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What do people really value in a lockdown learning experience?

Earlier this month, we released an independent poll with Prospectus Global that helped us better understand learners and how employers support them. This helped us gather lots of interesting and unique information about what kind of learning experiences people are interested in right now. Read on for highlights from our findings.

Who funded learning

One of the most surprising things we learned from our poll was that employers tend to invest in learning for their employers aged 49 to 59, and spend an average of £1,989 per learner. Younger learners between 16 and 29, in contrast, were 10% more likely to self-fund their learning and accounted for 60% of the total number of self-funded learners.

Avado’s CEO, Mark Creighton, said, “The research shows that a critical generation has been overlooked. It is clear that young people value learning highly, and what employers are failing to invest in them, they are taking on themselves. A lack of quality learning in this age group could prove difficult later for employers and the economy. For the UK economy to adapt, there must be an equal investment to help reduce the growing skills gap and invest in the future.”

How the pandemic affected learning

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has increased awareness among employers about the value of new skill development for their employees. A lot of organisations launched free learning programmes to help upskill their people, but what is surprising is that many of them – about 63% – didn’t consider to the reputation of the learning provider they were choosing.

The problem with that is it potentially exposes people to irrelevant learning. People chose the words “irrelevant” and “boring” as descriptors of a bad learning experience, and a lot of our interviewees weren’t sure how to identify what makes a high-quality programme. Only 26% saw the value in interacting with other learners and group learning activities, and the role both those activities have in an engaging experience.

“There’s a real problem here that people aren’t receiving a connected learning experience, or even understand what that is,” said Christine Olivier, our Learning Solutions Director. “There are many cases where fundamental elements of learning design are being left out, although many people don’t appear to realise what they are missing if they can’t spot a real learning provider.”

She went on to say that people need that social aspect of learning, and working through things with peers. “Avado’s learning designers try to prioritise this kind of connected learning with flexibility because we know that it is the best ways to solidify information and new skills, and this is more important than ever in our current virtual state.”

The learning that stood out

When we asked our interviewees what sector their learning was focused on, a fifth said IT skills and IT-related activities. Along with that focus on IT, the learning methods were really important, with self-paced studying the most highly rated, and tutor support coming in at a close second. They favoured a mix of live video and audio with recorded content, and 55% of learners believed learning methods were the most important thing when choosing a provider, followed by cost.

The learning outcomes

Below is a summary of all the benefits our interviewees experienced following their learning journeys. We were pleased to see that the majority of learners really value enjoying their learning, as that aligns with our commitment to a well-rounded and fun learning experience.

  • 90% of learners surveyed actively use what they learned in their day-to-day at work
  • 90% of learners felt they grew on a personal level as well as professional thanks to their learning experience
  • 98% said learning was either enjoyable, it built their confidence or it gave them a sense of accomplishment
  • 50% said the learning they were involved in was motivating
  • 49% felt that, along with specialised skills the programmes focused on, their general knowledge also improved

When asked specifically what kind of impact their learning had, our research showed that people enjoy learning and developing their careers, with 48% choosing to learn simply because they enjoy it and want to invest in their own growth and development. This was significantly more than the next most common reason, which was employer-mandated learning at 23%.

For more info on our connected learning philosophy, follow us on social media, take a look at how all our programmes are delivered, and read our blog post about how our learners have been affected by the pandemic.

About Avado

For more than 20 years, Avado have been providing professional training and qualifications that transform businesses. Last month, we relaunched our Marketing Academy with a new webinar series that will help your organisation evaluate its own digital maturity, and introduced you to our new taster classes, Labs and Workshops. Check it all out now!

Tara MacInnis

Posted November 11, 2020