eLearning Leadership Blog

Join our growing community of more than 13,000 learning professionals!


Bundle Up This Winter

Richard Sites

by , studio executive | @rhillsites

Just because many people head to Florida during the winter months to escape the snow, wind, frost and freezing conditions found elsewhere, doesn’t mean we don’t have cold weather. Ok, I get it – it’s relative. But to us native Floridians, it’s cold!

This past Sunday was no different. As my gaggle of golf buddies gathered together to get our weekly round underway, we were faced with a frost delay. The thermometer read 28 degrees, and to me, that’s cold.

The key strategy for ensuring you have proper attire in the winter in Florida is to dress in layers.  Rest assured the moment you think it will remain cold all day, the temperature spikes and you end up sweating off 20 pounds. What you need to do is build up from a solid, but breathable, base. Pullovers and windbreakers layered above short sleeved shirts are the norm.

GolferAnd yet it strikes me as almost comical because, without fail, on one of these cold mornings at least one of my golf buddies is sure to arrive for tee off dressed inadequately for the weather – like in shorts and a light jacket.  “It’ll warm up” is the typical response when the harassment begins. It might be true, that as the day goes on the temperature will rise, but it is exposure to the current, not future, temperature that matters. We can handle a few minutes in freezing weather – but we struggle with three to four hours of it. The effect of the temperature takes some time.

The effect of instruction takes time as well, and this is the true when we create e-learning or blended training programs. We need to create several layers of instructional strategies (formal, informal, asynchronous, and synchronous) to provide learners with the greatest opportunity to feel the effect of the training.

While jackets and sweaters might keep out the cold so that we can stay comfortable longer, we don’t need to remain bundled up when the temperature finally peaks. Conversely, we don’t want to act as if we have already reached the peak temperature hours before it hits. So too, our various instructional strategies need to keep the current learner needs in mind, while also preparing for the future. Layering our strategy will keep the learner involved longer. And the longer they are involved, the more of the effect of the training will have.

So while you are bundled up this winter, consider the different ways you can broaden the learning moment for your learners. And Happy New Year!