What does the future of online training look like?

Woman with magnifying glass

In a world that’s still reeling from the effects of a global pandemic, the future of online training has never been more exciting.

And though it’s been a hard couple of years for so many, the industry has undoubtedly risen to the challenge.

So, what does this new era look like for online training?

From March 2020, the entire learning and development (L&D) industry was forced to adapt dramatically to accommodate a Covid reality, with innovations being ramped up at a pace that, before then, had been unheard of.

Now, online education has become more normalised than ever, with traditional universities and huge businesses clamouring to get their hands on the best tech in a bid to build more engaging learning experiences.

Unsurprisingly, it’s seen the virtual L&D sector thrive like never before. For many, it was a guiding light in a very unfathomable situation.

Remote training became a mainstay for most businesses, L&D professionals were forced to be more flexible, and analysing data became key to creating the best virtual learning experiences.

But how does this all fit in now that we’re (hopefully) coming to the end of social distancing and enforced home working?

Shifting Expectations

Pre-Covid, there was still the assumption that employees wanted to go away for conferences or face-to-face training for what they believed was a ‘quality’ learning experience.

Now, however, we’re seeing a shift in perspective – a realisation that studying online can offer just as much of a quality learning experience, if not more so, than face-to-face learning.

From access to more courses, to learning in their own time, learners are now embracing the benefits of studying virtually.

It does come with its own expectations, though; for example, online learning can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach anymore. Now, learners are looking for a more personalised experience suited to their own training needs and development goals.

And then there’s what some would call the holy grail of online learning: engagement!

Users now demand to be engaged in a way they haven’t before, which means some businesses are being forced to re-think their entire online training strategies.

After all, who wants the dull and laborious task of reading through hundreds of PDFs for the purpose of a tick-box exercise? Give us interactive memory games, video demonstrations and online forums any day.

Blended Learning

As much as online training has grown over the last year or so, the truth is this isn’t the end of face-to-face learning.

However, it’s more likely that things will look very different going forward and we’ll see the rise of ‘blended learning’ – an amalgamation of online and face-to-face training.

For example, training providers may ask themselves whether what they’re offering can be replicated online and, with that in mind, move to teach theory virtually, supported by face-to-face workshops to teach the more practical, hands-on skills.

Similarly, we’ll no doubt see even more instructors utilising online tools in the classroom, such as gamification and video, to engage their students in real learning environments.

Digital Literacy

But what does this mean for digital literacy?

Over recent years, there’s been a natural growth for us to become more engaged with the online world, particularly as companies move to things like paperless billing.

However, the demand to continue training through Covid (as well as stay in touch with loved ones) meant many people had to grow their digital literacy skills in a very short space of time.

And while this has resulted in some calls for online learning to be more inclusive, it also means many businesses may now simply expect people to be more digitally literate – and vice versa.

Take, for instance, those people who may have once been happy to travel for a weekend of learning; today, they’re more likely to be expecting employers to innovate with online alternatives to complete in their own time instead.

Planning Ahead

If nothing else, Covid taught us that planning for the unknown isn’t easy. When you get it right though, the results are unparalleled.

So, as we enter this new era of training in a post-Covid world, don’t get left behind. Harness what you’ve experienced over the last two years to build a stronger training strategy, utilise the latest technology and stay relevant.

And if you’re not sure where to start, we can help you achieve those L&D goals with anything from custom software solutions to bespoke virtual learning environments.

In fact, here at BuildEmpire, we can design and build the perfect learning system to fit all of your L&D needs, while saving you time and money in the long run.

Just drop us a line right here to get started.

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