Fostering Agile Learning and Development

Technologies, innovations and new markets are accelerating business and industries at an alarming rate. Customer behaviour is drastically changing, and the workforce are required to quickly adapt. For learning and development teams to be able to support and enable their workforce, learning and development teams need to adopt an agile learning strategy.

Agile learning refers to the approach of content development that focuses on speed, flexibility and collaboration. This relatively new learning trend comes from the Principles of Agile used in the software development. Agile learning design is one of the two instructional design methodologies. The other is ADDIE. ADDIE is a more traditional, linear approach to design and development and consists of five steps (Analyse, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate). This approach requires approval at each stage and assures accuracy. ADDIE is recommended to be used for academia or traditional workforce training development.

On the other hand, agile design uses an interactive and iterative approach to design that prioritises speed over anything else. This allows learning and development teams to focus on rapid iteration of ideas and a process to quickly create and refine training programmes throughout the lifecycle of development. Agile learning depends a lot on collaborative learning which allows everyone in the organisation to request, create and iterate learning courses. It also requires constant re-evaluation of learning goals and thus everyone’s input is important. Collaborative learning allows learning and development teams to leverage of skills and organisational knowledge and allows employees to share their knowledge and learn from one another. Agile learning thus helps everyone to feel included, connected and invested in their learning and work.

How to create an agile learning culture?

  1. Get company buy-in – ensure all stakeholders understand the benefit of agile learning and share your vision of the culture you want to create.
  2. Shift your processes – Instead of releasing a perfect course after a couple of months, implement quick development, then collect feedback and use the feedback to amend and improve the course.
  3. Create micro-courses – This allows the learning and development team to prioritise and build urgent courses, whilst improving engagement and boosting knowledge retention.
  4. Anyone can create – Empower everyone to participate in the learning process by giving them access and tools to create their own courses.


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