Author: Shweta Sharma, Talent Development Expert

Only July 15, 2015 from 9 pm – 10.30 pm, I conducted a tweet chat session to address questions on ‘how to design learning for adult learners’.

As a learning and talent management professional with relevant experience of over 12 years and with multiple professional certifications, I felt am more than ready to provide guidance on this subject.

I addressed questions not only from HR and L&D professionals but also of managers and leaders in operations. Personnel from small to large sized organizations tweeted their questions about how to create effective learning environments.

It was a great experience to converse with people from across the boundaries and from multiple designs of work culture. Listening to them, posing their challenges, confirmed that they all are finding solutions for the seemingly similar yet very different operational and strategic challenges. In fact, it was heartening to note that they are eager and excited to find answers.

While twitter is a wonderful medium to express bite-size messages, it can be very limiting at times too. Had so many profound questions but regrettably had to crunch my answers only to a few characters in about just a few seconds as the volume of questions too was high. So I constantly prayed that I am able to provide a satisfactory answer!

Nevertheless, it indeed was a great experience and I thank Mr. Surya P Mohapatra, Founder and Chief Executive of L&D Global – Learning and Development Group – for enabling this forum.

Here is a screen shot from the chat session:


Mr. Mohapatra’s question – “How important is formal qualification for a learning designer?” – needs much attention from organizations and governments world-wide. And so my quick answer to that was “Humans have existed for over a millions of yrs & so far learning has been very scattered, so very very important”

In fact I totally believe that we could and would progress faster if we just very well know what to learn (customized needs per person/group) and when even the learning method is very attractive and appealing.

Mr. Shobhit’s first question – “I am a team lead. My team has different requirements as compared to other teams at my firm. How should I take forward the L&D” and my answer – “Have focused group and personal discussions to identify aspirations and vision. Create a learning model that appeals all” – referred to very simple ideology that says ‘connect and grow’. For we are dealing with beings who have different back-grounds and belief systems, and you can only channelize them when you take efforts to connect with them.

His second question – “Can we ensure via L&D that the candidates we hire are shaped according to the needs of the team” and my answer – “Yes, design and conduct value based learning forums” – meant that run multiple pre-designed discussions to inculcate the vision and respective values that your organization wishes to establish.

 Ms Divya Nambiar’s question – “How much time should we invest in designing learning?” and my answer – “Depends upon the goals and the scope.” – essentially hinted at the foremost aspect of designing learning, i.e., Learning Needs Analysis.

Worldwide, every time a learning-design fails to achieve its desired objectives, mostly points to extremely loosely or negligibly done needs analysis. Ironically, many times even today a learning workshop is conducted without any blue-prints/objectives. And this leads to multiple losses such as – time, efforts, learner’s trust in learning itself etc.

Shenode’s question – “What should the focus be, content delivery or the jazz and jargons of content delivery” and my answer – “ARCS – Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction – build on this.” – is pointing back to my answer to Ms Divya Nambiar’s question above.

Let’s say it’s important to grab the learner’s Attention, make sure the content is Relevant, ensure higher Confidence levels of the learner post the learning intervention and at least aim at achieving their Satisfaction.

Ms Rajat Setia’s question – “How can a start-up ensure that the right skills are being passed onto the new members, since time is limited?” – and my answer – “Identify your goals and define knowledge, skills and attitudes you are looking for. Calibrate and motivate!” – is primarily directed to creating a foundation of Competency Frameworks that specifically detail key-indicators of ‘how to do your job competently and successfully’.

 So overall, I had an extremely enriching experience and many thanks once again to Mr. Mohapatra and Learning and Development Group.