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Learnability The great challenge of Learning & Development

The concept of Learnability emerges today as a crucial strategy to face the great challenge of constant adaptation. It is defined as the capacity or ability of people to self-manage the permanent development of their talent. This attitude will determine their degree of commitment to the internal training plans of the organization to which they belong.


The "Learning & Development" (L&D) strategy sets new challenges on a personal and organisational level

In the current disruptive scenario, adaptability is a key factor in facing the great challenges marked by the rapid evolution of knowledge and the constant transformation of the job profiles demanded.

Traditionally, the internal training of companies and institutions was understood as an area of improvement and investment not always a priority. However, this new scenario of constant evolution and new market demands forces organisations to pay special attention to the professional development of people, a strategic issue on which their survival depends.

One of the facts that confirms this new strategic role of learning is the growth of investment in Learning & Developmet (L&D), more specifically in eLearning. Thus, in 2019, organizations are spending 59% more of their budget* than 3 years ago on this item.

LinkedIn Learning’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report: Key Findings.  Why 2019 is the Breakout Year for the Talent Developer. (2019)

Challenges of the new labor reality. Towards learning self-management

According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn in 2018* on the reality of internal training in organisations, one of the main challenges in the L&D field is to get employees to spend time learning. According to the more than 4000 respondents in this study, lack of time is the main reason why they cannot be involved as expected in the training activities promoted by the HR and L&D areas.

*LINKEDIN / LinkedIn Learning’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report. The Rise and Responsability of Talent Development in the New Labor Market (2018)

In 2016 the World Economic Forum (WEF) report on the future of employability highlighted that 65% of the jobs that will be developed in the future by those born around the year 2000 still do not exist.

*WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM /  The Future of Jobs Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Enero 2016)

In September 2018, the WEF’s new study on the future of employment points out in its conclusions that it is currently “an unquestionable need for workers to take personal responsibility for their own continuous learning and professional development “*.

*WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM /  The Future of Jobs Report 2018 Insight Report Centre for the New Economy and Society (2018)

So, how would we prioritise training in everyday work? How would we motivate employees and optimise the time they dedicate to learning?

These recurrent and also fundamental questions in the eLearning world relate to the growing interest in the development of Learnability in the organizational culture, and also to some of the current proposals for the design of learning experiences applied by L&D professionals.


Learnability concept

The concept of Learnability emerges in the current scenario of disruption as a crucial strategy to face the great challenge of change as a constant.

It can be defined as a personal attitude based on a conscious and active focus on the permanent development of one’s own talent. This attitude of empowerment and self-management of learning changes the traditional approach of internal training, perceived as a requirement of the organization, external to the individual. In the Learnability culture, learning is an integral part of people’s lives, it is an internal need and transforms their daily experience inside and outside the work space.

At this point, Learnability poses a challenge for designers of learning experiences, because it is not enough to prepare a complete and specialized training course and make a call for all employees to enroll, it is necessary to make the learning goals of individuals themselves, objectives recognized in the corporate culture.

In addition, beyond promoting a collective spirit of constant improvement, the development of this approach implies that training plans are designed under the fundamental premise of promoting empowerment and self-management of learning by the people who make up an organization. The main focus in the design of these training plans ceases to be content and focuses on people, their profiles, their habits and the way in which they learn.

Pay attention to the person to develop appropriate learning experiences

The credible profile of a current student is a professional with more than 2 years of experience in the world of work. University graduate and digital native. Enrolled in eLearning courses promoted by the HR and L&D area of your organization.


Learnability marks a design of learner-centred learning experiences

Most of the current questions in the field of instructional design have to do with understanding how the student learns and what kind of strategies can make their learning richer, more agile and can obtain a greater return on investment in training.

Under the umbrella of learnability, experts approach the process of designing learning experiences by focusing on key aspects such as:

  • Identification of the student’s abilities according to their specific profile of needs, preferences and competency level.
  • Construction of attractive training itineraries that capture the attention and reduce the abandonment rate.
  • Design of the interaction of didactic environments so that they are not alien to the daily experience of a typical student with interactive media.

Within this framework of general reflection in the field of L&D and more specifically in the design of learning experiences for Learnability, the three proposals outlined below gain strength among others.

Three design proposals under the Learnability pattern


The L&D takes note

The great challenge for the L&D sector today is to get the people who make up organisations to take responsibility for developing their own talent. To achieve this goal it is necessary to apply creative formulas in the design of training plans and that these are always focused on promoting self-learning. The inherent interactivity of eLearning is clearly the most propitious model to promote the empowerment and self-management necessary for the culture of Learnability.

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