What Learners Want – Part 1 – The ‘why’

Posted on Feb 26, 2013

Towards the back end of 2012, my organisation formally entered into a working relationship with Towards Maturity to help us better understand our Benchmark results and help us work towards creating an L&D strategy.

During one of those initial meetings Laura Overton made an almost throw away remark about a ‘Learner Audit’ (I’m not overly keen on the name, so we’ve labelled it as a Learner Survey) that she had undertaken some time in the past and that she was considering resurrecting as an offering.

Unlike the Towards Maturity Benchmark survey, which tends to rely on answers by those in an L&D role/perspective, the Learner Survey allows every single employee in the organisation the opportunity to comment on

  • how they access content that supports them
  • from what devices
  • from what locations
  • what methods and media they find most effective
  • whether they are members of social networking sites
  • whether they are/would be willing to share their knowledge and practices with others etc

My eyes lit up at this point as I am about to assist in the development of our L&D strategy, so of course being able to hear from about our learners about their preferences, expectations, etc would be hugely beneficial.

Needless to say we took Laura up on her offer which as this press release explains made us the first organisation to do so.

If you’d like to hear more about the rationale behind the survey, here’s a short video of Laura explaining further.



In my next blog post in this series I’ll go into a little detail about the construction of the survey and how we worked together to provide a bespoke survey that would still allow multiple surveys to feed accurately into a wider-benchmark.



  1. @CraigTaylor74 @C4LPT Timely as my key VP intrigued by my rebuke of formal first approach. I’m now tasked w/ preparing high level strategy

    • @britz I think there are lots of starting points to creating a strategy, but any that doesn’t include our employees is doomed to failure IMO

      • @CraigTaylor74 @britz Not just an employee ‘wish list’ tho. Must come from a robust & consistent perf management & prof development process

        • @niallgavinuk Oh yeah, I’d never thought of that……… 😉

        • @CraigTaylor74 Just broadening the context for the rest of our viewers… we’re not all experts

        • @niallgavinuk Are any of us?

        • @CraigTaylor74 Always learning…

      • @CraigTaylor74 I spent last week interviewing sample of our workforce and have a few months of observation & conversations w/ execs…

  2. I wonder if a broader question would also be of value:  when you most need to learn how to do something, who/what resource do you turn to most frequently and why?

    • jcufaude Hi. This broadstroke question is indeed included in the survey and a significant number of the questions allow for free text responses too. Many participants have made use of this option and it has allowed us to gain some additional insights.

  3. @tmiket I appreciate the shout out Mike. 2nd post in the series will follow this week.

    • @CraigTaylor74 Absolutely..looking forward to the next one.

  4. Craig, I had dinner with Laura last year whilst at the OnlineEduca in Berlin. Our companies work very closely together.http://blog.globalenglish.com

  5. Hi Simon, what a small world eh? I’m speaking with Laura on a weekly basis at the moment, so I’ll make sure to let her know about our connection the next time we speak.

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