Learning Challenges

The Monthly Learning Challenge is a self-paced professional development opportunity from Learning and Development at the University of Oregon. In each challenge, we will guide you through a series or recommended online learning resources - including short videos, tutorials, reading, or other materials - based around a specific topic or theme. Resources will be organized for you on the LinkedIn Learning platform so you can easily track your progress and access the learning materials. 

We've designed Learning Challenges so that employees can participate on their own or as a group. Each month, you will find a series of independent and team activities that you can complete as part of the Learning Challenge. These include thought exercises, writing prompts, opportunities to plan and set goals, discussion prompts, and more. 

Featured Learning Challenge: May 2024

Build the Right Soft Skills for Today and Tomorrow

Soft skills are needed in almost every aspect of your team's work. This challenge will help you develop these fundamental skills to effectively communicate, expand emotional intelligence, and create deeper connections with the people around around you.

Start the Challenge

Past Learning Challenges

Content Areas


Leadership and Supervision

Title Description
Self-Leadership This learning challenge focuses on self-leadership.  You will learn what it means to be a self-leader and will work to identify your own self-leadership strategy.  You  will get motivated to hold yourself accountable and will begin setting strategic goals for yourself.  Finally, you will identify specific actions you can take right now to help you accomplish those goals.


Communication, Collaboration, and Relationship Building  

Title Description
Customer Service In this Learning Challenge, you will explore how to provide exceptional customer experience by building rapport with customers, understanding customer needs, and practicing active listening. You'll discover ways to prevent negative emotions during customer interactions, recognize the warning signs of conflict, and use de-escalation tactics when conversations become heated. You'll also learn about coping techniques that can help you care for yourself when dealing with the more challenging aspects of customer service. Finally, you will explore customer service leadership and techniques for developing a customer service strategy. 
Providing and Receiving Feedback This Learning Challenge focuses on giving and receiving feedback. You'll learn how to ask for feedback, how to respond to both positive and negative feedback, and how to control your emotional reactions during feedback conversations. You'll explore the steps you need to take to implement the feedback you receive, including processing, prioritizing, and applying the feedback to your work. You'll also discover how to create a healthy relationship with feedback that can help you grow in your career. Finally, you’ll learn how to give feedback to others in a clear, direct, and empathetic way.
Developing Emotional Intelligence This Learning Challenge focuses on emotional intelligence. You’ll learn why emotional intelligence is important, and how it positively impacts personal well-being and career success. You’ll explore the four key components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship development. You’ll discover how self-awareness can allow you to recognize and understand your own emotions, strengths, and weaknesses, while self-regulation empowers you to manage and control your emotional responses. Finally, you’ll learn how using empathy can strengthen your connections and relationships, and how you can use emotional intelligence to navigate social situations and manage conflicts in the workplace.
Creating Safe and Inclusive Environments at Work This Learning Challenge focuses on creating a safe and inclusive workplace. You will gain a deeper understanding of DIBE (Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity) and the detrimental effects of bias and microaggressions on individuals and workplace environments. You will develop the confidence and skills to recognize and speak up against bias and advocate for inclusivity in your workplace. Additionally, you will learn strategies for inclusive conversations and the importance of personal responsibility in driving positive change and building inclusive workplace environments. 


Planning and Productivity

Title Description
Setting and Achieving Goals This Learning Challenge focuses on setting and achieving professional and personal goals. You will discover strategies for setting attainable goals and defining, categorizing, and refining them and will create an action plan to achieve your goals using the SMART framework. Then, you will learn techniques you can use to find the motivation to reach your goals, maintain your momentum, take action when you're feeling discouraged, and celebrate your successes. 
Planning Your Time  This Learning Challenge focuses on time management. You’ll discover how to best prioritize your work, plan your schedule, manage spare time, and prepare for distractions. You’ll explore the concept of the planning fallacy and learn how to avoid it. You’ll also learn how to set boundaries with others to protect your time in the workplace, and how to best utilize planning tools such as calendars, productivity apps, and to-do lists.


Thinking and Problem Solving

Title Description
Embracing a Culture of Sustainability This Learning Challenge was developed by the UO Office of Sustainability in partnership with UO Learning and Development.  You will explore the concept of sustainability through a dynamic systems thinking lens, and will learn strategies for developing a more sustainable workplace.  You will find out about the impact of food waste on the environment, and will learn about how to compost, both at home and in your office. 


Wellness in the Workplace

Title Description
Beating Loneliness at Work This Learning Challenge focuses on beating loneliness at work. You will explore the concept of loneliness, how it affects the brain, and receive tips on moving forward and starting to build better connections with others. You will learn how to make new connections, maintain, and deepen the relationships you have at work. An additional section is included about building connections remotely, identifying strategies for making connections in a remote workplace environment.
Managing Stress and Burnout This Learning Challenge focuses on coping with and preventing stress and burnout. You will learn what to do when you experience stress and some tactics for preventing stressful situations at work. You will explore the different types of burnout, and the common causes of burnout and steps you can take to recover and to prevent burnout in the future.
Health and Wellness in the Workplace This Learning Challenge focuses on physical and mental well-being in the workplace. You'll discover the importance of physical health and learn how to incorporate exercise, healthier eating habits, and improved sleep routines to boost your energy throughout the day. You'll discover a convenient chair workout and desk-friendly stretches that effectively alleviate tension, all within the comfort of your workspace. You'll explore self-care practices such as mindfulness, breathwork, and gratitude journaling that can boost your mood and reduce stress. You'll also learn how to create lasting, positive habits, and how to set boundaries to create a healthy work-life balance.
Developing Resilience This Learning Challenge focuses on resilience. You will learn what resilience is and how it can benefit you. You will explore methods to enhance resilience, including positive thinking, self-confidence, and cultivating a growth mindset. You will be challenged to move outside your comfort zone and practice being uncomfortable to help you prepare for adverse experiences. Finally, you will discover techniques for recovering from difficult situations, and how to shift your perspective to see adversity as an opportunity for personal growth.


Navigating Your Career and Professional Development

Title Description
Learning on the Job: Cultivating a Growth Mindset Throughout Your Career This Learning Challenge focuses on cultivating a growth mindset and lifelong learning practices. You will discover how approaching your work with a committment to learning can positivily impact your professional experience, lead to new opportunities, and help you develop resilience and agility when faced with change. You will have the opportunity to perform a skills self-assement and create a personal learning plan so that you can set priorities and incorporate learning into your working life. Finally, you will find out about specific ways to learn on the job - such as using LinkedIn Learning, finding opportunties for mentorship, and UO specific learning resources. 
Building Your Professional Network This Learning Challenge focuses on professional networking. You'll learn where to find networking opportunities, both online and in person, and how to best leverage each opportunity to build your network. You'll discover how to navigate networking events, initiate conversation, ask interesting questions, and make a lasting impression to stand out from the crowd. You'll learn the best methods for following up after initial contact, nurturing rapport, and staying in touch with your network to forge lasting, meaningful professional relationships. You'll also explore the many ways you can leverage your network for support, collaboration, and growth.