Online learning has been around for a long time now and its time for a change. We can understand the current state of online learning affairs as a continuum with two quite clear poles. At one end is the fast and furious, “do it anywhere, anytime” learning. We call this end of the continuum entertainment learning. It requires (and promotes) short attention span. It delivers snippets of low grade knowledge easily memorable, easily forgotten for immediate consumption only.
This approach to online learning is ‘trending’ at the moment with increasingly sophisticated animated and video engagement and also utilising some of the best in gamification techniques. This approach works well when all that is required is, what has become known as ‘surface learning’ - immediate and short term. The real danger with this approach is that it can create a sense that this is all learning and development is about - people believe that they don’t need to understand things in depth, that all learning is like watching a Netflix film, and that learning doesn’t need to penetrate far beneath the surface of their thinking and behaving.
At the other end of the continuum is the blended learning of the Open University - scholarly, knowledge rich and certified. This has been the door into professional qualifications for many years now. It requires time, a willingness to dig into topics in depth, and involvement in group sessions and tutoring relationship that help support deeper engagement with subjects of lasting value to the learner. Many shun this approach to online learning because of the time required, the cost and the fact that they don’t want a formal qualification at the end of their studies
A new approach to online learning has been developed and tested by Leap Professional. Combining the creativity of the new age of learning technology with the deeper engagement of researched content, the new Leadership Is ….. Series offers the depth and power of face to face learning, online. This is an online resource library built around standalone modules. the first six title have just been published and 30 further titles are planned over the next two years. It is for people who take their professional development as leaders seriously and want skills and new knowledge to make a real impact on themselves and on their organisations, on their teams and on their communities. It is designed to be personal, relevant to every context, and transformational in its impact.
It also takes leadership seriously removing it from the confusing melding of leadership and management that has characterised many development programmes over recent years. In addition it caters for people with different experiences of being in leadership - from those who aspire to becoming leaders to those who have been in formal leadership roles for years. New areas of knowledge as well as familiar topics are explored with a freshness that comes from tapping into the latest insights from neuroscience, organisation and business studies, psychotherapy, international studies, sustainability and complexity studies.