Virtually limitless free e-learning options are available online for almost any subject matter or skill acquisition.
Employee online and higher education options
Virtually limitless free e-learning options are available online for almost any subject matter or skill acquisition. Think Kahn Academy, the plethora of DIY YouTube Videos, no-cost Ivy League University courses, etc. Despite negative press surrounding some for-profit higher educational institutions, degrees from online accredited universities continue to gain acceptance in screening new hires.
Corporate/business e-learning and job support
Business training, by contrast, is directly focused on measurable results, with less concern about the pedigree of the institution developing and/or delivering class modules. In fact, E-learning is fast becoming the standard for corporate skills training.
- It’s the best option for employees gaining skills quickly, efficiently and inexpensively.
- With digital learning, individuals can work at their own pace, anytime and anywhere, with modules tailored to their specific learning needs, utilizing backup resources, including options like worldwide mentoring to help master a skill or skills set.
- According to research from Global Industry Analysts (GIA), the global market for eLearning is projected to reach $168.8 billion by 2018. The study states that the “eLearning market is one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the global education industry.
- “Most organizations offer training and today nearly 2/3 of it is driven through digital content, mobile devices, video, and other new media sources” (Source: Corporate Learning Factbook 2013).
- E-learning offers the flexibility to ‘flip the classroom’ model by offloading presentations to videos, leaving any classroom time to focus on practice and team coaching. Virtual classroom technologies facilitate collaboration and problem solving, a big boost in creating positive learning outcomes.
- For IT folks, there are new options like Code Academy, Udemy, Udacity, Coursera, Creative Live, Skillshare, Grovo, General Assembly, and Treehouse, as well as more established IT training organizations like Lynda.com, CiscoNetworking Academy, and Microsoft IT Academy, offering web and mobile e-learning apps to train IT/tech employees. These companies leverage technology very effectively to teach technology, delivering training and certifications to workers looking to get promoted in a wide range of tech professions. Other training platforms are dedicated to helping employees develop business and leadership skills.
None of this can discount the value of one-on-one and group training, especially in ‘soft skills’ and related employee development. Many in the training and development field assert that direct human contact is the best way to develop and reinforce these skills. A combination of both approaches often works best.
In my next post I’m going to explore some of the online training platform options available to your business. I’m also going to introduce the new industry of smart phone job apps, something that promises to reshape the way most jobs are done. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, is clearly dedicated to making that kind of on-the-job technology widely available in the years to come. Physicians and other professionals are already using such apps in patient care.
Employees need their work and e-learning systems to integrate seamlessly.
The advantages of integrated e-learning platforms
Employees need their work and e-learning systems to integrate seamlessly. Young employees, especially, expect company systems to be as easy to use as Facebook and Twitter. Fortunately, breakthroughs in Internet/other IT technology now allow organizations to provide this kind of support. Company leaders, in turn, are driven to maximize employee development via e-learning system use and integration. Doing so attracts better talent, helps support employee development programs and provides significant long-term cost savings.
E-learning is comprehensive
E-learning platforms are complex and varied. They encompass multimedia learning, technology-based learning, computer-based and assisted learning, internet/web-based training, formal online education and virtual learning environments. Content may include text, audio, images, animation and streaming video in formats that include intranet/extranet, competency-based assessments and social media web-based modalities. Rapidly improving IT and Internet technology, including cloud computing, have made their integration not only possible, but necessary for organizations that want to stay competitive.
Rapidly improving IT and Internet technology, including cloud computing, have made their integration not only possible, but necessary for organizations that want to stay competitive.
Popular business e-learning platforms
Among the many popular business e-learning platforms currently available are Intelex, Grovo, Litmos, DigitalChalk, InquisikR3, Mindflash, Firmwater LMS, and Learnpoint. Each has its advantages relative to specific business needs. If you don’t already have e-learning/employee development systems, OWDT highly recommends that you learn more about these and other options to determine which among them would be the best fit.
The role of big data analytics in performance improvement
Much improved Big Data analytics have made e-learning platforms indispensable. The complex algorithms behind Big Data analysis tools are increasingly accurate, providing vital information with immediate applications for improving leadership quality, product/service productivity and quality. In addition, such tools help detect employee skills deficits to determine, on a case by case basis, the need for training/re-training and/or mentoring.
Some examples of the types of applications that can result from Educational data mining are–
- Analysis and graphic visualization of data
- Providing feedback for company management and training departments
- Performance improvement recommendations for employees
- Detecting dysfunctional employee behaviors
- Social network analysis
- Constructing courseware
- Planning and scheduling