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Centralise your learning to avoid information overload

When learners are spending more time looking for the right content than learning, something has gone wrong. As such, we’ll examine ‘analysis paralysis’ before analysing the pitfalls of fragmented learning content and looking at how centralising content can help your learners.
Dom Murray
2021-05-17

Choice is what makes life unique. Chocolate or strawberry? Cats or dogs? A big night out, or a cozy night in? This variety ensures that no two days are ever the same. However, in an L&D context, too much choice can sometimes lead to information overload. It’s probably a familiar feeling for many; you’ve had to make a million choices that day, and it feels like your brain will explode if you have to make even one more. 

The good news is you’re not alone. According to research by the IDC, the average “knowledge worker” spends approximately 25% of their time either searching for information or analysing it: 9.5 hours searching for information and 9.8 hours analysing information. Given that, it’s little wonder that searching for the right learning content can often feel overwhelming. 

Additionally, a 2018 study by Josh Bersin and Deloitte found that learners do not suffer from a lack of content, but rather, “the issue is that there is too much available content, making it a task itself to sift through the bad to get to the valuable.” 

In other words, there is so much content available that learners are struggling to find content that is relevant to their needs. When learners are spending more time looking for the right content than learning, something has gone wrong. 

Pull quote with the text: when learners are spending more time looking for the right content than learning, something has gone wrong

As such, we’ll examine ‘analysis paralysis’ before analysing the pitfalls of fragmented learning content and looking at how centralising content can help your learners. 

Avoiding analysis paralysis 

Too many learning options can lead to information overload. As Christoper Pappas, founder of the eLearning Industry Network, explains, having too many choices can cause a psychological phenomenon known as ‘analysis paralysis’ in which there are so many options to choose from, people are unable to make a decision about which option would be best for them. 

From a learner’s perspective, analysis paralysis can make finding relevant learning content like finding a needle in a haystack. To combat this, centralising your learning can be an effective strategy. 

Pull quote with the text: From a learner's perspective, analysis paralysis can make finding relevang learning content like finding a needle in a haystack

Why centralise learning? 

According to leading L&D analyst Josh Bersin, content curation is both the art and science of identifying the best learning content for an organisation, providing it with context, and ordering it.

As such, carefully curating content relevant to your employees and using it to support the learning process is a great way to avoid information overload. 

Rather than trawling through multiple sources to find a single piece of relevant learning content, a centralised approach to learning can ensure that the information you share with employees is relevant, up-to-date, engaging, and easy to access. 

Guiding learners to a single platform means they can store information and return to it when needed. Ultimately, this saves employees time searching for answers and sifting through irrelevant content.

The downsides of fragmented learning

In addition to analysis paralysis, a fragmented learning experience can have several business-wide ramifications. 

For example, purchasing multiple providers to cover all your learning needs can become very expensive, especially as the cost per head starts to increase quickly. On top of this, signing contracts with multiple content providers can be tricky to manage because it entails lots of relationships to juggle plus any hidden costs associated with support and renewal.

Perhaps most importantly, using several vendors makes it difficult to manage learning projects effectively, leading to multiple accounts for individuals and a high degree of difficulty when trying to track and report on learner engagement. 

The bottom line is that learners are less likely to be proactive if they are confused about where their learning is sourced. Again, something has gone wrong with your L&D strategy if learners are spending more time looking for learning content than engaging with that content

Infographic about 3 pitfalls of fragmented learning content

How centralising content can help your learners 

Emerald Works’ 2020 Back To the Future Report identifies a few worrying L&D trends. According to their findings, 32% of L&D teams are concerned about the cost of set-up, development, and maintenance, 26% are concerned about lack of skills among employees to manage their own learning, and 29% are concerned about the pace of technological change. Worse, all of these percentages are trending in the wrong direction compared to 2019 findings. 

Centralising where your learning content is sourced and accessed by learners can address all of these issues, making it easier for learners to actually learn. Using a single platform can significantly reduce set-up and maintenance costs. Similarly, centralised learning reduces the need to adapt to different learning technologies while also making it easier for learners to source and manage their own learning. 

Go1 can help on this journey, offering a centralised platform so your learners can spend more time learning and less time jumping from platform to platform trying to find relevant content. 

With Go1, one easy subscription unlocks a whole world of learning. Simplify online learning with the Go1 Content Hub and deliver the right training to up-skill, re-train, and retain employees without having to compromise on quality or quantity.

For further insights on reducing learner overload, be sure to read our articles on what the modern learner needs and selecting digital learning content for your next project.

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