. Many higher educational institutions, for example, have legacy costs to support multiple layers of hierarchy and to upkeep their campuses. Newer institutions are finding ways to dramatically lower costs by offering their services exclusively online, focusing only on training for in-demand, high-paying skills, or having employers who recruit students subsidize the cost of tuition.

Finally, new devices and technologies, such as CRISPR, the XPrize Tricorder, better diagnostics via artificial intelligence, and reduced cost of genomic sequencing will revolutionize the healthcare system. These technologies and other ones like them will dramatically lower the average cost of healthcare by focusing on prevention rather than cure and management.

While goods and services are becoming demonetized, knowledge is becoming increasingly valuable.

Perhaps the best example of the rising value of certain forms of knowledge is the self-driving car industry. Sebastian Thrun, founder of Google X and Google’s self-driving car team, gives the example of Uber paying $700 million for Otto, a six-month-old company with 70 employees, and of GM spending $1 billion on their acquisition of Cruise. He concludes that in this industry, “The going rate for talent these days is $10 million.”

That’s $10 million per skilled worker, and while that’s the most stunning example, it’s not just true for incredibly rare and lucrative technical skills. People who identify skills needed for future jobs — e.g., data analyst, product designer, physical therapist — and quickly learn them are poised to win.

Those who work really hard throughout their career but don’t take time out of their schedule to constantly learn will be the new “at-risk” group. They risk remaining stuck on the bottom rung of global competition, and they risk losing their jobs to automation, just as blue-collar workers did between 2000 and 2010 when robots replaced 85 percent of manufacturing jobs.

Why? People at the bottom of the economic ladder are being squeezed more and compensated less, while those at the top have more opportunities and are paid more than ever before. The irony is that the problem isn’t a lack of jobs. Rather, it’s a lack of people with the right skills and knowledge to fill the jobs.

An Atlantic article captures the paradox: “Employers across industries and regions have complained for years about a lack of skilled workers, and their complaints are borne out in U.S. employment data. In July [2015], the number of job postings reached its highest level ever, at 5.8 million, and the unemployment rate was comfortably below the post-World War II average. But, at the same time, over 17 million Americans are either unemployed, not working but interested in finding work, or doing part-time work but aspiring to full-time work.”

In short, we can see how at a fundamental level knowledge is gradually becoming its own important and unique form of currency. In other words, knowledge is the new money. Similar to money, knowledge often serves as a medium of exchange and store of value.

But, unlike money, when you use knowledge or give it away, you don’t lose it. Transferring knowledge anywhere in the world is free and instant. Its value compounds over time faster than money. It can be converted into many things, including things that money can’t buy, such as authentic relationships and high levels of subjective well-being. It helps you accomplish your goals faster and better. It’s fun to acquire. It makes your brain work better. It expands your vocabulary, making you a better communicator. It helps you think bigger and beyond your circumstances. It puts your life in perspective by essentially helping you live many lives in one life through other people’s experiences and wisdom.

Former President Obama perfectly explains why he was so committed to reading during his Presidency in a recent New York Times interview: “At a time when events move so quickly and so much information is transmitted,” he said, reading gave him the ability to occasionally “slow down and get perspective” and “the ability to get in somebody else’s shoes.” These two things, he added, “have been invaluable to me. Whether they’ve made me a better president I can’t say. But what I can say is that they have allowed me to sort of maintain my balance during the course of eight years, because this is a place that comes at you hard and fast and doesn’t let up.”

6 essentials skills to master the new knowledge economy

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Source: Alvin Toffler

So, how do we learn the right knowledge and have it pay off for us? The six points below serve as a framework to help you begin to answer this question.

  1. Identify valuable knowledge at the right time. The value of knowledge isn’t static. It changes as a function of how valuable other people consider it and how rare it is. As new technologies mature and reshape industries, there is often a deficit of people with the needed skills, which creates the potential for high compensation. Because of the high compensation, more people are quickly trained, and the average compensation decreases.
  2. Learn and master that knowledge quickly. Opportunity windows are temporary in nature. Individuals must take advantage of them when they see them. This means being able to learn new skills quickly. After reading thousands of books, I’ve found that understanding and using mental models is one of the most universal skills that EVERYONE should learn. It provides a strong foundation of knowledge that applies across every field. So when you jump into a new field, you have preexisting knowledge you can use to learn faster.
  3. Communicate the value of your skills to others. People with the same skills can command wildly different salaries and fees based on how well they’re able to communicate and persuade others. This ability convinces others that the skills you have are valuable is a “multiplier skill.” Many people spend years mastering an underlying technical skill and virtually no time mastering this multiplier skill.
  4. Convert knowledge into money and results. There are many ways to transform knowledge into value in your life. A few examples include finding and getting a job that pays well, getting a raise, building a successful business, selling your knowledge as a consultant, and building your reputation by becoming a thought leader.
  5. Learn how to financially invest in learning to get the highest return. Each of us needs to find the right “portfolio” of books, online courses, and certificate/degree programs to help us achieve our goals within our budget. To get the right portfolio, we need to apply financial terms — such as return on investment, risk management, hurdle rate, hedging, and diversification — to our thinking on knowledge investment.
  6. Master the skill of learning how to learn. Doing so exponentially increases the value of every hour we devote to learning (our learning rate). Our learning rate determines how quickly our knowledge compounds over time. Consider someone who reads and retains one book a week versus someone who takes 10 days to read a book. Over the course of a year, a 30% difference compounds to one person reading 85 more books.

To shift our focus from being overly obsessed with money to a more savvy and realistic quest for knowledge, we need to stop thinking that we only acquire knowledge from 5 to 22 years old, and that then we can get a job and mentally coast through the rest of our lives if we work hard. To survive and thrive in this new era, we must constantly learn.

Working hard is the industrial era approach to getting ahead. Learning hard is the knowledge economy equivalent.

Just as we have minimum recommended dosages of vitamins, steps per day, and minutes of aerobic exercise for maintaining physical health, we need to be rigorous about the minimum dose of deliberate learning that will maintain our economic health. The long-term effects of intellectual complacency are just as insidious as the long-term effects of not exercising, eating well, or sleeping enough. Not learning at least 5 hours per week (the 5-hour rule) is the smoking of the 21st century and this article is the warning label.

Don’t be lazy. Don’t make excuses. Just get it done.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Source: Mahatma Gandhi

Before his daughter was born, successful entrepreneur Ben Clarke focused on deliberate learning every day from 6:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. for five years (2,000+ hours), but when his daughter was born, he decided to replace his learning time with daddy-daughter time. This is the point at which most people would give up on their learning ritual.

Instead of doing that, Ben decided to change his daily work schedule. He shortened the number of hours he worked on his to do list in order to make room for his learning ritual. Keep in mind that Ben oversees 200+ employees at his company, The Shipyard, and is always busy. In his words, “By working less and learning more, I might seem to get less done in a day, but I get dramatically more done in my year and in my career.” This wasn’t an easy decision by any means, but it reflects the type of difficult decisions that we all need to start making. Even if you’re just an entry-level employee, there’s no excuse. You can find mini learning periods during your downtimes (commutes, lunch breaks, slow times).

Even 15 minutes per day will add up to nearly 100 hours over a year. Time and energy should not be excuses.

Rather, they are difficult, but overcomable challenges. By being one of the few people who rises to this challenge, you reap that much more in reward.

We often believe we can’t afford the time it takes, but the opposite is true: None of us can afford not to learn.

Learning is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity.

Start your learning ritual today with these three steps

The busiest, most successful people in the world find at least an hour to learn EVERY DAY. So can you!

Just three steps are needed to create your own learning ritual:

  1. Find the time for reading and learning even if you are really busy and overwhelmed.
  2. Stay consistent on using that “found” time without procrastinating or falling prey to distraction.
  3. Increase the results you receive from each hour of learning by using proven hacks that help you remember and apply what you learn.

Source: Michael Simmons

Modernes Lernen: 10 digitale Lerntrends

Blended Learning

Unangefochten steht Blended Learning auf Platz 1, wenn es um die beliebteste Lernform in der betrieblichen Weiterbildung geht. Blended Learning schafft es, die verschiedenen Anforderungen aus ortsunabhängigem und zeitlich flexiblem Lernen mit Präsentveranstaltungen geschickt zu kombinieren. Dabei spielt insbesondere die Kombination der Lernmedien für die unterschiedlichsten Lernziele und Zielgruppen eine wichtige Rolle. Blended Learning wird auch in den nächsten Jahren eine sehr starke Rolle in der betrieblichen und auch in der privaten Weiterbildung spielen.

Social Learning

Social Learning nimmt in unserem Alltag eine immer stärkere Rolle ein, ohne dass wir uns dessen direkt bewusst sind. Tagtäglich stöbern wir bei Fragen in irgendwelchen Foren, fragen Xing oder Facebook-Communities in persönlichen und beruflichen Fragen um Rat. Oder wir konsultieren zu einer Problemstellung Youtube. Wir nutzen also Social Media ganz aktiv, wenn uns Antworten fehlen und wir nicht weiterkommen. Genau das macht Social Learning aus: Informelle, selbstorganisierte und vernetzte Suche nach Antworten auf Fragen; Aktives Lernen, Wissen generieren in einem sozialen Umfeld. Nutzung dieser Methode wird vor dem Hintergrund komplexer Fragestellungen noch zunehmen.

Beispiel: Einen integrierter Bestandteil von SAP Learning Hub der eLearning Plattform von SAP stellen die sogenannten Learning Rooms dar. Im Gegensatz zu MOOCs sind virtuelle Learning Rooms kleinere, geschlossene Gruppen und Kurse, die von einem Online Dozenten/Trainer auf der SAP eigenen Social Media Plattform SAP Jam schnell eingerichtet und aufgesetzt werden können. Learning Rooms ergänzen Klassenraumschulungen und E-Learning-Angebote, indem sie den Teilnehmern ermöglichen, Fragen zu stellen, zusätzliche Übungen zu bearbeiten, sich untereinander auszutauschen, gemeinsam an Dokumenten zu arbeiten und Feedback vom Trainer zu erhalten. Vor allem aber werden sie genutzt, um die Lerner auch während der Transferfase aktiv zu unterstützen. Oft treten Verständnisprobleme erst dann auf, wenn Lerner versuchen, das Erlernte anzuwenden. Durch den Learning Room können sie auch in dieser Phase immer wieder Fragen an den Trainer stellen, interaktive Übungen und Beispiele nutzen sowie von den Erfahrungen der anderen Lerner profitieren. Typischerweise werden Learning Rooms bereits in der Vorbereitungsphase eingesetzt und unterstützen die Teilnehmer über einige Wochen bis zum Abschluss der Transferphase. Durch die Nutzung der SAP eigenen Social Media Plattform SAP Jam, können Learning Rooms nicht nur für Mitarbeiter, sondern auch für Kunden und Partner mit vielfältigen Funktionen und Inhalten eingerichtet werden.

Corporate Learning / Workplace Learning

Die Zunahme von komplexen Problemen stellt Unternehmen immer stärker vor der Situation, dass das vorhandene Wissen nicht ausreicht bzw. gar nicht definiert werden kann, welches Wissen genau gebraucht wird. Die Zunahme an Agilität erfordert neue Formen der Zusammenarbeit und des betrieblichen Lernens. Das Lernen am Arbeitsplatz ist ein situatives und problembezogenes Lernen. Auf der einen Seite wendet sich der Lerner mit Problemen direkt an seine Kollegen. Gemeinsam führen sie dann eine Lösung herbei. Andererseits kann der Lerner neben seinen Kollegen Unterstützung von Coaches, Wikis, Corporate Blogs o.ä. einholen. Darüber hinaus etablieren moderne Unternehmen aktive Lernzeiten. Sie wissen, dass das Lernen, Vernetzung und Problemlösung heute echte Wettbewerbsfaktoren sind.

Mobile Learning

Zeitliche und räumliche Flexibilität sind die meist genannten Vorteile des mobilen Lernens. Mitarbeiter sind immer weniger in Büros und arbeiten viel stärker von unterwegs oder aus dem Home-Office heraus. Die Anzahl von mobilen und flexiblen Arbeitsplätzen wird noch ansteigen. Eine Kernanforderung des Mobile Learning ist, Lerninhalte und Features für mobile Endgeräte kompatibel zu gestalten. Denn Smartphone und Tablets etablieren sich immer konsequenter als Arbeitsmittel im Business.

Beispiel: SAP Learning Hub. Bauen Sie Ihre SAP-Kenntnisse aus und halten Sie sie auf dem neuesten Stand – mit SAP Learning Hub. Die SAP Lösung für Online-Schulungen und Wissenstransfer bietet einfachen Zugang zu den neuesten SAP-Schulungsinhalten und einer grossen Community von Lernenden. Nutzen Sie E-Learning-Kurse im eigenen Tempo, Onlinekurse, von Experten geleitete Live-Sitzungen und kooperative Räume für soziales Lernen – an jedem Ort und zu jeder Zeit wann immer Sie wollen. Das sehr attraktive Lizenzierungsmodell weist geringere Kosten auf als diejenigen Kosten welche bei einer typischen zweitägigen Präsenzschulung anfallen. Zugriff jedoch für ein ganzes Jahr!

Micro Learning

Kleine, inhaltsbezogene „Lern-Snacks“, die live via Kurzwebinar oder contentbasiert abrufbar sind, werden immer beliebter. Das moderne Business ist gekennzeichnet durch häufige Unterbrechungen und Themenwechsel. Dabei rückt das Bedürfnis in den Mittelpunkt, den Lernumfang möglichst kurz und knapp zu halten, reduziert auf die wichtigsten Informationen & News. Das hat den Vorteil, dass kurze Lerneinheiten „on the job“ konsumiert werden können und diese im besten Falle auf mobile Endgeräten über ein Electronic Performance Support System  (EPSS) kontext-sensitiv, just in time zur Verfügung gestellt warden. Der Anwender braucht nicht mehr nach Hilfe zu suchen, die Hilfe findet den Anwender kontext-sensitiv, rollenspezifisch und zum richtigen Zeitpunkt und dies unabhängig von der zugrunde liegenden Infrastruktur

MOOCs

Massively Open Online Courses. Im allgemeinen Sprachgebrauch werden sie einfach MOOCs genannt. MOOCs sind internetbasierte Kurse. Das besondere an MOOC-Konzepten ist, dass sie häufig eine theoretisch unbegrenzte Anzahl an Teilnehmern ermöglichen. Die Gestaltung dieser Kurse erfolgt stark contentbasiert mit Videos, Audios und Skripten. Die Lehrende und Lernende tauschen sich inhaltlich in den Foren, via Chat oder im Live-Webinar aus. Darüber hinaus können sie auch untereinander Lerngemeinschaften bilden. MOOCs liegen auch deshalb im Trend, weil Wissen meist auf ganz hohem, häufig universitärem Niveau für eine breite Masse zugänglich gemacht wird.

Beispiel: Kostenlose SAP-Schulung: openSAP. Erfahren Sie kostenlos mehr über SAP-Innovationen, und zwar wann, wo und wie Sie möchten. Die SAP innovative Plattform openSAP für unternehmensspezifische Online-Kurse (MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses) bietet eine flexible, motivierende und spielerische Lernumgebung für den Einstieg in SAP.

Virtual Reality

Virtual und Augmented Reality wird das Lernen und das Lernerlebnis auf ein „neues Level“ heben. Dabei sprechen wir über eine Realität, die nur virtuell existiert. Und trotzdem kann man sich in der virtuellen Welt ganz normal bewegen, Erfahrungen sammeln und in die virtuellen Situationen eintauchen. Die Fortschritte, die in jüngster Zeit erzielt wurden, sind beeindruckend und vielversprechend. Beide Möglichkeiten finden immer stärkere Anwendung, sowohl im privaten Umfeld als auch in der Wirtschaft – und auch in der Lernumgebung wird fleissig experimentiert. Die Ergebnisse lassen das enorme Potential bereits erahnen.

Game Based Learning

Durch die Forschung ist längst nachgewiesen, dass der grösste Lernerfolg durch Freude am  Ausprobieren und Spielen erzielt werden kann. Diese Antriebskraft wird durch Game Based Learning in den beruflichen Kontext übertragen. Die Entwickler von Game Based Learning möchten insbesondere die Lernmotivation der Nutzer durch das Spielen anregen. Durch das Kitzeln des Spieltriebs sollen die Produktivität der Lernenden sowie die Motivation, kniffelige und komplexe Aufgaben zu lösen, gefördert werden. Kreatives Denken, Hinterfragen und Teamarbeit stehen bei Game Based Learning im Fokus. Hierbei geht es um die Fähigkeiten, die Lösung komplexer Problemstellungen zu erreichen bzw. dazu beizutragen.

Beispiel: SAP Learning Hub Gamification

Lernen

Lebenslanges Lernen bekommt eine völlig neue Bedeutung und Intensität. Lernen wird zum anerkannten, festen Bestandteil entlang der gesamten Bildungskarriere und während der gesamten Lebensspanne. Wissen hat sich zum exklusiven Wettbewerbsfaktor entwickelt. Allerdings wird die Halbwertzeit des Wissens immer kürzer. Daher wird Lebenslanges Lernen immer bedeutsamer und setzt auf die Selbstkompetenz der einzelnen Menschen. Lebenslanges Lernen bietet die Möglichkeiten zur individuellen und beruflichen Weiterentwicklung.

Flipped Classroom

Eine Lernmethode, die insbesondere in Hochschulen, Fernuniversitäten usw. verstärkt eingesetzt wird. Ziel des Flipped Classrooms ist eine effizientere und praxisbezogenere Nutzung der Unterrichtszeit. Inhalte werden vorab online zur Verfügung gestellt und direkt vermittelt. In der Präsenzzeit werden die Inhalte direkt angewendet, reflektiert und auf die Praxis transferiert. Die klassische Unterrichtsmethode wird also einfach „auf den Kopf“ gestellt, damit Teilnehmer in der  Präsenzzeit effizienter lernen und das Wissen aktiv einsetzen.

Beispiel: Bei SAP typischerweise vor Kundenindividuelle Schulungen. Die Vorbereitung, Unterstützung und Repetition wird durch SAP Learning Hub unterstützt. Auf diese Weise können Schulungskosten erheblich reduziert werden wobei die Qualität des vermittelten Wissens sich erheblich erhöht.

 

Microlearning is an emergent learning strategy known for quickly closing skill and knowledge gaps

Microlearning (a.k.a. micro learning or micro-learning) is an emergent learning strategy known for quickly closing skill and knowledge gaps. It seems to be an ideal instructional approach for many situations because:

  • Information changes quickly
  • People find it difficult to keep up with things
  • Resources are freely available online
  • Newer technologies support it

What is Microlearning?

Some in the industry conceptualize microlearning as a small and informal self-directed learning experience arising from one’s personal learning environment, such as watching a Ted Talk or taking a lesson from Khan Academy.

Others think of microlearning as the planned organization of brief learning experiences designed to meet an extended learning goal. Still others think that microlearning is synonymous with performance support or mobile learning.

Characteristics of Microlearning

Regardless of whether it is used informally or as part of a structured learning experience, microlearning has a few consistent features.

  • Brevity: Microlearning events are short, though there is no defined duration.
  • Granularity: Due to their brevity and purpose, microlearning focuses on a narrow topic, concept or idea.
  • Variety: Microlearning content can be in the form of a presentation, activity, game, discussion, video, quiz, book chapter, or any other format from which someone learns.

Benefits

Like any type of learning intervention, microlearning has strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few of its benefits.

Immediate Results. One benefit of effective microlearning is that it enables a person to quickly close a small knowledge or skill gap. For example, some universities are using a microlearning strategy to help students learn about collaborative and social technologies, such as how to set up a Google+ account.

Diverse formats. For both unstructured and structured learning, microlearning has the potential for using a very blended approach to instruction.

Budget friendly. Production costs for microlearning should be much lower than the costs for a major course production. The vision of microlearning is smaller and laser focused.

Quick achievements. Because people can typically process around four bits of information at a time, it’s easier for a learner to achieve success from a short learning intervention. I’ve found this myself when studying a foreign language.

Ideal for tagging. Small chunks of instructional content can be tagged for easy search, access and reuse.

Fast-paced culture. Microlearning is a solution that busy workers will appreciate because it is not as disruptive as a day of training or even an hour or two of eLearning.

Disadvantages

There are some disadvantages to using a microlearning strategy. Here are some to consider:

Lack of research. There is insufficient research to know whether microlearning is an effective strategy for reaching long-term learning goals.

Learning fragments. For long-term learning goals, microlearning interventions could end up as content fragments that are not tied together.

Lack of cognitive synthesis. We can’t be certain that learners will synthesize content from microlearning well enough to construct appropriate mental models.

Potential for confusion. If a microlearning solution includes a wide variety of formats, some learners could have problems switching between them.

Most likely, many weaknesses in the approach can be fixed by sound instructional design practices, such as providing overviews, recursive content and ensuring there is sufficient content integration.

Some Ways to Use Microlearning

Very brief lessons and learning activities are becoming more common. When the audience and content can benefit from extreme chunking, well-designed microlearning seems to be a good strategy. Some example uses:

  • Learning languages or topics that require repetition
  • Learning a software application
  • Business processes and procedures
  • Interacting with case studies
  • Practicing micro skills that build into larger skills
  • Applying best practices

Source:

“I see and I forget. I hear and I remember. I do and I understand!“ Source: Confucius

The Learning Pyramid

There are various methods a learner can engage in which will allow them to learn information at various percentages of retention. The Learning Pyramid, researched and created by the National training Laboratories in Betel, Maine, illustrates the percentage of learner recall that is associated with various approaches.  The first four levels (lecture, reading, audio visual and demonstration) are passive learning methods.  In contrast, the bottom three levels (discussion group, practice by doing and teach others are participatory (active) learning methods.  The Learning Pyramid clearly illustrates that active participation in the learning process results in a higher retention of learning.

Learning Pyramid

Based on the research, the least effective method would be a lecture.  Long term retention rates of a typical lecture, where an individual merely stands in front of people and talks is considered to be around 5%.  However, if people get actively involved and collaborate with others his or her retention rate dramatically increases.  The difference in retention between passive and active (participatory) methods may be due to the extent of reflection and deep cognitive processing.

Conclusion

The Learning Pyramid demonstrates that the best methods for learning retention are at the Base of the Pyramid.

Therefore, it is best to design lessons and activities with this information in mind to ensure the learners are actively engaged in the learning process.  This is achieved through discussion groups, practice activities, collaboration and teaching others.

SAP Learning Hub:

Hone your skills with online training and enablement. Build SAP skills – and keep them up-to-date –with SAP Learning Hub. The online training and enablement solution offers easy access to the latest SAP education content and a whole community of learners. Harness self-paced e-learning courses, online classes, expert-led live sessions, and collaborative social learning rooms – from anywhere, for one affordable subscription fee.

SAP Live Access

SAP Live Access gives you on-demand, live access to training systems from SAP Education for hands-on learning.  Watch the video below to find out more about SAP Live Access and how using it can enhance your SAP Learning Hub experience.

SAP Learning Hub: Doing, Simulation The right experience, Doing the Real Thing

I see and I forget. I hear and I remember.  I do and I understand!“ Source: Confucius

Forgetting Curve

Forgetting Curve by Herman Ebbinghaus

If I were to ask you what you had for breakfast today, your reply would be an instantaneous one. It isn’t quite going to be the case if I ask what you had for dinner a month ago. We’re creatures who keep forgetting things!

As a matter of fact, we forget 80% of what we learned in 30 days as shown in this diagram featuring the “Forgetting Curve” by Herman Ebbinghaus, a German Psychologist.EI Design Forgetting curve

Formal learning, as you may be aware, takes place for a few days in a year. Now view this from the prism of the Forgetting Curve and you’re bound to have second thoughts about your investments on using only formal training to make the kind of impact you’d like on your learner performance.

So What’s The Way Forward?

A great way to address this challenge is to have a blend of both formal and informal training and offer a solution that treats “Learning as a continuum”.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Ascertain the portions from your formal training program that you want your learners to remember, check, refer or apply, and use Performance Support Tools (PSTs) to reinforce those messages.
  • Design your PST nuggets to be stand-alone assets aligned to specific learning outcomes.
  • Weave your training nuggets into a “learning path” and keep the knowledge thread relevant and in appropriate order over the course of your identified training period.
  • Combine the power of reinforcement with new assets for higher recall, retention, and application of the knowledge gained on-the-job.

The result? You’ll be able to see a dip in your formal training costs and an increase in learner productivity and performance.