Dirty Learning | The need for Exponential Transformation in the Learning Space

​​Dirty Learning:

The need for Exponential Transformation in the Learning Space

Dirty Learning

The concept of “dirty learning” is a modernised phrase to what those in the educational circles refer to as “just-in-time” or “on-demand” learning.

- ​​​Cindy Londt -

Without a doubt, there is a need for exponential transformation within the learning space in the South African construct.  How do we become open to learn and adapt from our current mindset to one that considers a holistic approach to learning even if it is delivered in a less than ‘perfect’ way?

The concept of “dirty learning” is a modernised phrase to what those in the educational circles refer to as “just-in-time” or “on-demand” learning.  What exactly does “dirty-learning” entail?

We need to consider that a less than perfect, minimum viable product (MVP), so-called “dirty learning” option is more than feasible. Perhaps less conventional, we should be considering the following options to ensure that learning truly is just-in-time for maximum benefit:

  • Training video’s shot in one take – ‘bloopers’ included.
  • Short, sharp bit-learning recorded (video or audio) in a completely organic (natural) manner.
  • Selfie videos recorded by subject matter experts, either on the job, in the car or whilst in the gym.
  • A lesson plan that includes little to no content, however, filled with activities and open discussions.
  • Access to MOOC’s (massive online open courses) that are not customised and/or company-specific.
  • A mobile device really can help with learning; you can learn when you want and how you want.

Research and Development (R&D) Managers strive to ensure that learning content is quality assured, academically sound and experiential including activities that ensure workplace application. They spend a great deal of time ensuring that intellectual property meets the training needs identified by the organisation or individuals. It stands to reason then that most R&D Managers would be rather uncomfortable with the concept of dirty learning.

The Human Capital Community is faced with unprecedented challenges to ensure learning is relevant, just-in-time, credible and allows for learning at any time or in any place. Think about the incredible speed to which some Higher Education Institutions need to adapt to ensure the academic year can be finalized; considering Online classes, YouTube watch lists or Online Graduations, to name but a few. Most of these strategies are “dirty”.

In supporting the business operation with cost-effective, rapid, credible, relevant, self-sustaining, self-directed and engaging learning content, we need to do so at every level within the organisation; department, business unit, team and individual level.  Having months of lead time for curriculum design and content development is a luxury in our current reality. Therefore, it is our collective responsibility to adapt with speed and agility without losing credibility and quality to provide relevant dirty learning to our people when they need it.

The question should not be if “dirty learning” is a viable strategy, but rather how we integrate this strategy with other strategies to ensure a holistic approach that considers all constructs of the current global environment we find ourselves in.    The need for exponential transformation within the learning space is now!  We need to evaluate and rethink our approach to learning and skills acquisition.

Get in touch with Omni HR Consulting, should you wish to discuss opportunities to help your organisation move to digital learning platforms.  We can support e-Learning delivery, through our online e-learning platform, OmniStack, which is accessible through all electronic devices, including mobile.

Contributor: ​Cindy Londt
Operations Executive at Omni HR Consulting

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