The growth of e-learning in the workplace

woman looking at computer screen

Vocational training is one of the crucial fixtures of a progressive company. However, the old model of sending staff out for days at a time is changing. Fuelled by technology, new training methods are emerging. Let’s take a look at how, and why.

Online teaching

The global market for online learning will reach $325 billion by 2025, a CAGR of 7.2%. And when you consider the advantages, it’s easy to see why. There’s no costs associated with printing out course materials. Just email them! Staff don’t spend time and money on travelling to classes, which benefits the organisation investing in their education. What’s more, if a syllabus needs to be updated or changed, this can be done instantly and electronically. There’s no need to rip things up and start again.

Mobile learning

On-demand banking, ordering taxis and takeaways, shopping… the ability to do all this and much more via mobile devices has transformed the world. Naturally, education has been similarly disrupted. Training can be done anywhere and done at any time, which in a win-win situation. Workers learn via a medium they’re used to, which helps engage them. Organisations can track modules completed via analytics, and offer reminders and encouragement.

Blended approach

Depending on the kind of business you operate and the sort of tasks employees are expected to perform, some companies may benefit more from a varied training approach that incorporates elements of both traditional and digital methods. For example, practical skills will need independently assessing by a qualified person to ensure that jobs are being performed correctly, while digital training can provide the theoretical side of instruction to give a rounded learning experience overall.

Visual learning

Experts have found that around 65% of people are visual learners.

This means training programmes are more likely to be successful if they use lots of visual stimulus. The best way to do that? Technology. Videos, gifs, interactive quizzes. The possibilities are endless. Consider running a survey among employees, to find out who is among the 65%, and tailor training accordingly. 

Next-generation learning

When Google Glass launched back in 2013, opinion was mixed to say the least. People walking around with headsets that could record in real-time sparked many privacy concerns. There were complaints about bugs, which for a £1,000+ product was seen as a big no-no. In 2015, the product had been pretty much withdrawn from consumer markets. Fast-forward to today, and the technology is fast gaining acceptance in the business world, as a training aid. Employees can learn how to do tasks, while wearing the headset. Mechanics at GE Electric are improving efficiency by 8%–12% using Google Glass Enterprise Edition.

The benefits are clear

Learning and development (L&D) is now a key part of HR’s remit. Of course, this means organisations benefit from increasingly skilled workers. However, when done correctly, there are also plenty of corollary benefits. Employees feel more engaged when training is delivered on their terms. HR professionals can accurately measure progress, impact and feedback. And of course, digitising training has a significant effect on ROI. Technology is the key to making it happen.

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