Is binge-learning the next big thing for L&D?

by John Hilton11 Nov 2015
The concept of ‘binge learning’ is gathering momentum, particularly among young people.

It was recently announced that Deakin University students would be able to ‘binge learn’ post graduate units, and from January will be able to complete units online at the pace that suits them. This means that they could complete an entire course in just a few weeks.

The deputy vice-chancellor Beverley Oliver said that in this age of digital disruption universities should be flexible with the manner they offer education to students and allow more choice, in a similar way to Netflix. This would allow the students to avoid waiting several weeks until the trimester is over, she said.

In the workplace - which can be dominated by technology-loving Generation Y’s and Z’s - this can look like a particularly appealing idea.

Alla Keogh, head of people and culture at MYOB, said that whether ‘binge learning’ would be a good idea or not in the workplace would depend on the technology itself and how it would be combined with other forms of learning.

“I find that in our environment that very content rich theoretical learning has a place, but what really works is that experiential learning,” she said.

“Overwhelming people with huge amounts of content and not giving them time to reflect, a place to experiment, and build that capability with that new content, can sometimes be quite counterproductive.”

Further, Tammy Ryder, general manager of people at Minor DKL Food Group and The Coffee Club, recently spoke to L&D Professional about how their company is conscious of learners trying to complete their e-learning programs too quickly and not properly learning the required information.

One of the ways they address this is by timing the e-learning modules and sending standardised reports back to their franchisees cautioning them they people are progressing through the modules too quickly.

Meanwhile, Leila Wearing, Director Academie Accor & Talent Development at Accor Hotels said that their organisation is focusing on considering the working day of the learners and making sure it is translating to strong business performance.

She added that they are moving away from having learners out of the business for long periods of time and spending days at workshops.

“We run virtual classrooms that might run for half an hour or an hour, and they can access these in their lunch break, in the afternoon, etc,” she said.