Today, we launch the World Learning Content Clean-up Day #WLCCD (LinkedIn, Twitter). From now on, every March 21 will be focused on how you can update and refresh the learning content you have produced before. Join the movement, share the message, and tell us all about your best tips, tricks and experiences.
What is the problem?
Imagine being forced to learn something that is obsolete. It would be a waste of your precious time and energy to learn things that aren’t relevant anymore. It might even bring you and your organisation at risk if it’s compliance related. Or you might not be able to do certain tasks in a job you studied for. If content just adds up over the years in an attempt to be up to date, but there is no effort put in cleaning up obsolete information, it makes learning much harder and as a further risk, cognitive overload might arise.
Learning designers might get frustrated if they never have time to update and clean up the programmes they designed. And how about training providers or internal academies? What do you think would happen to their reputation if they delivered learning solutions with irrelevant content? So up-to-date content that is clean and sharp matters for every stakeholder related to learning.
Why is it so hard?
You might have heard that the half-life of knowledge is decreasing. In the field of science and engineering, it’s estimated that it’s about five years. That means that after those five years, half of what you learnt will be obsolete or irrelevant. We have to be aware that this half-time can vary widely depending on the domain. In some fields, it’s longer and in others, it’s shorter. An example of the latter is technology. Technological advancement is one important driver, but there are many more in this BANI world.
Currently, society seems to move from one crisis to another. As a result, even our deepest values, norms and beliefs may change. In the longer term, this could result in cultural change. Also, crises often lead to new legislation and compliance rules. Think about how fast new rules were introduced during the pandemic and what we then called ‘the new normal’. Are you aware of the status of all these rules, now that we have moved into the post-COVID era?
All of these changes make it crucial to check and update our learning content and performance support materials on a regular basis to stay relevant. But how do you arrange that?
Spread the word, share your experiences and let us know if and how you can help the rest of the community.
How to get started?
Internal learning professionals are aware of this need for regular updates. Training providers are aware of this. Performance support designers are aware of this as well. So, where’s the problem? They all have good intentions but I think many of you might recognise too, all those plans never get executed. “We will update our catalogue during the low season, like summer or Christmas holidays,” is something we often hear. Or: ”We have planned to do it first thing in the new year.” Nope. Something else always needed more attention and got priority, not once, not twice, but over and over again.
Those who do it well have put processes in place to help them achieve this important task. By initiating World Learning Content Clean-up Day, we aim to focus the discussion, and find and share some good and best practices. And that’s why we need you!