2020 saw a tectonic shift in the way both students and corporate learners learn. As work-from-home and schooling-from-home became the “new normal,” many corporations and institutions adopted digital learning as a primary mode of learning. While many accepted this new reality reluctantly, many others embraced digital learning with gusto. As the year went on, many understood that virtual training is here to stay and helps to standardize learning, reach more people and bridge unnoticed gaps.
For example, with in-person training, it’s impossible for facilitators to pay attention to everyone; in a classroom environment, some learners are more active, and they hold all the limelight. Even in group activities, some dominate and perform all the activities, while the average Joe is left behind.
The foundation of any good training is that it is developed and delivered for all learners, not just the highest-performing ones. Every learner needs to benefit from the training and should be able to apply it to their job. Digital learning is a great enabler that can create this reality, but it requires certain technologies for success.
Let’s look at three digital technologies that can take virtual training to the next level in 2021:
1. Learning Experience Platforms
Learning experience platforms, or LXPs, host courses, assessments and resources and provide personalized, interactive learning experiences to employees. We could call LXPs next-generation learning management systems (LMSs) that go beyond merely hosting and administering courses. The purpose of the LXP is to make training learner-driven, not administrator-driven. In other words, it is more of an on-demand service rather than a push-based platform.
A good LXP provides many features, including the ability to share ideas and knowledge; single sign-on (SSO), which gives users access to multiple systems through one platform; and interactive features like polls, surveys, chats and forums. Learners can directly interact with subject matter experts (SMEs) to find answers to their questions. Content curation is also easier with an LXP. For administrators, LXPs provide deep insights into learner behavior. Based on this data, organizations can perform remedial measures to help learners course-correct.
2. Microlearning Platforms
With a greater emphasis on bite-sized learning, continuous learning journeys and learning in the flow of work, microlearning platforms will play a dominant role in 2021 and beyond.
Since microlearning courses are short, organizations can administer them quickly and efficiently. They are fact-based or task-oriented, and there is little fluff. Microlearning platforms give administrators and course creators a great amount of flexibility in hosting and managing courses. They also provide real-time actionable data that can help training professionals augment learners’ skills in specific areas.
While some microlearning platforms offer assessments as their core strategy, others use courses and gamification to make learning stick. Whichever strategy they use, their emphasis is on performance, and organizations reap the rewards.
3. Learning Analytics Tools
Digital learning provides a host of data for organizations to leverage to improve training and performance. Learning analytics is where big data meets traditional quantitative methods in education. It will increasingly play a vital role in measuring the key indicators of learner performance and helping learners understand their strengths and areas for improvement.
For organizations and administrators, this technology can give them deep insights into learner behavior, such as time taken to complete a course, interest in a particular subject, proficiency and competency. Organizations can use learner analytics to design better courses, and offer remediation in areas where learners are struggling the most.
Learning experience platforms, microlearning platforms and learning analytics tools are three important technologies that organizations can use to deliver better learning experiences for their employees. These technologies will play a vital role as we move forward in 2021.