Project sticky: positive learning transfer

Image of a water ripple, representing learning transfer.

Key takeaways

  • This year, our design studio is running an experiment to enhance learning transfer for remote and hybrid workers.
  • Action planning has always been at the heart of our six design principles, and now we want to maximise training ROI.
  • We'll be revealing the results of our experiment and the best techniques L&D professionals can use to hack learning transfer.

We’d like to share a secret with you…At VTT our learning boffins are working on a top-secret mission called ‘project sticky.’ At its core project sticky is all about positive learning transfer. We know that our participants love our workshops because of the great feedback that we get (average 9.1/10 recommendation across all of our training!). However, what we have less clarity on is what’s happening with our participants further down down the line — three months, six months, or even a year after the workshop is over. We don’t know exactly how ‘sticky’ our learning is, and whether we can help them further embed their learning to be even more effective in their roles.

What we really want to be able to able to prove from our workshops is a long-term change in terms of the mindsets and behaviour of our participants and encourage positive learning transfer. So, we’ve been strategizing about what we can do to encourage or ‘nudge’ participants to take action and to carry these skills and information with them long after the workshop is finished and back into their roles.

Action planning has always been at the heart of our six design principles, to make sure that we’re not leaving it as an afterthought. In fact, ‘purpose, purpose, purpose’ is our no. 1 design principle! We know it’s really really important to not just cover the training objectives at the beginning of a workshop. You need to keep going back to it throughout the learning journey a) what we want the participants to do afterwards/what impact do we want to have and b) how are we going to give them opportunity to do that.  

We’ve considered what more we can do within the workshop itself — tactics like encouraging participants to set reminders, booking meetings with their managers, organising breakout rooms for them to plan out their follow-up actions more thoroughly, and providing them with an action planning template at the end of their workshop.

To take positive learning transfer to the next level in a remote and hybrid working environment, we’ve designed a toolbox of tactics for participants. Depending on the theme of the workshop, our learning designers and coaches will provide a personalised selection of these tactics to get participants really thinking. The overall aim is to give them more support around their action plans and how they can put their learnings to the test in a working environment. 

Over this year, we will be trialling elements of this toolbox at each workshop and programme that we deliver and measuring their success.  And of course, we will be sharing all our insights with you! So, watch this space!

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