The pace of digital transformation in the business arena has accelerated immeasurably over the past few years, with new innovations touching all aspects of corporate life, from learning and development to company culture.
Turning our attention specifically to education technology (EdTech), although much has changed in recent times, many organizations hold the belief that the best way to succeed with their learning and development (L&D) initiatives is to digitize traditional learning methods and amass as much content as possible.Logical though this may be, the reality is that firms must scrap this outmoded approach in favour of something more innovative. Indeed, the future of learning will require a radical re-think from corporate leaders, if employees are to progress up the career ladder, become more fulfilled in their roles, and get the most out of their L&D.
In today’s day and age, we are living at a time of great distraction. Although workers might set out with the best intentions to sit down and read through morning briefings, complete eLearning modules, and generally consume new knowledge to better their development, such tasks are made much more challenging by the vast sea of information available. Nowadays, employees are likely to receive countless emails, social media notifications and news alerts throughout any given working day. And as we are bombarded with information, it can be difficult to sift through to the knowledge that counts.
This is something that organizations must take into account when re-imagining their corporate learning from scratch. Using our vast experience in the EdTech field, we’ve come up with four of our top suggestions for businesses to bear in mind for the year ahead…
1. Personalized learning is key
One of the main issues with some EdTech solutions out in the market is that they are not personalized to the individual. In essence, it is difficult to cement new information if learning materials do not speak to individuals in their own language, so to speak.
In many ways, this is just as much of a problem in academic settings as it is in the corporate sphere, so learning leaders would do well to draw upon new technologies that utilize algorithms to output material in a variety of formats, depending on the needs of the enquirer. In this way, visual learners, who learn best with photographs, videos and infographics, can absorb information in a way that suits them best, rather than having to consume reams of text, for example.
2. ‘Bite-size’ learning will capture workers’ imagination
According to research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the dropout rate of online courses has surged to a staggering 96%. Clearly, something is amiss.
Although convenient, these findings suggest that current learning models are missing the mark when it comes to keeping learners engaged over the long-haul. Moreover, our own research indicates that individuals believe that online learning is inferior when it comes to developing critical thinking and debating skills, as well as fostering learners’ creativity. To summarize, standard eLearning models are failing to capture learners’ attention.
Given that time and focus is of the essence, new-and-improved online learning platforms will provide bite-sized content to cater to the needs of busy learners, who are no doubt balancing their corporate learning endeavours against a spate of other responsibilities. Short-format learning, that allows individuals to gain crucial insights in just a fraction of the time will go along way to keeping your employees immersed for the long-haul.
3. Knowledge at your fingertips
Another problem with current L&D models is the fact that courses often take an ‘all or nothing approach’. Frequently, organizations opt to send their employees on day-long corporate learning courses, rather than considering a year-round approach to career development.
Given that recent statistics suggest that over 80% of the world’s population use smartphones – with this number predicted to climb to 7.5 billion users by 2024 -businesses would be wise to tap into learning solutions that allow users to access information from their cell phone – anytime, anywhere. Employees will no doubt find themselves brushing up on their corporate knowledge just before an important meeting with ease or checking in on their self-education when they have an extra five minutes to spare on the morning commute. Convenience is key!
4. Make way for gamification
Following on from our earlier remark about learner engagement, gamification is another ground-breaking way for firms to engage their workers, encourage motivation and instil a willingness to learn.
As these platforms incorporate elements typically associated with video games, like leader boards, achieving badges and rewards, and progressing to different levels, they transform the learning process from a monotonous obligation into something that workers actually enjoy. This is something we’ve already tried our hand at here at Soffos with our Sales Enablement tool TestMe, which allows learners to test their knowledge in a handy Q&A format. Give it a try here!
We have a number of other exciting apps in the works that we think will enrich the learning experience – you can keep up-to-date here for all your learning needs!