My pedagogical experiences

Why Learning Paths are the best solution for your training processes

On several occasions, with different clients, I have come across the reality that they have large amounts of information, and it is just so hard for them to land it in an effective, short and adequate training process, and not to mention, keep that training process in a permanent updating. What can be done in these situations? 
     My recommendation for all my clients is to first make a deep analysis of his more relevant information, (because sometimes a client believes all his information is relevant, and the secret is, it is not all the time) and then, work that information to build a beautiful and effective Learning Path. But

What is a Learning Path?

A Learning Path (LP) is a sequence of courses tied together where the user has to progress it through. A LP helps the final user to build his knowledge and abilities in a specific area on a more enjoyable experience.

     Needless to say that every course has to have its own objectives, so you can keep tracking his progress and build better and specific evaluations.

Why build and use a Learning Path? 

A digital reality is the permanent production and actualization of information. This implies that training processes are “alive”, and that they require constant modifications and actualizations. This could be a very complex and expensive process. But, in my experience, having a methodology like a LP, allows you to granulate all your data into smaller and specific objectives, can bring you the possibility of working, updating and using that info in a different ways. Creating a Learning Path is the process of working your available (and relevant) information through a deep analysis; then connecting it in modules, so anyone can learn from it. 

     In a short way, a LP allows us to build educative structures easy to manipulate, actualize, and consume. 

What types of Learning Paths exist?

There are different kinds of Learning Paths (you can learn more about them here) but I believe the most significant are the sequenced learning paths and the learner choice learning paths. 

     Sequenced Learning Paths are built into linked courses in a specific order, where every time a user completes a module, a new one is unlocked. This type of LP is perfect for sequenced training processes where in order to do something, it's necessary to have a previous and specific knowledge. Finally, the way you validate this LP is to accomplish the total consumption of the general Learning Path.
     The second Learning Path is “Learner choice”, known for its flexibility, where it's not that important the consumption order of the information but to get a specific amount of finished courses. A very clear example of this is the university curriculum, where you have the opportunity to choose what you want to study. His evaluative methodology can be the consumption of a percentage of the general content, but can vary depending on the client's needs. 

A sequenced learning path
A Learner choice Learning Path

How to work a Learning Path in four steps

1. Know your information. 

Get familiar with all the information you have, and ask yourself “What kind of information do I have? Is all of it important? Is it all relevant? Which is more relevant to my actual processes? Which are the links that connect it all? Do I have information gaps? Where? Perhaps when you’ll ask yourself these questions something new pops up.

This will help you to identify the status of your information, and to know what you need to do to make an effective training process with it. 

2. Classify your information. 

At this step you’ll have to recognize the characteristics of the information you possess, and connect it every time needed. For example: 

A client of mine owns a large amount of data on digital literacy. In this case you’ll have to connect it on subjects, like:

  • Effective ways of digital information searching.
  • Responsible use of digital information.
  • Digital citizenship.

To know these subjects will allow you to build a better, short and understandable learning path. 

3. Identify the most adequate Learning Path to your needs.

As I mentioned before, there are the Sequenced Learning Paths and the Learner Choice Learning Pad. Choosing one from another will depend on the characteristics of the owned information and the objective of the training process. 

4. Execute adequation of information into content for its final presentation.

So far we’ve talking about Learning Paths in a general way, however, we haven’t talked about the modalities into they can be build:

  • Microlearning: Short, with diversified resources (like videos, blogs, or activities,) and granulated, referring the treating of information into the smallest and understandable portion available.
  • Learning capsules: Interactive, concise, reusable or autonomous, with their own sense and coherence.
  • Courses: These can be on face-to-face modality, digital or blended.

I love pedagogy so much that I really believe that each one of these steps to build a Learning Path are delightful, because every one of them represents a particular challenge, allowing us to solve any problem, and improve any educational process on the way. 

Even better, I think that whatever the situation requires a learning option as part of the solution, Learning Paths are the most useful tool to work, articulate and present the information in the most adequate and concise way.

This entrance was published on 23 August 2022

Thank you for your reading time! 

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