The internet has fundamentally impacted how we live and work. Unsurprisingly, it has impacted the training industry as well. Organizations have also experienced a shift in the way knowledge dissemination happens. Add the rapid growth of the millennial population in the workforce and the old (training) dog has no choice but to learn new tricks.
The rise of eLearning has been a response to the changing dynamics of the training landscape. Today, eLearning has become a mainstay in the enterprise landscape. An increasing number of learning and development initiatives are adopting this training method. After all, the skills of the workforce need to evolve with the speed of business today. Thus, training initiatives have to move at the same pace rather than just address the needs that were relevant yesterday.
Businesses today are not just looking at training as a basic onboarding activity. Training is a core component of their employee engagement strategy and a medium to equip their staff with core competencies and technical skills that align with the company’s business goals. Employees are being valued as assets and enterprises are developing a culture of continuous learning. This shift has taken place primarily because of the constant evolution in business dynamics, evolving technologies, and an ever-developing market. In such an environment relying solely on classroom training is a huge drain on resource time and can be a logistical nightmare to manage as well.
The classroom to catalog shift, and the disruption
The inevitable shift towards eLearning has been a welcome change in the training landscape. Training, that was initially looked upon primarily as a cost center, has been able to deliver greater value to re-skill or upskill a workforce. It provided an easier and a more cost-effective way to enable learning without disrupting the daily workloads of the employees. This made training a tangible commitment to enable continuous learning of employees.
Classroom-only training companies have already realized the eLearning advantage and keeping in step with the speed of technological change have evolved. Today, we are witnessing the transformation of these companies as they reinvent themselves as catalog companies with a stream of ready courses available online. These courses cover a wide gamut of topics from business skill upgradation to technological advancements. These courses give a high-level understanding of the topic under discussion and help the users meet their target objectives without compromising on their time at work.
Sometime in 2015, LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com, an online education company with a vision to create “economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, which is north of 3 billion people.” Now along with searching for jobs on LinkedIn, the users of this social platforms could also gain an insight into courses that would make them more employable and skilled at landing that dream job. Lynda, as an established online training company, had set a high bar for authors contributing to its courses. It ensured that all the information was presented was disseminated in a clear and understandable manner. The marriage with LinkedIn was almost made in heaven.
This marriage had disrupted training companies and has compelled them to rethink their training strategies. The truth is, there is now a wealth of information available on this platform. It now serves as a go-to source for learning for everything -from software to business issues. LinkedIn users are able to use this platform to re-skill and upskill and get certified or re-certified according to their need. When you talk of value, LinkedIn clearly gave its users the whole nine yards.
Personalization and customization – the silver bullet in the training landscape
That being said, when it comes to a business environment, the learning needs are more specific to each company, its ethos, thought process, and business goals. While much of the basic information regarding a particular subject may be available on Lynda, we need greater customization when we need to dive deeper into the details.
Also, it is now important to assess the learning needs and learning styles of each individual learner. Personalization and customization become important contributors to learning success here, especially with the millennial workforce who are geared to expect customization as a norm. Leveraging latest technology like VR, employing elements like gamification, creating courses in easily digestible chunks, providing the option to pace the course according to individual needs, creating built-in tests to confirm information absorption, using data to assess learning gaps, and providing the option to revisit problem subjects that catalog courses often do not offer. This is where customized eLearning becomes key.
Options like Lynda are a great way to get informed about and gain high-level knowledge of basic courses. For example, Lynda can be used to understand what the cloud is. However, if an organization is using the cloud to create a specific business solution to solve a particular business problem, then creating a comprehensive course on the cloud, its applications and the workings that are specific to the business objective will be more useful. Compliance training is another such example.
In Conclusion – Blended Learning may be the way ahead.
While eLearning is opening up a wealth of knowledge, there are certain aspects of training more suited to a classroom. The manufacturing sector, for example, has high and diverse training needs. They hire in big numbers and there is also a wave of technological change that this industry is experiencing. For industries such as this, where you have large numbers to train, have complexities in roles and services, and have specific needs to address, adopting a blended learning approach – one that amalgamates classroom and online training, works best. While the basic training can be online leveraging eLearning and mobile learning, the more specific part of the training that needs a more hands-on approach with tools and machines could be done in the classroom. The result? A better-trained staff, greater knowledge retention, lower downtime, and training cost optimization – this is what a match made in heaven really looks like.
Creating an eLearning course that engages your learners ensuring your organization is able to achieve the most out of its training activities is a scientific process. A team of instructional designers from eNyota study your unique business needs in detail before developing mockups, plans, and initial drafts to ensure you are pleased with the end-outcome before the actual development. You can reach out to us with you query at firstname.lastname@example.org with your needs or click on the link and fill a form in order for us to get in touch with you.