Learning Over Time Vs Information Dumping in the Workplace

Learning Over Time Vs Information Dumping in the Workplace

Damian Hehire-learning

Learning Over Time Vs Information Dumping in the Workplace

When a new worker joins your organisation, there is a lot of information and skills they need to learn. Similar situations can also apply to current employees if there are changes that need to be implemented such as the introduction of a new system, a significant change in procedure, or the launch of a new product.

In all these situations, training is an essential part of ensuring employees have the knowledge and skills they need. Your training strategy can take two different directions – allowing workers to learn over time or providing them with everything at once.

Which is the best approach? Does learning over time or doing an information dump get the best results?

Information Dumping

Giving learners all the information they need at once is, in theory, the accelerated approach. You will probably need to facilitate the learner by making time available for training and ensuring the e-learning courses and other training materials are well-structured and engaging.

Information dumping also allows you to get to the end of the project/task quicker so you can move on to the next stage. With the new employee onboarding process, for example, you can more definitively move the employee through the various onboarding stages, ticking the appropriate boxes as you go.

This approach also helps to meet deadlines, including commercial, legal, or compliance deadlines, so there are benefits.

Learning Over Time

While there are benefits to information dumping and it might even be essential in some situations, learning over time is often the more beneficial approach. There are four main reasons why you can get better medium and long-term results if you can facilitate a learning over time structure:

  • Avoids information overload.
  • People generally learn better when they have time, so knowledge retention rates can improve.
  • Learners are more motivated and engaged.
  • Nurtures a learning culture in your organisation.

Avoiding Information Overload

Our brains can only process and retain a fixed amount of information in a given period of time. So, even if the information is being presented at once, much of it is likely to be forgotten leading to the often-repeated phrase by workers: “there is a lot to take in”.

Learning over time avoids overloading learners with too much information and allows them to learn in stages, grasping a particular skill or topic area before moving on to the next.

Helps Knowledge Retention

Learning in chunks and then being able to apply that learning in day-to-day operations helps people learn and retain knowledge. There is also more opportunity with a learning over time approach to recap previously learned information before moving on to the next element or topic. This also helps improve knowledge retention.

Improves Motivation and Engagement

Motivation and engagement are crucial to the success of any training programme or strategy. You will face an uphill battle and will struggle to get the results you want if learners are resistant or disinterested in the training you are providing. On the flip side, motivated and engaged learners will get better results and they will help increase positivity around your training programme.

Helps Nurture a Continuous Learning Culture

The modern world of business is constantly changing, so organisations in all industries need their employees to continuously adapt, refine, and improve existing skills as well as learning new ones. This objective is much easier to achieve if there is a culture of continuous learning in the organisation.

Learning over time fits well with a continuous learning culture and helps to improve attitudes to training and development more generally.

The Role of E-Learning in Training Over Time

E-learning can be an effective tool if you need learners to go through large amounts of information in a short space of time. However, it is a particularly effective training tool if you adopt a learning over time strategy.

E-learning courses can be made available to learners to complete when it is most suitable or appropriate, plus you can create e-learning content that can be completed on any device. These features of e-learning enhance learning over time strategies.

Implementing a Learning Over Time Strategy

In most companies and situations, learning over time or information dumping is not a binary choice, i.e., it is not a case of choosing one over the other in all circumstances. For some training topics, information dumping will be necessary while in other situations a learning over time approach can be adopted. You can even use a hybrid approach where learners get some of the information on a particular topic area upfront with the rest made available to them over time.

A key factor in deciding on which approach is best for your organisation and training strategy is the results you want to achieve. What are your training objectives? Keeping a focus on training objectives ensures the structure and strategy you adopt will meet the needs of learners and your organisation.