New Learning Opportunities Create Self-Directed Learners

New Learning Opportunities Create Self-Directed Learners
Summary: What if learning took care of itself in your organization? What if your staff knew what they needed to know, or learn, to do their job successfully? Would you say, great! Go for it. Or would you say, wait a minute not so fast. And then start thinking to yourself; I am (fill in the blank) director of training, or HR, or sales director, and I need to provide you with what I think you need.

New Learning Opportunities Create Self-Directed Learners

The above scenario goes to extremes to make its point. As learning professionals it is our job to understand how to provide learning opportunities to talent, but not to become a roadblock.

Remember - it's important to remain informed of new learning opportunities in whatever form they take - since so much is changing in how we learn and share information. Then, we can begin to review and analyze, and consider how individuals can be self-directed to find the right learning opportunity.

How Learning Delivery Is Changing

The list below identifies ways learning is changing; it shows how learning is becoming more user and learner focused, both in obtaining the learning needed and in creating it.

  • Learning is becoming more prespective.
  • Learning is focused on specific learner needs.
  • Learning is less catalog based.
  • Learners are more involved in their own learning.
  • "Pull" learning versus "push" learning is growing.
  • Opportunities for learning must be readily available from learning portals, through communities of learning, or as chunks of learning.
  • Learning and information needs to be indexed by keyword, learning objective or content area to be easily searchable by the  learner.
  • Collaborative learning is becoming mainstream.
  • As individuals work collectively, not everyone needs to know everything if someone in the work group has the knowledge.
  • Part of collaborative learning is the need for learning to be part of community. It's becoming the role of the learning team to create community as part of pre and post learning of any learning "event".
  • Communities of learning allow learners to ask questions and share knowledge.
  • Learners are defining their needs and finding what information they need at the moment they need it - in the middle of a project or assignment.
  • "Just-in-time" or "on-demand" learning is becoming the way of learning in organizations - this includes social, collaborative and informal learning.
  • Enterprise Learning or front - end portals are defining what the new LMS looks like and the features it must include.


As learners' needs change and technology becomes available to meet those demands, the business must respond to these changes. Companies are recognizing the requirement to build, buy or create enterprise learning portals to allow individuals to access course content, information, and knowledge material when it's needed. As learners continue to spearhead their own learning, learning professionals must foster learning opportunities. Through communities of learning, and encouraging collaborative working encouraging collaborative working environments that share knowledge openly, the business should begin to capture knowledge as tagged and indexed information.