Skillsoft Blog

The Most Common Client Questions about Scrap Learning


By Laura W. Rexford

In July, two of Skillsoft’s North American Customer Success leaders, Tara Tapley and Kristin Thomas, kicked off a 3-part learning measurement strategy webinar series with a deep dive into the impact of scrap learning. Too much of the high quality content talent teams deliver today is never applied on the job. In other words, the investment in learning is wasted. It’s “scrap”. Tara and Kristin set out to make sure our clients know what scrap learning is and can combat that waste with effective practices that help ensure a higher percentage of the content delivered gets applied on the job.

As usual, the session participants added immeasurable value through thoughtful questions and comments. A couple of questions were posted by more than one customer, so we’re sharing our point of view and invite you to post your thoughts and additional questions in the comments or via the Measuring Program Value group on the Client Community.

Participant Question: It is accurate to say that consistently demonstrating scrap learning rate lets stakeholders know that the training program was not the reason for a lack of behavioral change or correct employee application of training?

Skillsoft Answer: Stakeholders use scrap rates to evaluate:

1) How well the training met the needs defined

2) To what extent the conditions on the job cooperatively enable use of the new knowledge or skills

Rather than “defending” the training content, Skillsoft encourages L&D pros to use the data to inform managers about potential barriers or gaps they can influence on the job to ignite closer, more effective collaboration with the talent team. This will ensure staff can continually develop and mature skills on the job. Scrap rate can also serve as a great quality metric confirming the content met all actual needs. To help talent staff determine why content wasn’t applied, we recommend collecting additional data from learners. Your Customer Success Consultant can share with you how our teams word this question and answer set.

Participant Question: How does scrap measurement work with learning that presents multiple concepts? How granular should we get in measuring scrap rate? An individual course may have dozens of pieces of information.

Skillsoft Answer: Learners will apply content specific to their individual needs and timing, so evaluating every objective across every learner assumes everyone needs all the content in the same period. To balance the need to measure what matters with reasonable resource investment, we recommend asking three questions together:

  1. Which content did you pursue?
  2. How relevant was that content to you?
  3. How quickly did you apply what you learned?

With this combination of information you can begin to link the most needed and relevant content to scrap rate.

Hopefully, this post gives you a sampling of the content covered and insight from webinar participants. If you haven’t put sessions 2 (Aug 18) and 3 (Sept 22) on your calendar – register today! Anyone may register, not just Skillsoft customers.

Laura Rexford is Director of Value Engineering & Customer Insight at Skillsoft

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