The pragmatic learner rates knowledge always based on its usability for the concrete solution of a problem, according to theory of knowledge. That means implicitly that learning is only useful if the learner can apply the knowledge in the “real world”. To illustrate this, we take an online course on project management as an example. A pragmatic learner wants to learn different things in such a course: How do I create a project plan, or how do I define a project goal (E.g. as a SMART goal). As soon as the desired content is “consumed” and understood, the learner is willing to leave the course. His only interest is knowledge content relevant for him in his current phase.
Some e-learning designers or subject matter experts struggle with this reduction of the course on the main issues and concerns. To accept that this type of learner is neither interested in the history of project management or the first five slides about the learning objectives at the beginning of the course and the explanations is a departure from traditional practices.
As especially in the context of continuing vocational training many learners act as pragmatic, this topic is more current than ever in our opinion. We need to understand the motivation and concerns of learners in order to adapt courses to the needs of the target group. How can you make online learning for a pragmatic learner?
4 reasons why Microlearning is ideal for the pragmatic learner
One answer could because the Mircrolearnings approach is lately increasingly in the focus. Simply put, this approach describes the breaking down of the content into small and easily “digestible” sections. There are several reasons why this is the ideal way for pragmatic learners:
1) Simple and short
Micolearning should be short – the name says it itself. If the learning experiences are so short, the statements should be as precise as possible. There is no time for long entiesy, in-depth analyses, or funny animated characters that lead you through the course. Quickly, concisely and accurately is the motto!
No matter whether video, animation, audio recording, or any other communication medium – the statements and content should be designed short, understandable and immediately applicable. Consumers will be grateful and return.
As an integral part of the Microlearning it should be possible for the learners to navigate as simple as possible between the different sections and contents. The pragmatic learner does not want to go through a lengthy introduction. He wants to start directly and interact with important and useful content – he is rather less interested in the rest. And why should we prevent this? The advantage of digital learning instruments is, inter alia, that many different contents are flexible available for the learners.
The pragmatic learner’s goal is to expand his knowledge and to learn new skills to solve problems. The easiest way is to have the possibility to learn how to solve a problem the moment it occurs. The urgency of the problem makes the learning experience more sustainable.
Suppose, it’s Monday morning 8:00 AM and you have exactly 1 hour before you need to submit the final version of your presentation. An opportune time for the formatting of your slides, to ignore all selected settings. What would you do? I would go directly to YouTube and search for a short problem-solving video – the classic Microlearning approach. This is what “Just-in-time” learning is all about.
The information can be simply and easily retrieved, exactly when the problem occurs and must be solved. Pragmatic learners will be thrilled when you prepare the learning content in small sequences, which can be obtained at any time and from anywhere. The motivation for learning reaches a climax whenever there is a practical problem – and precisely for these situations, you should design your learning content.
As a result of the just-in-time aspect content for mobile devices should be provided. This is what pragmatic learners want exactly: permanent availability of relevant content, just where it is needed. A several hours or even several days course can cover many subjects, but for a problem here and now it will not provide a solution for the concrete problem. We therefore pledge to have the content exactly then available when the learner faces a problem. Only then, the content can offer real added value.
With SlidePresenter you will meet the challenge of change
The requirements are reasonably clear – but how do you implement these 4 points with relatively little effort? We, at SlidePresenter, have faced the challenge to create a software-as-a-service solution that addresses exactly these points.
The software allows to create important content easily and quickly, it provides interactive elements such as chapters, quizzes and links and allows to share and manage the content then in all existing systems (LMS, intranet, email, link, etc.). Users can – at any time and from anywhere – access the content. And all of that at the highest level of data security. Go to the application or explore exciting references from practice.