Unlocking the Human Element in Learning Metrics

Written by Laura Faughtenberry
Unlocking the Human Element in Learning Metrics

Traditional learning metrics often fall short of capturing the true impact of learning programs, only providing a superficial glimpse into their effectiveness and failing to account for the complex, human aspects of the learning experience, such as emotional engagement and personal stories. During the TICE breakout session “Let's Move Beyond BS Metrics,” Aaron Delgaty, Practice Leader of Experience Research at The Starr Conspiracy, and Loren Sanders, Principal at Roxlo Coaching and Consulting, spoke of a transformative approach to learning measurement, deeply rooted in the principles of cultural anthropology.

Aaron and Loren emphasized that to truly understand and improve the learning experience, we have to look beyond conventional metrics. Instead of just asking, "What did someone learn?" we should be asking, "How did they feel about their learning journey?" This human-centered approach will lead to uncovering deeper insights that will provide a more accurate picture of the learning experience.

Key Takeaways from the Session:

  • Personalizing Learning Experiences: There's no such thing as a bad student; rather, there are bad learning experiences. Traditional methods often try to fit everyone into a standardized box, ignoring individual needs and preferences. The speakers highlighted the necessity of asking learners about their personal experiences and needs, to better customize learning programs to engage and retain employees.

  • The Power of Stories: Data is crucial, but stories are compelling. Executive leaders often gravitate towards big metrics, but real change happens when we ask open-ended questions and listen to and share stories. Understanding and sharing the narratives of learners can provide more impactful insights than numbers alone.

  • Adapting to Real-Time Feedback: A flexible and adaptive approach to learning measurement is essential. By continuously collecting and analyzing data, organizations can better respond to the needs of their employees as they evolve. Walk away from putting learners into a box and instead allow them to share their experiences in a more approachable way without too many constructs.

Moving beyond traditional metrics and creating a more holistic, human-centered approach to learning evaluation will help organizations create effective and meaningful learning programs that truly resonate with learners.