In my recent post on fluency and expertise I argued for more learning experiences that integrate into the flow of work, rather than interrupt it (as traditional courses, Webinars, and conferences tend to do). I think Robert Burroughs has something similar in mind when he discusses the “death of the course” in one of our recent LMS interviews.
In both cases, short is key. Short, and highly focused to the needs of the learner.
An example of this in my own professional development is a year-long series of short videos I have subscribed to that provides highly useful techniques – frameworks, tools, processes – I can incorporate into my ongoing practice. I receive one of these every Monday. They are five minutes long – indeed, the instructor sets a timer for five minutes at the beginning of each. The time is brief, but the impact is substantial.
I have come to look forward to receiving these each week. It’s quite easy to incorporate five minutes into my day, and the videos always hit on issues that are of perennial interest to me. Sometimes they cover ground I have been over before, but that is perfectly okay – learning requires repetition, review, and opportunities for reflection. Often, however, they offer insights and techniques I have not considered.
I do still participate in longer events with this same provider – seminars, conferences – but a very powerful aspect of the short weekly videos is that they fill in the gaps between these longer events. As a result, this provider is an integrated (there’s that word again) part of my ongoing learning, not just an occasional player. As a result, I value the longer events more highly and I value the provider more highly.
Something to think about as you plot out your product strategy for the coming year. If you aren’t already doing it, consider going short.