Learning labs are typically only thought of as being present at public schools, colleges, and universities. They offer a space where students can go to exercise and practice new skills and seek out additional learning resources. And they’re typically located in a designated room or building on a campus or in a library.
Moving forward, however, we’ll see more organizations developing and relying on learning labs in the workplace, too, as they expand their learning and development programs and initiatives to meet growing market demands, as well as their employees’ demands.
Research indicates that employees want more and better-quality training and learning and development resources if they’re to consider staying with an organization long term. And market projections suggest that the e-learning and learning and development markets will supersede $200 billion within the next decade.
Continue reading to learn more about learning labs in the workplace.
Benefits of Learning Labs in the Workplace
Above all else, learning labs will foster a company culture that inspires and encourages learning, regardless of an employee’s skill set or role. And with an easy-to-access learning lab, employees will be more inclined to engage in their own learning and development goals and will become more productive and happier while they’re at work as a result because they will feel more autonomous and empowered to learn and improve their skill sets. Learning labs can also be fun places where employees can go to encourage one another and support one another’s goals and development.
Critical Elements of a Workplace Learning Lab
As you develop and fine-tune your workplace learning lab, here are some things you’ll want to make sure it has.
Virtual spaces and e-learning. Make sure your learning lab has online spaces where learners can go to access learning materials and socialize with one another, their tutors, or others in their industry. And make sure that they can access supplemental e-learning content too.
As more employees begin to work remotely, and more employees begin to use their own devices for work, offering virtual spaces and e-learning content will be critical to the success of your learning lab.
Diverse resources. Your learning lab should offer extensive online libraries, as well as physical books and materials that learners can check out or borrow. And it should contain curated content from reliable online resources too. Learners should always be able to easily access supplemental learning content from a variety of sources in a variety of different formats.
Social learning. Your employees should be able to access online forums and form in-person study groups as they learn. This way, they can ask one another questions and rely on their peers as they develop their skills and expertise.
In-person training and learning option. The best learning labs will offer a blend of online and in-person options. Learners should be able to seek out tutors or study groups when they need them, hands-on learning activities, and live workshops and seminars, etc.
Stand by for tomorrow’s post, which will focus on tips for hosting a learning lab at your own organization.