eLearning is continuously evolving as technology becomes more accessible. Learning and development platforms now engage in a variety of methods that make it easier for individuals all over the world to learn at their own pace through enhanced systems. Mobile learning is now a viable option in which to receive training, study and learn while on-the-go. The culture of the 21st century is a "right now" platform, and companies who understand this notion have to consistently keep up with a changing global environment.
It is important to understand how the level of engagement has changed. Gone are the days where learning used to involve a book and face-to-face directives from teachers who offered their own explanations for concepts that may or may not have been understood. Today’s learners are used to multi-level platforms, which include accessibility to teaching concepts and ideas from other instructors, the ability to have enhanced learning through online and in-person teaching scenarios and group directed project management where the teacher now becomes the facilitator and the students/trainees develop their own teaching strategies that are shaped through direction.
How can companies implement a thorough and cohesive learning environment while maintaining the integrity of the learning platform?
First, with effective project management. Monitoring the metrics of how individuals are learning what they want and need is key in developing and implementing programs that will not only make a difference, but will keep a continuous level of engagement wherever they are.
Second, by offering a variety of learning methods for adaptability. Individuals migrate to platforms that will enhance their thoughts and provide opportunities to engage with others. YouTube, Lynda.com and other venues that offer free and paid learning tools have become front-runners in how learning platforms continue to evolve. Mobile responsive programs that will transform module into a working interface for any device are now a necessity rather than a luxury. eLearning has shifted from standard classroom practices into opportunities for radical teaching methods that work.
Third, embrace the evolution of students that are emerging. Today's student is collaborative, inventive, intuitive and decisive. Access to programs that enhance expanded learning will help improve options and choices for high achievement in the global learning environment.
The Premier's Technology Council issued a report which identified eLearning and technology as a driving force in addressing future skill shortages in the workforce, citing "blended learning" as an effective approach to enhancing education.
What devices are needed to globally compete in a changing eLearning environment?
The shift to mobile technology is moving at a rapid pace. Desktop computers are no longer the platform of choice, but operate as a backup in the event the mobile device is down. Smartphones, tablets and laptops are common and allow the presence of a learning environment anywhere there is a Wi-Fi connection. The advancement of technology has also introduced wristwatches and other devices that are small but function as a smart computer device.
Although the educational landscape is changing, there is still some concern when using eLearning methods due to the learning curve that may be present. When developing programs that work, there needs to be a concerted effort in making sure the programs are user friendly, engaging, responsive, clear in understanding, and have a high level of technical support to be effective. Training for these platforms must also be taken into account, with simple-to-process modules that are non-threatening and useful.
By employing the methods of engagement that have taken precedence in the learning and development environment, eLearning will continue to expand in creating programs that support the convenience and enhancement of skills through the use evolving technology needed to move forward in the 21st century.