Designing Learning Programs for a Hybrid Workplace - Deepstash
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Virtual learning

Virtual learning

The shift to remote and hybrid work is likely to be lasting or permanent for many organizations and has brought enormous amounts of anxiety about developing talent. This is largely because of the common misconception that formal and informal learning is best done when people are in the same room.

Just because you did most of your learning in physical classrooms doesn’t mean that it was the only or best way to learn.


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Great learning is about great design

Well-designed virtual learning has been shown to be as effective or better than in-person learning. This is because virtual learning can be scaled easily in ways that are accommodating and spaced to allow retaining information.

One meta-analysis of 96 studies showed virtual learning to be 19% more impactful than in-person learning. In-person learning can often undermine the quality of learning because spending many hours back-to-back leaves little time to digest or practice what’s being taught.


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Holding attention

Holding attention

Multitasking and distraction can be tempting when alternative activities are available. Here are two ways to keep people focused:

  • Make the content engaging. Engagement means making it clear how the knowledge is relevant to the learner, focusing on what's surprising, and confirming that the information is easy to understand.
  • Keep learners on their toes. Use unexpected polling, call on learners to contribute, keep it interactive and encourage learners to keep their cameras on.


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Managing energy

The world of hybrid work brings new sources of exhaustion. People are more likely to book themselves in back-to-back meetings than ever before and rarely get up from their desks for hours at a time. Seeing themselves on camera in virtual meetings can heighten self-awareness and drain energy.

Ways to mitigate this exhaustion:

  • Give it a rest. Ensure people are getting five to 10-minute breaks every 30 - 60 minutes of learning.
  • Encourage replenishing breaks. Encourage activities that shift perspective.
  • Encourage learners to stop looking at themselves on learning platforms.


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Making the social elements comfortable

Making the social elements comfortable

Breakout sessions are an important part of the learning experience where learners share insights and apply new knowledge together to solve problems.

  • Be prescriptive. Tell your learners what they're supposed to say and do. Assign roles, provide clear instruction and create a shared set of expectations.
  • Keep it short. Give people examples of what to talk about so they find it easy and comfortable using the time.


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