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The Digital Transformation of Elearning

With autonomous vehicles turning radar sensors and complex algorithms into hands-free road travel, Machine Learning curating our soon-to-be favourite TV shows before we’ve even heard of them and the slow-but-sure death of high street commerce at the hands of online retailers – many, if not all aspects of our society have undergone some sort of digital transformation.

However, when it comes to the use of available technology to enhance learning and performance initiatives in both corporate and educational environments, many organizations remain behind the curve.

At the eLN’s 2018 conference in London, Learning Pool (formerly HT2 Labs) CEO Ben Betts joined a panel of industry peers to discuss this trend during a Big Debate session. What does it really show us? Is it a ‘hygiene factor’ of elearning, or something that some organizations are able to survive without?

By ‘hygiene factor’, I refer to something that is unavoidable, an element of elearning that organizations will inevitably need to implement at some point in order to meet the varying learning needs of their workforce.

With the rapidly advancing ‘experience economy’ developing within workplace learning (that is, activity-based learning, rather than content-based), it could be said that it is unrealistic for organizations to assume their learning needs do not meet the requirements for digitization.

In fact, for more advanced organizations (those whose workforce is in the hundreds, if not thousands), effective and consistent learning cannot be delivered without the use of digital opportunities.

Further to that, the consumer-driven economy we see dominating online shopping and web-based streaming services is something we are already seeing shaping the future of workplace digital learning. Learners are demanding a learning experience that is as smooth and user-centric as their interactions with Amazon, Netflix and other AI-driven recommendation services.

And it is exactly this approach to workplace learning that will see more and more learners fitting their learning requirements into the everyday flow of work. With learning becoming much more focused to the individual learner, their role within their organization and the goals they wish to achieve.

With that said, the Digital Transformation is not something that can be achieved by a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It will occur at significantly different rates and will enable varying capabilities from organization to organization.

For those whose workforce is in the thousands, the benefits of implementing of AI, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are palpable. But for those on a much smaller scale, the digital transformation they encounter (for now at least) may only stretch to an LMS or LXP, or the implementation of learning analytics to help track and measure the impact of their training efforts.

Part of your Digital Transformation is understanding the speed of change. What is new now might be considered old news in 12 months time. Most organizations cannot afford to implement every technological breakthrough at any given time, instead it is about working out what will have a significant impact on their learners and their organization.

For more insights on the current trends changing the face of elearning visit our blog.

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