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The Benefits of Event Activated Learning (EAL) Training: How to Take Advantage o ...

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Introduction

One of the major pluses of this Internet-centric world is that we have the ability to find almost any kind of knowledge in the blink on an eye. This has led to the development of what is called EAL training, or Event-Activated Learning training.

The EAL training concept can be applied to multiple subjects, leading to a revolution in the world of online learning. This article will discuss what EAL training is, the benefits of EAL training and why this training model is a necessary component of security awareness training.

What Is EAL Training?

Event-Activated Learning training is the integration of an endpoint solution within your Information Security environment that delivers security awareness training to organization employees based upon the security incidents that they are involved with. The real world application of EAL training quite diverse as it can apply to any security incident. An example of a real world EAL training scenario is when a user clicks on a suspicious link that is hiding malware. This will trigger event specific training for that user that will hopefully prevent the user from clicking on a link like that again.

As this article will explore later on, EAL training and teachable moments go hand-in-hand. They share a similar habit of popping up at any time. This spontaneity makes them natural workplace pals because you can easily apply EAL training whenever a teachable moment occurs. In real-world practice, the information learned via EAL training is most effective when learned just before it is actually needed to be used in the workplace.

More important than hammering down an exact definition of EAL training is having an approach to EAL that works for your organization or business. Below is a list of some EAL training best practices that you can use to flesh out an organization’s existing EAL training approach:

Figure out what training will be needed in response to certain events Assess your current EAL approach Organize applicable learning categories for your organization Make the information easily digestible/absorbed Provide scenarios and examples, do not just provide information Determine where training is needed Find value-adding partners (where relevant)

Try to use this list of best practices when creating your organization’s approach to EAL training. You will find that these best practices are good as a starting point or launch pad for moving your EAL training approach in the direction that is best for your organization.

What Are the Benefits of EAL Training?

EAL training is nothing if not a benefit-generating machine for an organization. After all, the end goal of EAL training is efficiency, which benefits everybody involved. Aside from efficiency, there are a handful of other benefits that will come into play when you implement EAL within your organization. These other benefits are:

Maximization of Knowledge Retention

One of the most best traits of EAL training is the maximization of knowledge retention that occurs due to the immediacy of learning information just before you have to use it in the workplace. This concept, known as workplace reinforcement, occurs whenever you learn information right before you use it because it is still fresh in your mind.

Coupled with teachable moments (which can occur quite literally at any time), EAL training is a shining example of workplace reinforcement. Teachable moments can pop up at any time so there will have to be some sort of vision in place at your organization that will be able to predict what information will have to be taught to take advantage of these teachable moments. This will depend on the nature of the business and what is foreseen, yet this vision will be vital to taking advantage of teachable moments when they occur.

Better Facilitates Change

One of the major benefits of EAL training is that it helps to facilitate change across the organization. Change can be a difficult part of life for many people to adjust to for many reasons. Despite this fact, EAL training can smash this invisible barrier to workplace improvement because aside from teaching, EAL training can promote change by making the workplace team excited about upcoming changes in the organization. Achieving this goal can depend on the nature of the business, and how the information related to the change is presented, but it can definitely be accomplished within EAL training.

Enhanced Employee Engagement

Teaching an employee a new skill gives that employee a vested interest to truly learn the information. If employee thinks that they will be expected to use the information on the job, this increases the gravity of the information they learn to the point where the performance of the skill will be better cemented in their mind. In other words, make the employee think that they will be responsible for the information in their role and you will have a higher probability that the employee will be engaged by the information and will better put it into practice on the job.

Maximizes Money Invested into Training

Without a doubt, money invested into training when using EAL training will stretch farther than when EAL training is not used. When EAL training is not implemented, most organizations will just make note of teachable moments and maybe these lessons will be incorporated into the next time the organization holds an information security training session. Most times though, you would be lucky to find one or two more pieces of information (scavenged from EAL or teachable moments) within the next year’s information security training session. By using EAL training to respond to teachable moments, the information will be presented in a contemporaneous way that will catch more useful information than simply saving the information for the next training session.

Why Is EAL Training a Necessary Component of a Security Awareness Program?

EAL training is a necessary component of a successful security awareness program because it makes the training more effective. EAL training makes security awareness more effective for different reasons, with the most important being:

Makes Security Awareness Programs Personal

EAL training helps make a security awareness program more effective because it makes it more personal. When training is personalized, the subject of the training is more likely to absorb the information they are learning, making the training more effective. EAL training should be implemented in a way to take advantage of teachable moments in a responsive, real time fashion that will teach the employee what they need to know as the teachable moment occurs.

EAL Training Makes Security Awareness Programs Less of a Punishment

When EAL training is injected into a security awareness program, it makes the program seem less like a punishment which will make the information learned sink in more thereby improving program efficiency. EAL training contains a very in the moment, scenario specific focus that lets employees see that the training they are receiving is not based out of a place of punishment but rather a place of reaction to seemingly unforeseen circumstances. What most employees will not know is that your understanding of your business and information security environment is the reason that you were able to capitalize on these teachable moments.

Conclusion EAL training and responding to teachable moments go hand in hand. EAL training, by its nature, responds to information-based training in a way that this information is presented contemporaneously with when the information will be needed. Teachable moments, by their nature, can occur at almost anytime to almost anyone within the organization. The marriage of these two concepts is a very natural combination and will become

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