The phrase "learning in the flow of work" (also referred to many times as "Workflow Learning") is being tossed around a lot these days as the most efficient way for learners to learn something. So what the heck is learning in the flow of work and why should You care?
Learning in the flow of work is a simple idea really and is exactly what it sounds like. You are learning something while you are working. Meaning, you don't stop doing your work to go learn something and come back to continue performing your work.
Workflow Learning vs Traditional Learning
Traditional learning is usually performed through macro events such as conducting a class or a webinar to teach something. You have to visit a destination, whether virtual or physical, to learn and then come back.
Workflow Learning is usually delivered through micro bursts of learning. Learning in the flow of work is natural and informal.
In fact, we are learning informally all the time when we're learning through YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, TikTok or whatever… these are all learning in the flow of work mechanisms that we naturally do without thinking much about it.
Is Workflow Learning better?
There is a place for both macro and micro learning. The deep learning that macro-learning provides is definitely necessary especially when learning something new or when some process has changed. Context sensitive micro-learning is then used on a regular basis to continuously enhance that understanding gained in macro-learning events.
This graph by Learning in the Flow of Work expert Josh Bersin shows a great depiction of how you can pair macro and micro learning events for maximum effect.
Learning in the Flow of Work graphic - by Josh Bersin
What does learning in the flow of work look like?
This is where most people get stuck. In theory, all of these things I mentioned above make sense to a lot of people, but what does it all look like in practice..?
Here's a webinar we conducted showing exactly what Learning in the Flow of Work looks like in Action! Check it out.