The Time to Learn equation

Greater length of time spent learning + expert lead delivery = something valuable was learned.

Or some variation of that is the myth that most of us in L&D will never escape from.

I was looking at an infographic we created internally in sharing the success of our front line manager development programme. One of the things it clearly (and evidently proudly) states is that people received 65 hours worth of learning on the programme.

65 hours! That’s nearly two full working weeks of learning content.

27 hours of that learning content was off the shelf e-learning. Man. That’s just seriously painful. And it was mandatory too as part of the course! Really painful.

We’re in round two of this programme and we’ve shifted things dramatically on the e-learning front. We’ve bought a license to an authoring tool (Articulate Storyline) and we’re creating our own content for the programme outside of the statutory e-courses. We’re limiting ourselves to 20 minutes per e-course too. If we can’t deliver the content in that time, it’s back to the storyboard.

On our senior management development programme I’ve also taken that above equation and thrown it out the window. We’re providing a range of lengths for different learning content. So people have a mix of 2 hour masterclasses, 3 hour workshops or full day sessions. Again, for each of those lengths, it forces us to look at the content delivery and examine what needs to be included and why.

And of course, there’s the whole online element of learning with always on content. As I’ve admitted previously, this time round we’ve not touched that. But when you consider the complete range of learning content available either free or paid for, that learning equation just doesnt and can’t stack up.

Ultimately what this means is we’re looking more closely at the quality of learning. That’s always the single hardest argument to convince senior people in the business of and the single biggest win.


Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

One thought on “The Time to Learn equation”

  1. Thanks for the blog. An interesting take in content design – is their time in the programme for learners to devise their own learning content against key ideas or concepts. I have a colleague who’s says all content design should be banned – I don’t completely agree with him, but I do a bit. I think we ‘teach in’ too much.

    I like the idea of master classes and building ideas for self from someone else’s story.

    Thanks again

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