1.3 Evaluate the potential benefits and risks of self-directed and social learning for both individuals and organisations.

  
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5LD01 Supporting Self-directed and Social Learning 

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This unit is about recognising how individuals are increasingly wanting to learn at their own pace, by their preferred method, and in a way that fits with their personal schedules and lifestyle. Moreover, effective organisational learning embraces formal and informal socialised activities. These shifts, and the greater recognition of the benefits in driving performance through learning means that learning and development professionals must facilitate approaches for those who learn in these ways.

Case study
You are a new senior member of the Learning and Development team  for a large European supermarket chain, Essen. You joined the organisation 2 years ago and have since worked to streamline their L&D practices to minimise waste and encourage an evidence-based approach to training and learning interventions.
You are based in London but work closely with the head office in Germany. In an effort to standardise learning and best practice across the organisation, the head office team decide on key investments for L&D.

Whilst the organisation has a strong learning culture, with progression planning high on the agenda, most knowledge is transferred on a peer-to-peer basis. The social learning is represented with strong reliance on experienced staff supporting others (becoming SMEs). Line managers and store management are traditionally responsible for staff development and learning. Most of the learning is delivered face to face by in-store managers, with L&D delivering specialist  and  management training.

In a Feb 2020 meeting with the Essen SMT and the Head of L&D in Germany, you proposed the use of a LMS system to incorporate all learning and encourage online and self-directed learning. Whilst interest in this was low initially, momentum for the need for self-directed and social learning has grown due to high numbers of temporary staff (mainly frontline and logistics staff) recruited during the peak of the National Lockdown (due to Covid-19) starting in March 2020. This emergency training was successful and UK stores have retained 27% of the temporary staff. However, it was apparent that a significant change was required to the L&D strategy to reduce the strain felt by store staff when supporting L&D requirements.
The CEO has asked you to take the lead and produce a report to outline your proposal for a new company-wide approach to promote self-directed and social learning. You will present the report to the Head of L&D Germany, who will support you to take this forward to the organisation.

Preparation for the Tasks:

  • Refer to the indicative content in the unit to guide and support your evidence.
  • Pay attention to how your evidence is presented
  • Ensure that the evidence generated for this assessment remains your own work.


You will also benefit from:

  • Reflecting on your own experiences of learning opportunities and training and continuing professional development.
  • Reading the CIPD Insight, Fact Sheets and related online material on these topics.


Don’t forget to:

  • Complete the front cover sheet and place at the front of your assessment.
  • Use the assessment criteria for each task as headings and sub-headings so your marker can see where your answer begins.
  • Ensure that your filename contains your full name and assessment title


Task 1– Proposal Report
As your report is being prepared for senior management, it should be written in formal business report format and style. It is to be provided to Essen’s European Head of L&D, where the priority will be to discuss the benefits of implementing a new process to enhance Self-Directed Learning (SDL).
Your recipient is a specialist in L&D (16 years with the company), you will be able to take a high- level approach to provide your justifications. However, she has limited knowledge of digital innovations in L&D due to the way in which Essen have traditionally operated and delivered L&D. As most staff are not office-based; she has also expressed interest in the social learning opportunities, and has invited your ideas, with a view to developing ‘communities of practice’.
You appreciate that the adoption of self-directed and social learning initiatives require a cultural shift, therefore you must include strategies to support the change, and encourage staff.

The report must therefore include:

  • An explanation of self-directed learning and social learning. How are these similar and how are they different? How are these concepts linked / connected? (AC 1.1)
  • An assessment of at least one self-directed and one social learning theories, discussing the strengths and limitations of each. (AC 1.2)
  • Appropriate research to critically assess the routes of access to self-directed and social learning across different demographic groups. (AC 2.3)
  • An evaluation of the potential benefits and risks of self-directed and social learning for both individuals and organisations. (AC 1.3)
  • An assessment of how digital and technological innovation are encouraging and enabling self- directed learning and social learning. (AC 2.4)
  • A discussion of support strategies for individuals that allow them to reflect on the impact of self- directed and social learning and discuss how the impact of the learning can be measured. (AC 2.5)
  • Identification and explanation of the steps that Essen can take to encourage informal and self- directed learning. (AC 2.1)
  • Identification and explanation of the steps that Essen can take to encourage social learning. (AC 2.2)


Your evidence must consist of:

  • Formal business report (2,900 words)


Task 2– Guidance Document
You are asked to produce a guidance document for Essen. You should produce a detailed guidance document (to be shared in the staff digital newsletter) containing information on how staff can curate resources to share their knowledge and expertise.

Your guidance document will include:

  • An evaluation of principles underpinning the curation of learning resources for self-directed and social learning, either as part of a wider learning and development programme or as a ‘stand- alone’ resource. (AC 3.1)
  • Details of curated resources, using an appropriate platform/method to make them accessible to others & including justification of why these learning resources were selected.  (AC 3.2)
  • Guidance which encourages and supports staff/ learners to be the curators of resources for one another (AC 3.3)

Your evidence must consist of:

  • Guidance document (1,000 words)


Assessment
Criteria Evidence Checklist
Use this as a checklist to make sure that you have included the required evidence to meet the task. Please enter the evidence title and where it can be referred to. An example has been provided for you.

Task 1 – Proposal Report                                           Evidenced
Assessment criteria                                                         Y/N

 Evidence reference

1.1 Explain the concepts of, and connections between self-directed and social learning.

Proposal Report

1.2 Assess underpinning theories related to self-directed and social learning.

2.3 Critically assess theories of learner differences in relation to ways of accessing and undertaking self-directed and social learning.

1.3 Evaluate the potential benefits and risks of self-directed and social learning for both individuals and organisations.

2.4 Assess how digital and technological innovation are encouraging and enabling self-directed and social learning.

2.5 Discuss strategies for supporting individuals to reflect on and measure the impact of self-directed and social learning.

2.1 Explain the steps organisations can take to encourage informal and self- directed learning.

2.2 Explain the steps organisations can take to encourage social learning.

Task 2 – Guidance Document
Assessment criteria

Evidenced
Y/N

Evidence reference

3.1 Evaluate principles underpinning the curation of learning resources for self-directed and social learning, either as part of a wider learning and development programme or as a ‘stand-alone’ resource.

Guidance Document

3.2 Curate a range of accessible learning resources in relation to a specific area of learning using an appropriate platform/method to make them accessible to others.

3.3 Develop guidance which encourages and supports learners to be the curators of resources for one another.


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