When it comes to devising a learning and development strategy, businesses around the world are realising that a bit of creativity goes a long way when it comes to communicating the desired information in a manner that's both educational and engaging.
Providing staff with blocks of text to memorise or sitting them down in a dry lecture-style format may seem like the simplest way of getting a point across, but the reality is that these approaches are unlikely to result in strong levels of engagement and retention, making them a waste of time for HR, compliance and training managers, and for the workers you're trying to train.
As such, a new approach to providing educational content in a more visually engaging manner is gaining popularity in the corporate world. The term "dynamic learning objects" encompasses a range of different learning aids - including infographics, interactive 3D objects, video content or expandable images - but the unifying factor is that they all forego exhaustive text-based explanations in favour of a more targeted, visual approach, providing functional overviews in a much more accessible way.
With dynamic learning objects becoming increasingly widely used across both physical and online media channels, it's worth thinking about the ways in which they can augment your employee training and development, so as to make sure your organisation is not missing out on the benefits they can provide.
One of the greatest challenges when providing compliance training or learning sessions on complex topics is making sure that staff are able to grasp and retain the information being presented. When dealing with detailed processes or pages of statistics, this can be very difficult to achieve using words alone.
Dynamic learning objects offer an ideal solution to this problem, allowing you to create a visual representation of a statistical breakdown or an ideal workflow in a way that makes it easy to get a clear idea of the salient points at a glance.
Moreover, because the process of creating one of these resources will require your team to analyse and sort through the data, it could provide a great opportunity to identify and filter out any unnecessary information that only obscures the point you're trying to put across.
When working within a multidisciplinary organisation, your operations are often dependent upon interconnected relationships between different departments, events, categories, ideas and timeframes, and this is something your workers need to be aware of.
Dynamic learning objects can be a useful aid in this respect, as the visual nature of a video or an infographic makes it much easier to bridge the gaps between apparently disparate concepts, or to communicate an idea in the form of a chronological step-by-step narrative. This, in turn, helps your staff to understand their responsibilities within the framework of the larger organisation, ultimately driving greater cooperation and teamwork.
It's well-established that humans are highly visual learners, and that graphic content is often worth a thousand words when it comes to making an idea stick in a person's head.
However, there's more to dynamic learning objects than simply offering something more interesting to look at, as many companies are developing interactive resources that can be clicked through for more information, or images that explode to offer additional layers of detail where necessary. By giving your staff something more tactile to work with, you'll be able to engage them much more effectively than you would by simply having them stare at text in a classroom setting, leading to better retention and a greater return on investment.
It's also worth noting that offering bite-sized content that can be accessed at the moment of need is also likely to suit the way learners want to be engaged better than a prescriptive course, meaning these resources can provide ongoing value.
Dynamic learning objects can also ensure your approach to training is better able to adapt to recent advances in technology that have taken e-learning away from the desktop computer and towards an ever-broadening array of smart devices.
While plain text can be difficult to read on handheld touchscreen devices, an interactive graphic object will feel perfectly at home on a mobile interface. This means staff will be able to access and revisit the information they need from anywhere in the world, meaning their learning experiences don't need to be limited to designated training sessions.
In this hyper-connected age of social networking, it's important to realise that a well-executed dynamic learning object can serve as an advertising tool as much as an educational asset.
A good infographic or interactive guide that is shared via social media can quickly develop a reach far beyond the internal boundaries of your organisation, increasing general awareness of your brand and demonstrating your thought leadership credentials. Of course, not every dynamic learning object is created equal, and it'll take a lot of time and work to produce one that's good enough to go viral - but, as demonstrated, the potential rewards of those efforts are multifaceted and self-evident.
Summary: Dynamic learning objects can play a big role in making your staff learning and development efforts more accessible, engaging and effective.