L&D Digest

Podcasts and Minecraft in workplace L&D

L&D Digest for February 2021 cover photo

L&D Digest is your monthly rundown of the most important L&D news from European and global Learning and Development sources.

The results of the Global Sentiment Survey 2021 are out there and after a year like 2020, the surprising insights may not surprise. L&D Digest for February 2021 also brings interesting news about the use of podcasts in workplace L&D, the innovative way in which data may transform learning, the reasons learners benefit from active learning, and more.

Global Sentiment Survey 2021 – results

In the last L&D Digest, we covered the different views on reskilling as a trend in 2021. However, the opinions that reskilling will not be a major focus of workplace L&D are scarce and the results of this year’s Donald H Taylor’s L&D Global Sentiment Survey prove it. 

As many as 13% of respondents deem reskilling to be the most important trend. Donald Taylor said the rate is historic for the first place in the survey. Collaborative/social learning takes the second position. At the beginning of last year, the trend was not as high up in the ranks. 

The third trend is learning analytics. Donald Taylor says it is getting reassessed in people’s minds. Here, at HCM Deck, we agree. To instill the right methodologies regarding data that truly has the right impact takes time, and it might be that we’ve leaped onto the opportunity with too much enthusiasm. It could be the right moment to think through our learning analytics practices this year.

Reassess learning analytics practices with global experts. Take part in the free online L&D Meetup #LearningAnalytics on March 31st.

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You can download the report covering the survey results here.

Podcasts – do they have a future in L&D?

The French portal FocusRH gives the example of the French branch of Kellogg’s that recently commissioned a series of podcasts for their employees covering topics such as brand perception or meeting efficiency. The company now has 5 podcast channels, 5000 hours of content, and thinks of new series on the company’s CSR strategy.

The article cites the founder of a podcasting company Tootak, Pierre Denis, saying that it perfectly binds soft skills and know-how. It is also a powerful instructional tool as it requires clear language and gives the possibility for the listener to create their own mental image. Such podcasting courses include the evaluation modules with tight KPIs. 

Data that drive the learning experience

In the HR Exchange Networks’ podcast, David Rice met with Detlef Hold, Head of Digital Learning Experience at Roche to discuss how data drives learning experience. The guest suggests that the most common use of analytics in HR and L&D experience today starts with the question “What’s your virtual experience like?” followed by “How can we improve it?”. 

In terms of the learning experience, the indicators that play a key role are satisfaction and application of knowledge. The trend Hold sees in the learning experience is adaptive learning that collects data about learner’s needs. Regarding the form, the tools, the design of the course, and the level of knowledge they have. Other ones would be collaborative learning and the efficiency at work that learning can drive. 

Skill data crucial to successful L&D strategy

In her article for the Chief Learning Officer, Kelly Palmer praises the practice of skill analysis as the essential component of the modern L&D strategy. 55% of employees claim their tasks have changes in lockdown. Subsequently, to ignore the need for them to acquire new competencies would be unwise. To that end, she suggests diagnosing skills frequently and reevaluating the insights more often than once or twice a year. 

Conduct an effective skills analysis in your organization.

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How to conduct SixSigma training using Minecraft. PepsiCo Case Study

Traditional virtual tools failed him as the satisfaction rate from SixSigma training dropped to 25%. So Marco Rodriguez Tapia is the Master Black Belt of PepsiCo’s Lean Six Sigma training program for Europe, took inspiration from his 11-year-old son, and decided to use Minecraft for the course

The learning simulation is built inside the game and here is what the process looks like: “The Minecraft environment mimics an imaginary distribution company that produces pallets of different products. The company needs to ship those pallets to the warehouse, which then will send them to customers based on the orders received. 

In the simulated factory, groups of eight to 12 players work in teams to collect different colored blocks and arrange them in order on a pallet according to a set of instructions. The teams have to work together to assign functions, check their work and identify ways to improve the process. As they progress, the challenges get more complicated, with blocks scattered around the space, broken elements, and missing parts. It requires participants to use more advanced problem-solving and teamwork skills to complete each challenge.”

The satisfaction rates from the training skyrocketed after the change.  

5 reasons for the effectiveness of active learning 

Training Industry published an article that reminds us why active learning is one of the most effective learning methods. 

Active learning is one of the forms of experiential learning that involves engaging the learner in debates and active use of knowledge that is just being acquired. Using these principles can serve as a stimulating force for your learners.

Here are the reasons why it is such a successful way of learning:

  1. Deep of Processing

The brain is involved in multiple processes at once – which increases the likelihood of retaining information. 

  1. Deliberate Practice

This involves producing something without much prior knowledge, it’s through the feedback from the instructor they get after their finished task that the learner retains knowledge. The learner pays attention to feedback and adjusts their knowledge and behavior accordingly. 

  1. Dual Coding

The learner acquires knowledge both through images and text. This activates different parts of the brain and thus reinforces memory.  This way, one can remember the information in two ways. The visuals, however, need to demonstrate the material, not serve as ornaments.

  1. Chunking

Material organized into 3 or 4 units gets absorbed by our minds easier. 

  1. Associations

This principle is about drawing from what we already know and applying it to the knowledge being newly acquired. The example that comes to mind is learning a new language. We start out by examining its grammatical structures, vocabulary, and idioms to the ones we are familiar with. Every next language one learns is compared with another one that is already known. 


How do you incorporate active learning in your e-learning courses? Do you use skill data frequently to inform your decisions? Do you have feedback for L&D Digest for February 2021 or suggestions for the next L&D Digest? Drop us an email!

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