Training and development have always been a structured and semi-predictable formula using age-old formats. With the rise of millennial workers and their affinity for social media and quick and “now” learning methods, the training and development organization is shifting from traditional layouts to online and in-time learning. Many large companies with high engagement, such as Amazon and Google, have instituted new learning methods for their budding geniuses and use technology in a savvy, social way. With training as fluid as sitting with a manager and learning something new at the exact time it’s needed, completing the task independently, and then being critiqued during a “lessons learned” session, employees are starting to respond to training that doesn’t require the traditional training request.
Virtual training methods can still give the just-in-time feeling but can align with and capture the learner’s training in their individual development plan, thus building upon their future plans and reducing the need for managers to individually assess as frequently. According to Shiftelearning.com, virtual training consists of e-learning (self-paced, web-based), blended learning (a mixture of various options per course), rapid e-learning (quick online microlearning sessions), mobile learning (the course is accessible anywhere the learner is) and ubiquitous learning (available anytime/anywhere, and activities are led by daily tasks). Many of these methods are useful to remote workers, learners with very little down time and employees who enjoy learning at their own pace. Employees can learn via smartphone, tablet, laptop and other portable methods. Simply making the courses available and compatible with technology can open training options and increase engagement in self-led professional development, not to mention indirectly adding income to the organization.
Technology Supports Increased Learning Through Flexible Learning
Technology is wonderfully flexible. Assume that your goal is to train 600 staff on the latest HR policy surrounding working from home rules and requirements. Forget in-person meetings or staff announcements, which are no longer possible under current COVID restrictions. What about a virtual broadcast? The majority of viewers won’t be engaged, won’t have their cameras switched on, and won’t be learning or retaining information. Cue the many questions that bosses have to deal with and the time wasted on finding the right member of HR to answer those.
Technology Enables and Encourages Personalized Learning
No matter how many employees you have in the same role, or with the same requirements in their role, each individual will have a different set of strengths and learning style. There is little point in treating Jess and Janice the same when one learns by doing and the other learns by reading, rewriting, and applying the same knowledge. Now multiply this personalization need by however many employees you have and here lies one the largest problems with Learning and Development (L&D) strategies: they tend to treat everyone the same.
Technology Makes Learning interesting
Before you cringe or dismiss this as utter pseudo-nonsense, this aspect of technology is crucial to learning. If you can’t spark a genuine interest, capture and keep your audience engaged, or trigger some degree of curiosity, your training will not be effective. Using learning technologies can help you check all those boxes. Learning technologies promote interaction and responses from learners. Learner’s engagement levels tend to go up, whether using an interactive whiteboard, gamified learning content or playing a serious learning game. Research in 2014 concluded that adding fun and enjoyment to learning boosted motivation and concentration. To secure a strong office culture and smarter, more engaged employees, consider adding fun learning tech to your workplace.
Learning Technologies Invite AI and Adaptive Learning Into The Workplace
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace can seem daunting. It’s presumably expensive and difficult to work with. But before we even start arguing our point, what exactly is AI? According to the UK Government, Artificial Intelligence is “the analysis of data to model some aspect of the world. Inferences from these models are then used to predict and anticipate possible future events.”
Learning Technologies Allow Peer and Social Learning
Much of Gen-Z and millennials’ learning now comes from User-Generated Content. That’s right, TikTok is teaching and people are watching, listening, and learning by the millions, every minute. Much of TikTok’s addictiveness is in how the information is presented; small nuggets of knowledge relayed and explained with visuals, closed captions, song, dance, and music backgrounds.
Immersive Training Method
The immersive training method means creating an environment where participants can learn a specific skill by replicating a real-life scenario. The commonly used tools for this method include Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), scenario-based interactive video, simulations, virtual learning environment, etc.
As human brains consider VR experiences like real-world experience, performance during training can be a close indicator of real work performance.
- This training method keeps the participants engaged without any risk factor. Hence, they can consume the topics better and faster.
- Here, you get instant feedback for whatever you do. It helps you to understand the mistakes that you can avoid in the future.
- Being exposed to VR and simulations for a long time might cause harm to the participants.
- Failure to completely simulate the work environment will result in the inability of the participants to immerse themselves in the situation.
Instructor-Led Training Method via Online
Earlier, the instructor-led training method meant training that takes place in person. It also started involving technology over time. Now, the ILT method does have a trainer who delivers lectures and demonstrates practically. However, the classes can take place online as well.
- The instructor and the trainees can see the faces of one another. This personal touch will make the session interactive for both sides.
- The trainees get the chance to ask questions and get their queries resolved instantly. That’s why this method is beneficial for training on complex topics.
- A training class involves people with different understanding capabilities. Hence, the course speed might not suit every participant.
- All the participants should be available at a fixed time. This can be troublesome for a remote team working from different time zones.
Training via Social Media and Its Users
The use of social media is not limited to virtual communication. It has every quality to train someone to excel in any given subject. Anyone can receive training through recorded videos or live sessions on social media.
- Social media learning and training involve interacting with like-minded people who may or may not be from the same team. Thus, it improves the collaboration and communication skills of the learners.
- Participants can clarify their doubts with the trainers and the co-trainees. It will help them understand a topic without any delay.
- No dependable metrics are available to show learning progress and performance. Therefore, it’s not possible to calculate the ROI and effectiveness of the training process.
- With no one to supervise the training, the training might not be fruitful. Also, training materials for non-experts may contain misinformation.