ATD Session Recap: Drips, Bots and Blogs: Nontraditional Methods for Learning Reinforcement
Speaker: Shannon Tipton
Date Presented: 5.16.22
There are a few reasons I was drawn to this session:
Working at a sales tech company, it's important that I'm up to date with non-traditional methods because I'm working with very modern sellers. The drip campaign concept even seems like something we could use our internal platform for to pre-schedule communications pre- and post-training.
I'm a sucker for the rule of three - and you can't tell me "Drips, Bots & Blogs"isn't a memorable topic title!
Drip lessons delivered via chatbots, blogs or emails have exploded in the L&D industry and have introduced a new way to support spaced learning reinforcement. Here are some of my main takeaways from the session:
Why the Drip?!
Most professionals in our field recognize that training is not a point in time initiative but a learning journey with multiple touch points to combat the dreaded "forgetting curve." Content drips are a scheduled delivery of chunked content and spaced learning reinforcement that keep learners engaged and curious about what's coming next. It's important to treat your drip like a story - start by creating anticipation and build momentum to gain keep interest. The more effective the story, the more engaged with the overall learning journey.
Drip feeds work because they empower learners to reconsider understanding of concepts as their frame of reference shifts, meaning they are more likely to apply on the job! It also provides the learner space to respect their cognitive load levels - information is easier to absorb when its split into short bursts with time passing between repetitions. Drips also align really well with adult learning theory - they create pacing, prevent brain fry, work under a blended learning model to keep learners engaged in an agile way.
Let's talk tools!
It's important to leverage tools to mitigate the constant work that could come with a reinforcement drip campaign as tools help us "set it and forget it" by automating the process. Now that we've talked about Drips - lets move to the blogs and bots!
A blog has a casual and engaging tone often using the words "we" or "you." It most often has a comment section and call to action to engage by sharing critical observations, reflection, debate, analyzing ideas or synthesizing/reframing information. Shannon shared a few use cases to leverage with a drip of the blog medium.
Blog #1: Welcome/introduction, expectations and bigger purpose
Blog #2: Reinforcement assignment like a case study review and a call-to-action for posting comments to a mind map
Blog #3: Peer review - post questions regarding previous learning and have reps share a google doc with their responses - have a peer review of synthesized information so they can internalize how someone else interpreted the value presented
Blog #4: Virtual Field Trip - post instructions and have reps comment and peer review. Shannon shared an example that felt like a vision board of visual representations aligned to the overarching mission and goal and what it meant for the reps personally. She talked about how one time they created a Pinterest board and another time it was as simple as a Google slide collage. Made me think about how we've become very creative with Zoom backgrounds in trainings and this could translate for virtual training as well.
Chatbots are a nice option because they are conversational, empathetic and can have a relatable tone of voice. There can be challenges in how they are set up unless you have clarity of concept, context, goals, activities, tools and the target audience.
Shannon did a brief demo of Mobile Coach's chat bot in the training which was pretty cool to see in action! Best believe I'm scheduling a demo soon to see how the chat bot can be used in onboarding, training, follow up and accountability, and real-time assistance! It feels slightly similar to internal digital adoption platforms that have been on the rise as of late so I'm curious to learn more.
Summary + Resources
Shannon ended with a quote that really hit home: "Training for everyone benefits no one." This really stood out to me as we are often tasked with creating scalable content but also pulled to create role/segment specific nuance. Drip campaigns are a great way to bring general content to specific application for a role.
Here's a link to the handout that was provided in the session and has a visual template for how to think about creating your "drip"!
Connect with Shannon Tipton directly on LinkedIn or follow her work with Learning Rebels.