You know you’ve been there. Trawling your way through online learning that’s just not quite relevant to you; trying to get to that key piece of learning that you need. Or trying to get through hours of one type of content delivery with only a token break from the monotony.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a blended learning experience that was tailored just for you? How about a piece of content on a concept that you can get through in seven minutes, followed by a video demonstrating a skill you need to brush up on, followed by a scenario challenge on that skill, that puts you right in the thick of things?

In this article, Michael Stevens, Instructional Designer at Aurion Learning explores that when considering approaches for presenting content to your learners, to consider adopting a learning pathway approach.

So, what is a learning pathway?

A learning pathway is exactly what it sounds like. It is a carefully constructed route that will guide your learner through your learning content. Unlike traditional forms of eLearning, learning pathways break content into digestible chunks, enabling your learner to take manageable steps towards the finish line of their online learning.

Unlike a standalone learning programme that can overwhelm your learners with too much information, a learning pathway guides the learner in a step-by-step way and gives learners a sense of control over their experience. You can enhance retention by blending different learning approaches, offering learners an alternative to the monotonous styles of traditional eLearning courses that focus on one type of content delivery. Now there are opportunities within pathways to get learners to apply their learning and share it with others – whether that’s skills videos, job aids, or collaborative spaces such as messaging forums.

Learning pathways are also adaptable. An individualised learning pathway approach, tailored to groups of learners can enhance motivation and give learners, a feeling of; ‘yes, this learning is relevant to me’.

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ByteKast is a flexible tool that allows you to adopt a learning pathway approach and quickly tailor your pathways to work with the needs and learning styles of your learners. It lends itself well to Aurion Learning’s IMPACT model, which advocates for learning that interests and motivates the learner, presents the content in different ways, gets them to do a range of activities, connects them to their lives and work practices, and tests them on key concepts.

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Benefits of using pathways

Adopting a learning pathway approach in ByteKast will help learners to...

  1. Build their knowledge and skills progressively.
  2. Access a variety of ‘resources’ and not just ‘courses’.
  3. Apply their learning.
  4. Reflect on their learning.
  5. Share and engage with others.

Benefit 1: Build knowledge and skills progressively

Adopting a learning path approach in an environment like ByteKast means that you can create a training program structure that works for groups of learners – or even individual learners – to build their knowledge and skills over time in a progressive way. You can control the order in which learners are assigned learning objects and the timeframe in which these become available.

One way of enhancing this is by having goal-oriented paths. For example, by providing an assessment at the end of a path, or intermittent points along the path, you can ensure that a learners’ knowledge or competencies are up to speed before they move onto the next learning object or next path. Or you can provide case studies, assignments, reflections, certificates or even rewards (like an e-voucher for a cup of coffee – for example, for completing an assessment or quiz) to wrap up a path or section of a path. It all depends on what your audience’s learning need is.

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Benefit 2: Access a variety of resources

A recurring mantra in eLearning is that a monolithic approach to learning, in which text-heavy information is presented all in one go, does not work.

A major cause of poor knowledge retention after training is having too much information of one type (such as reading - when you could be interspersing that reading with short activities) to absorb. Cognitive Load Theory suggests that if an eLearning course overloads the learner’s mind with a lot of information written on text-heavy pages, their ability to absorb and retain that information decreases. When you think about it, as a training method it’s probably the one that’s least reflective of on-the-job training. Who trains employees by spending hours just telling them stuff? (If you do, shame on you!)

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By contrast, a learning pathway in a tool such as ByteKast presents several learning objects that each serve a learning need, such as videos, articles, job aids, questions.

As an example, in the excerpt from a ByteKast pathway shown above, the learner is directed to a website that provides employee benefits and compensation. They then must view a welcome video from their manager. And then they view something called a ByteKast ‘story’ – which in this case is a graphics-rich interactive slideshow on their role.

ByteKast allows you to present learning objects in a linear way for learners to move through so they can get to grips with a particular concept or skill. It’s a simple approach that avoids any limitations on instructional approaches – you can combine an enlightening article with a procedure, followed by a video showing how a skill is done, followed by a podcast that discusses the concept, followed by a scenario, or question. These can be optional or mandatory – it’s up to you.

In this way, it closely reflects on-the-job training, in that you combine telling with showing and also, with doing. And has the added benefit that learners can do so at their own pace, returning to the items they struggled with or reminding themselves of important concepts they’ve forgotten.

Another great benefit of learning pathways is that you don’t always have to create content – you can curate it. Every organisation nowadays has a wealth of learning-relevant content that may not work standalone but might work brilliantly as a part of a learning pathway. There are also YouTube videos, websites, online interactivities, and a whole wealth of other resources that a learner can engage in, that you may not want or need, to host yourself.

For example, a colleague worked on a pathway for radiologists in which one resource was a presentation containing hundreds of photos of x-rays depicting clinical conditions. As a standalone resource, it lacked context and was unsuitable for use in a training session, at least in its entirety. Presenting it as a resource within a learning path, however, gave it context – and it, in turn, enriched the pathway.

Benefit 3: Apply the learning

As mentioned above, learning is not just about showing and telling – it’s also about doing.

When creating a learning pathway in ByteKast, consider the constructivist view, which proposes the idea that people construct or create their own knowledge based on their prior experience.

As your learners make their way through group or individualised learning pathways, consider ways you can get them to apply the skills or concepts they’ve learned. For example:

  • Create scenarios or vignettes that introduce real-life situations, with questions or challenges that apply certain learned concepts in those situations. Provide feedback that explores the nuances of correct or incorrect choices in meaningful ways.
  • Provide offline assignments that the learner can do within a given timeframe. This could be submitted and assessed by a mentor, or you could provide sample answers that allow the learner to self-assess.
  • Get the learner to do a physical activity, such as take a guided tour of your facility, or find things on a map.
  • Provide job aids, such as checklists, flowcharts, or procedure guides that the learner can refer to at their point of need. Better still, get them to do the procedure – so long as it’s safe!
  • Get them to book a place in a webinar that expands further on the concept.
  • Test your learners with quizzes or scenario-driven assessments.

ByteKast note: These activities don’t have to be individual path elements. For example, as mentioned earlier you can create discrete learning objects in ByteKast called stories. Within a story, you can include text, interactivities like drag & drops, slide shows, word searches, videos, and lots of other stuff – if you want your learner to complete these in a single session. You can also create SCORM packages for the same purpose.


Benefit 4: Reflect on learning

Learning pathways can also provide opportunities for the learner to reflect on their own skills, their own job, or their own life.

This is especially the case when it comes to soft skills, but it can be used in any type of learning. You can add reflection opportunities to your pathways, such as the following:

  • Create reflective worksheets that ask the learner open-ended questions like, ‘What would you do in this situation?’ (Past or present). Get them to consider how they might advise or mentor others, or how they might do things differently in the future.
  • Get the learner to take part in a survey in which they rate how their knowledge about a concept has changed (for example, on a scale from ‘not at all’ to ‘a considerable amount’), having completed a piece of learning.
  • Ask learners about their thoughts on the learning itself. You could even get them to provide you with their thoughts via a survey or hosted form. Did they connect with the subject matter? How does it fit in with their day-to-day lives or job? Ask them to reflect on the value of the planned application of learning – that is, the idea that it's not just about how the learning fits in with their lives, but what are they going to do with this learning once they've exited the course. Getting learners to feedback in this way on how they feel makes them look at the subject matter in a new light and reflect on what it means to them.


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Benefit 5: Share/engage with others

Social learning is a great way to increase retention and learning pathways in Bytekast can facilitate this. We all know how participating with others can help us make greater sense of ideas.

If you can get your learners to be sharers of knowledge – or better still, teachers – that’s mission accomplished, learning-wise. In your learning paths, consider opportunities for learners to share their knowledge and engage with others. For example:

  • Present a task whereby learners must get together in groups and collaborate on an assignment.
  • Ask learners to discuss a particular topic through posts to a forum, blog posts, or via instant messaging groups.
  • Host a webinar in which participants get into online breakout rooms and try to solve a problem relating to a learned concept.
  • Facilitate live Q&A Zoom sessions with tutors or experts where learners get to air their concerns about a new product for instance and discuss it with the expert and the wider group.


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For example, in the above Bytekast pathway, the learner first reads an article about the company culture, and this is followed by a Q&A Zoom session where they get to talk to their manager and discuss aspects of this.

Should I use learning paths?

Today’s hybrid workforce needs flexible learning solutions more than ever; learning paths can support your organisational training requirements by virtue of their flexibility. When you are creating a learning path consider the following:

  • What is the flow of work for your learners? Is it different for individual learners? Individualise your ByteKast learning paths accordingly. Consider the 5 Moments of Need. Some learners may require skill development, in which case, for example, skills-based videos interspersed with quizzes or challenges may be appropriate.
  • Others may require more conceptual learning, in which case articles, case studies and knowledge checks might be right. Do you want some activities to be optional and others mandatory?
  • Tailor your solution and be creative. And get feedback from your learners; the great thing about learning paths delivered through ByteKast is that they can be built quickly, and you can quickly remove those learning elements that aren’t working for learners and add new ones.
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To learn more about learning pathways and how they can transform the learning experience for you and your learners, get a demo of ByteKast. 


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