Should You Assign Work to Your Learners During a Holiday Break?
In the U.S., we’re super accustomed to hearing the phrase, “Burning the midnight oil.” Which basically means pushing it until it’s done. Do whatever it takes and make it happen, even if you have to stay up late into the night.
Now, at Miranda Park Learning we know a thing or two about staying up and making sure the project is 100% wonderful.
We’re most certainly not against “burning the oil,” but we know our limits. For us, getting in some good rest is key for optimal learning and performance. When it’s time for a break, you bet we like to enjoy it.
But the Question Remains: Should You Assign Work During a Holiday Break?
Assigning work during a holiday break really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Why are you assigning it? Are you trying to make sure learners stay on their toes until they come back? Can it wait?
The Simple Truth
Here’s the truth as far as we’ve experienced. People use the break to either:
1) Catch up (insert work or life here)
2) Actually rest and do whatever is of interest to them
If you assign work during a break, ask yourself if your learner wouldn’t feel obligated and tense because of it. Since it’s a “Have to” situation, beware of their engagement level dropping.
Making It Optional
There is something super neat about assigning something that people don’t have to do. If they feel the impulse to get it done, you better believe that they will. But some will feel the relief of having the choice to rest.
It’s Not laziness, It’s Lack of Interest
If you assign something optional as vacay work and 50% of your learners get it done, it means they were interested in the topic so they chose to do it. It could also mean that your overachievers wanted to get ahead. Or maybe there was another motivator driving their accomplishment. The fact is, they got it done. Perfect.
But realize the other 50% isn’t lazy. They’re simply not interested in disrupting their personal time with your assignment (ouch, we know). So, they will get to it as soon as it’s necessary, but at no other time. This is OK, too. Your learners aren’t supposed to be the same person. Be sure to honor that.
Careful with the Punishing
If you assign something as optional, careful not to mock or punish those who didn’t do the work. Also don’t reward those who did. Be fair and give adequate time for people to complete the task as they return from the break. The people who already did it will simply be ahead.
Who Are We?
We are Miranda Park Learning, your instructional design experts. When you need training systems for your company, contact us. Whether it’s eLearning, written materials, or video we’re here to help you create the right training materials for your team.
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