Measuring Your Success
In other blog posts published previously, we’ve discussed the modern learner – who they are, and how we can best serve them. We know that as modern learners, we take responsibility for much of our learning by creating our own learning pathways, exploring content, and interacting with other learners.
But how do we know if we are successful?
Some of us begin by creating our own learning goals. I might set the goal of mastering Articulate within the next three months, you might set the goal of expanding your Personal Learning Network (PLN) by next month, and we both might have the same goal of contributing 10% more of our time to careful curation of learning resources related to our respective areas of expertise.
Our individual goals may start or end at the same point, or overlap, and as we accomplish those goals, we will most likely establish new goals. When do we check to see what worked?
Setting Completion Dates and Milestones
Within our goal setting, we most likely set completion dates or milestones along our learning pathways. Along the lines of, “I will do X by Y date.” By attaching a date (or timeframe) to our goals, that makes them more measurable, right? Not necessarily.
Some of us cherish those milestones, and work straight through to reach them. Others might take a more meandering route along our learning journeys that delay reaching those set milestones by specific dates. Are we still working towards our goals? Are we still learning? You bet we are.
Time is a factor, but progress is more important. When you set milestones, focus on desired outcomes and give yourself a bit of leeway with time. Unless, of course, you need deadlines to keep you on track!
In this modern blended learning landscape, our milestones need to include moments of reflection and recognition. Reaching our goals is not enough to measure our success on this pathway – reflection, self-evaluation, conversation, and narrative are all part of the journey.
Take some time on a regular basis to stop and answer these questions:
- What am I trying to accomplish?
- Why am I progressing along this pathway?
- Have I passed any milestones along the way?
- How did I manage to get to where I am now?
- What conversations and interactions have I had?
- What is helping me most as I work towards my goals?
- What accomplishments can I highlight and share?
- How should I adjust my pathway?
As you work through these questions, be honest with yourself. Did you really spend two hours on Friday morning exploring blended learning news feeds? Did you ever get around to reading any of those microlearning articles you saved?
Answers to all of these questions will help you determine how successful you have been along your learning journey, and guide your next steps.
Establishing Feedback Channels
Self-reflection only goes so far. We know that feedback is an integral part of the learning process, and we encourage you to partner with a peer, coach, or mentor as part of any evaluation. Sometimes that extra set of eyes, difference of opinion, experience, or expertise, can help you stay on track, or find new avenues for learning.
Even modern learners require external motivation! We know that formative feedback keeps our learners engaged and involved. PLNs come in handy here, providing opportunities to connect, collaborate, share, and ask for feedback. And, a mentor or coach can provide additional perspective -- including success stories, lessons learned, and valuable guidance. Having someone tell you that you’re on the right track certainly helps!
Getting Better All the Time
What does this all add up to?
As we try to evaluate the success of the modern learning campaigns we engage ourselves with, we need to determine if we are any better at what we were trying to do, than when we started out. Did something change? Did something improve?
We will certainly be more proficient at measuring the success of our modern learning journeys if we take the time to create our own learning goals, establish completion dates and milestones, embrace reflection, and establish feedback channels along the way.