Area9 Lyceum Blog

Adaptive Learning Removes the Stigma of Workplace Knowledge Gaps

Posted by Area9 on Feb 12, 2018 9:00:00 AM

If there’s one certainty in the business world, it’s this: mistakes will be made. That’s not just a fact of business, of course. That’s a fact of life. Human beings are flawed. We make mistakes. We have knowledge gaps, and the sooner we accept this, the more open we’ll be to better methods of corporate learning.

So Workers Make Mistakes and Have Knowledge Gaps. What Do We Do About It?

Well, just because some mistakes are inevitable doesn’t mean all of them should be. Companies assume that, because they’ve paid for expensive and comprehensive employee training, their employees understand their duties inside and out. But Area9 research shows that employees lack critical knowledge in 20-40% of areas that are crucial to job performance.

Human error alone can’t explain this lack of knowledge. What we’re seeing here is e-learning ineffectiveness in the form of a systematic approach that is failing most employees and, therefore, the companies they work for. The old e-learning model and the even older models which influenced it are outdated. This is where Adaptive Learning comes in.

Adaptive Learning Takes Diversity in Learning into Account

E-learning and the modes of corporate education that preceded it viewed learning only from a linear standpoint: the learner reads material or watches a lecture, they regurgitate the information as best they can on a test, and the learner receives a passing or failing mark. But this method of learning doesn’t take into account how the actual human brain works.

Though it’s tempting to view learning as a straight line (first you didn’t know something, now you do. A + B = C), actual learning usually arrives as a messy patchwork of things you know, things you don’t, and things you have a slippery grasp on - and things you think you know but actually don’t (also known as unconscious incompetence).

Adaptive Learning Removes the Stigma of Not Knowing


A problem with e-learning’s linear approach to learning is that once a learner has read through a unit and passed a test, they are assumed to know that subject inside and out. The possibility that employees lack critical knowledge is kept comfortably out of mind. This can lead to a stressful situation where an employer believes their employee knows exactly what is needed, and the employee has to hide their ignorance, or fake their knowledge, out of fear of being “found out.” No one wants to admit that they’ve been doing a certain crucial aspect of their job wrong for far too long.

But Adaptive Learning removes this stigma from the picture. With no tests to pass or fail, and a system that is based around identifying a learner’s strengths and weaknesses and adapting the curriculum to fit that individual’s needs, the learner will no longer fear what they don’t know.

Without dangling punishment or stigma of revealing their ignorance to an employer in front of them, a learner will likely be interested in learning which areas they struggle with. Adaptive Learning will help them improve. Employees can learn, grow, and become better at their jobs.

To Discover More About Adaptive Learning and What’s Broken About Traditional E-Learning, Download This Checklist

Why Your E-learning Platform isn't Working Checklist


Topics: Adaptive Learning