Learning Starts with a Solid Foundation

If a house’s foundation was rated only 80% structurally sound, would you choose to build two more floors on top of it? This was the question that Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy, presented in a TED Talk about changing the landscape of learning in November of 2015. The answer of course is no, for fear that the entire structure might come tumbling down.

Sal continued his house analogy, “If your reaction is the reaction you typically have in education, you might say, maybe we had a bad contractor, or maybe we needed better inspection or more frequent inspection. But what was really broken was the process.”

Sal’s discussion of education mainly centers around the traditional education of students as they go through school, but his message is also applicable beyond the classroom. Learning is best when built on a foundation of repeated practice and access. In the past, such a degree of personalized learning wasn’t scalable, but today, Sal points out halfway through his presentation, that isn’t the case,

It’s no longer impractical. We have the tools to do it. Students see an explanation at their own time and pace? There’s on-demand video for that. They need practice? They need feedback? There’s adaptive exercises readily available.

In traditional K-12 education, Sal points out there is usually very little time spent reviewing questions that were wrong. “Maybe I got a 75 percent on that test… and even though we’ve identified the gaps in our knowledge, the whole class will then move on to the next subject.” A similar disconnect exists in traditional employee learning: when learners don’t receive the feedback and flexibility they need to fill in their knowledge gaps, performance will suffer.

Later in his presentation, Sal describes the results he’s seen when learners begin to take agency over their own learning, “Mastery of concepts, building a growth mindset, building grit, and perseverance.” These are all traits we’re familiar with when companies use Lessonly to allow employees to learn in their moment of need. One employee’s moment of need might be at their desk in the middle of sales calls, but another might be in their home after hours.

Before present-day technology, the only way to make sure learners absorbed information was with tests, surveys, or performance reviews. But the rise of modern learning software like Lessonly have made the feedback loop seamless, ensuring employees learn productively. When learning is productive, people are more productive, and that’s what Sal Khan is excited about, “I really think that this is all based on the idea that if we let people tap into their potential by mastering concepts, by being able to exercise agency over their learning, that they can get there.”

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Forward-thinking companies use Lessonly to give their teams the modern learning experience they need to change business outcomes. Take your first step toward building a stronger learning foundation with a self-guided tour of Lessonly’s team learning software.

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