While the work was done expeditiously, there was the unexpected opportunity to review our current curriculum, research best methods and modality and innovate with a growth mindset. Courses evolved to combine components of independent learning (pre-work) andvirtual instructor-led training(VILT). Working together, these components allowed space for neurodiversity and all learning styles. Independent learning allowed time for learners to self-reflect, take notes and absorb information in new ways. The VILT synchronous portions allowed for an even deeper dive into the course material as employees entered the virtual room with a foundational knowledge base.
While chaos and pressures swirled around the division, our decision to pause and reflect had significant positive outcomes. Our internal research found that employees had a 53% improvement in knowledge, skills and abilities. They also demonstrated a 96% retention rate of information within 14 days of the course.
Our ODT division also began using new modalities and authoring tools to enhance the learner experience. Asynchronous learning moved from initial fillable PDFs to Articulate 360 software and LinkedIn Learning courses. Both programs integrated with the organization’s existinglearning management system（LMS），工作日，创建一个无缝的过程。Articulate 360提供了一种新的交互式方式，使学习者能够插入媒体，“块”信息并检查知识活动，例如测验，匹配活动或决策情况。LinkedIn学习增强基础学习将在vilt会议前进行审查。
However, the greatest gift the organization received is equity. Virtual learning removed many barriers to training attendance. Most notable was the accessibility of training. Without the barriers of drive time, time off-site in a central classroom and a full day synchronous training, more employees were able to participate in trainings.
Now is the best time to innovate, be creative and practice a growth mindset. Is your organization’s strategy working? Why or why not? Keep what works and toss what no longer serves. There is no playbook. Each company’s needs are unique. Pierce County intends to stay in a virtual environment through 2022 with beta tests of small classes in person. It may work. It may not. The gift of uncertainty has led to some of the best L&D innovation that the organization has seen in years.
Moving forward, practitioners can embrace the chaos and challenge traditional L&D strategies. John F. Kennedy once said: “There is nothing more certain and unchanging than uncertainty and change.”
Change is inevitable and will remain, so a growth mindset and creativity are the important tools. The COVID-19 changes might be just what the industry needed — a gift of time and innovation.