I’m beginning to wonder if the learning profession hasn’t gotten itself into a quandary with all the different ways it labels learning. If you think about it, we label learning by:
Location: As in classroom learning
Medium: Like eLearning or mLearning
Process: Such as experiential learning
Then there are terms such as social learning, which we’re still trying to figure out. At some point, people have to start scratching their heads. Isn’t it all just learning? Why have so many terms for it?
But then we know the answer. It’s not just about the learning. It’s about marketing.
If everything were called learning, it would be difficult to differentiate. And differentiation is important. In the training world, it distinguishes what trainers have to offer and the participant experience. For example, providing an eLearning program on Ethics would be completely different than a classroom session on problem solving.
Which takes me back to my original thought. I think the profession has done a good job of separating computer/technology type training from stand-up delivery training. Now I wonder if the market needs more segmentation. For instance, is social learning a technology type or a stand-up delivery or neither? Or, can it combine elements of both?
I’m not sure I have the answers on this one. It’s definitely something the learning profession will have to address at some point.
If they don’t, they run the risk of totally muddying up the water and completely confusing the customer. And, in this case, the customer is not only the participant but also the senior leadership team supporting the training initiative.
Other professions have done it – one example is sourcers and recruiters. Some people specialize in sourcing candidates, other focus on recruiting and still others do both. Ultimately, if you purchase services, you want to know exactly what you’re getting.
Have I overthought this one? Is it really all just learning? Can anyone deliver anything? Let me know your thoughts.
Image courtesy of Ann_B0