Who would’ve thought the pandemic could make us rethink our way of life! Staying home and being connected is the new normal. People all over the world want to move forward together while being socially distant. The exponentially changing technology landscape has made this transition smoother. And to keep abreast with this disruptive technology, companies and jobs have to adapt to newer ways of learning without further ado.
Many companies believe that reskilling and upskilling the existing staff is the way forward and have already put together a robust learning program. But Often, talent development is linked to ROI. And when you have to achieve agile results at scale, it often proves challenging. It’s time we recognise that learning on the go is expected as flexibility becomes the new normal.
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Online Learning: Temporary or Permanent?
COVID-19 crisis has forced us to take the learning experience online. The EdTech space has witnessed a phenomenal spike in the past few months. And this is reflected in google trends report as well. Everyone is grappling to find answers on how to keep the workforce updated in times like these and most of them have found solace in online learning.
But will this continue even after the crisis? Or is this just a temporary phase? Zoom and other digital communication tools are seeing a spike in both usage and stock price. According to some experts, this is a radical shift and could outlast the COVID-19 outbreak. We can learn from this and start implementing smart, agile, collaborative learning experiences. Companies will embrace this digital switch to achieve high-impact learning at scale for years to come.
As technology evolves, online learning will evolve too. Today we are building them as an active learning experience, where one goes through a series of modules, does certain tasks/exercises to move ahead in the course.
In the near future, AR and VR could have a massive impact on the online learning experience. Educators would be able to optimize their lessons by recreating places or transforming objects they are talking about. This approach would essentially amplify our current reality and create opportunities to communicate complex concepts in a manner that can be easily understood. But the fact remains that to keep up with the rapidly changing technology landscape, we will need a permanent (tried and tested) solution to transform the workforce at scale.
Adoption and learning curve
Sure, the adoption is slow and it’s a learning curve for all of us. Although some companies had already embraced digital learning, our survey (High-Impact Learning at Scale) suggests that the pandemic has forced many more to consider the option. Here’s why and how online learning can really help you keep up with the changing times.
1. It’s in line with the online generation and business models
To be honest, technology is ruling our lives. The fact that this learning model is technology-based makes it universally accepted. Cell phones, tabs, computers and much more, people have made technological devices a part of their everyday lives. Rather, they are highly dependent on it whether personal life or work life. So it makes sense to leverage technology in their training.
2. It gives quantifiable results and reporting
To keep abreast with the changing business landscape many companies offer training to their employees. Rigorous training, life coaching courses, self-development programs, skill improvement and much more is offered to employees to increase effectiveness. But all this training is futile if it’s not reflected in attaining business goals.
With an online training model, measuring and evaluating the program effectiveness is faster and easier. Online platform gives you data like rates of course completion, forum commitment, examination grades, and course completion timeframe can be collected as reports right from the Learning Management System (LMS). This can give you a clear picture of the employee commitment, their upskilling needs and their development path within the company.
3. Instant feedback and recognition helps employees stay committed to the learning experience
Digital learning enhances the learning experience while not losing the conventional interactive experience. In fact, it’s a step ahead as it offers instant grades, performance assessment and feedback. This allows learners to measure how well they are performing, and what parts of the learning resource they should revise before moving on. Digital platform makes is more graphical with badges, leaderboards, gamification features and certificates offer employees a sense of recognition and accomplishment that inspires them to learn.
4. An outcome-oriented learning experience that gives the best ROI
Digital learning is focused and result-oriented. The recollection rate is higher in concept-based learning since its more structured and defines the relationship between topics, establishing a solid network of knowledge instead of disconnected pieces of information. Online learning offers the flexibility and autonomy to select what to learn next, when to learn and where to learn from. This helps learners to focus on the outcome.
5. Up-to-date skills on demand
Online platforms are constantly monitoring the latest trends, emerging technologies. This helps them realign their courses and deliver best-in-class programs on-demand, often before that particular skillset is in-demand.
Cultural change inside out
Though many companies are shifting focus to digital learning, there are still some rooted deeply in the traditional ways of training. The bigger the organisation, the bigger the roadblock. To consider the vertical hierarchy, horizontally spread branches and departments, it is a hard task to bring everyone on the same page. It’s a top-down strategy and will need a complete inside out cultural change in terms of how you look at talent development.
However, the pandemic has forced companies to speed up this process. As #WFM becomes a new normal, companies have come to realise that the only way to keep abreast of the change is to remain prepared and ready to adapt culturally to this new normal.
Our own survey for the whitepaper ‘High-Impact Learning at Scale’ suggests that the L&D budget commitments moved from 40% to 80% post COVIOD-19, within a span of just one month. A promising growth of EdTech worldwide suggests that online learning is already getting a nod from many companies and they’ve already begun the journey of this inside out cultural change.
Together we can create a new online learning paradigm
At upGrad, we look forward to charting your business graph. We start with you, understand your problems and create solutions that are bespoke to your needs. We understand the changing market landscape, your business mission that changes with it and we revolutionise learning to build new capabilities and help you stay relevant. We work with enterprises to shape world-class professionals by creating an immersive experience using the latest technology, pedagogy, and services.
To date, over 500,000 learners have successfully upskilled and reskilled themselves via upGrad at industry-defying rates of over 85%. Our cutting edge curricula and collaboration with the leading global faculty and industry experts makes us the pioneers in helping enterprises create a workforce that is ready to conquer tomorrow, today.