As technology advancement continues to increase, many individuals are seeking tech solutions for learning. eLearning has become more popular and is now considered a staple for continuous learning and professional development. To stay relevant; however, managers must continually adapt and search for new learning solutions. This will keep learners motivated and focused on continued professional development.
To understand the different ways that managers can engage learners through technology, let’s first look at the ways technology has impacted on learning universally.
Impacts of learning technology
Learning is no longer restricted to individuals who can find time to attend classes in-person. Everyone is now given the opportunity to learn new skills and capabilities in their own time and at any location, just by having a Wi-Fi signal. Individuals no longer need to worry about finding a babysitter in order to attend a class or forgoing crucial appointments and meetings in order to learn.
Learners also receive instant feedback that is not available during traditional teaching. Learners receive scores, tips and other useful information all at one location.
Individuals are also given opportunities to collaborate with other learners online instead of having to work through scheduling to meet up. This saves everyone time and still allows for quality collaboration.
Motivation and accountability
Staying motivated can be a challenge for anyone; however, learning apps can offer instant feedback and prompts to stay focused on learning goals. Technology has developed eLearning into a type of game, where learners can track progress and remain accountable for their own learning.
It is no longer up to the teacher to drive new knowledge and skills; if a learner has the desire to achieve goals, they are given the opportunity to put in their own effort to do that.
Printing, supplies, venues and staff are all costs that can be mitigated through technology. Many companies find that switching to applications or software solutions actually save more money when compared with the traditional methods of teaching.
Cost savings also include time efficiency that improves through technology. Since individuals can access learning at any time, skills are developed without cutting into company time. Costs of efficiency are also lessened since employees are able to focus on other tasks during their work day.
The traditional 9-to-5 job has been replaced with individuals choosing their own hours and often working on weekends or at night. Work and personal lives are more intertwined today and it is important that managers are able to offer multiple options for employees looking to develop new skills.
Some applications have developed phone friendly versions as well as tablet versions. This level of convenience will keep employees more motivated and satisfied at the workplace.
Traditionally, textbook editions and relevant works went through long processes of editing and review. Today, information can easily be updated through technology. Gaining access to this immediate information allows employees to stay up to date and maintain relevant skillsets.
Trends in eLearning
Technology has advanced learning immensely and does not seem to be slowing in pace. This can cause problems with managers looking to keep employees motivated by learning. Below are some trends that managers may want to keep in mind when deciding the next learning innovation for their organisation.
Everything is blended
Whether it’s digital conversations and streaming during in-person events, or new innovations, such as virtual reality goggles, people are blending their online and offline identities in all aspects of life. Most people are constantly plugged into on online device so it is only natural that individuals should expect the same from their learning.
Developers are utilising aspects of gaming software to motivate learners and improve engagement. Courses are also being developed with new Experience API software to help customise every learning experience.
Stay relevant by using new applications or devices to create a more blended learning experience.
Attention span of a goldfish
It’s true, technology has decreased our attention spans. From 12 seconds, back in the year 2000, down to 8 seconds now, humans have attention spans one second less than goldfish.
Knowing this, it is extremely difficult to capture and maintain learners’ attention, especially as multitasking is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives.
Instead of creating curriculum that sees multitasking as negative, look for ways that help the learning adapt to each individual’s busy schedule.
Offering learning in bite-sized chunks and including in-game formatting can help improve motivation and retention.
Peer-pressure for good
The old saying 'there’s strength in numbers' also applies to learning. Individuals are much less likely to finish a course if there is little incentive or social accountability for the learning.
Other online communities, such as fitness groups, are more successful because they know how to connect individuals to help each other.
People are more likely to be involved if they receive some sort of social status for participating and managers can utilise this when developing a new learning program.
- Cohen, C. (2015). The State of eLearning Today. ?What If! Innovation. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@whatifglobal/the-state-of-elearning-today-457bf3e98769
- Murphy, P. (2016). 5 Ways Technology Impacts Learning Today. eLearning Industry. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/5-ways-technology-impacts-learning-today