There was a time that people organised their own training in order to obtain a particular job. Those days are gone. Training is now something employers are expected to provide.
According to a Staff Skills Training survey, 86% of UK workers believed employers providing career development were less likely to have a high turnover in staff. This was because good training provisions made staff feel valued.
In the past, employers were reluctant to lose vital working time and workers crumbled under the pressure to catch up.
That’s why e-learning has become a life line for companies and employees alike.
Mobile learning especially has picked up steam. It is safe, familiar territory. And when people have the flexibility to choose when to learn, it also means they are able to pick times when they are both relaxed and receptive so as to optimise the experience.
Webinars are just as convenient. For starters, webinars are created with the sole purpose of solving a problem many people have. It also offers a relaxed learning style. Then there’s the social aspect of being part of a group of learners.
With webinars, you have the benefits of a classroom style without the loss of time to travel. People can learn and eat at the same time.
Social learning leads to great results. Workgroups which brainstorm on mobile technology can solve company problems and learn at the same time. Global workforces and specialists can unite when needed to resolve issues.
Any e-learning group where there is collaboration with peers provides social interaction and increases the sense of community. This offsets the isolation that can come with remote working.
Speed has also become part of learning. It has become more recognised that the traditional hour length lesson is not effective – our focus peeks at 20 minutes. So, short sessions deliver better results.
Gamification, however, is the ultra-tech answer to e-learning. Games can be for any subject and can be adapted to suit mixed skill levels.
We know how well real life role play works to re-inforce learning. Now we can role play as part of a game online, giving ourselves a break from stress, while subconsciously learning key takeaways.
Indeed, inspiring people to learn has been a challenge in the past. But with gamification, they can play for fun and be given rewards as motivation. It sparks imagination, maximises engagement and achieves more in-depth learning.
Comparatively cheap programmes such as the language app Babbel are set to prompt and test the user according to their personal achievements. But the more developed the system is, the more individualised each training contract can be with totally non-linear learning maps.
These systems work as both teacher and development coach. They can encourage the learner to look at other objectives to suit them and users are able to develop at their own pace.
More research resources now exist solely in the digital world. The sheer speed and scope of the internet makes books redundant for research.
But while all that time saving is great for staff and companies alike, it only works well when backed with proper training assessments and ongoing models of evaluation.
It you can track learning development properly then it should also intervene where extra support is needed, spotting weaknesses while the training progresses.
Much like in technology, to optimise the outcome, you need a good delivery system and someone hot to track and analyse the metrics.
If as a small company, you find yourself blanching too much at this, take comfort in the latest research from California. It unveiled the development of a stimulator which can teach a skill by feeding information directly into a person’s brain without the effort of conscious learning.
It will give a whole new meaning to being switched on.
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