Technology is fundamentally shaping the way organisations learn…
Thanks to the development of various e-learning technologies, online learning has become a reality. This makes carrying out continuing professional development (CPD) absolutely vital for L&D practitioners who want to keep their skills relevant.
We spoke to Watson Martin Partnership, a leading provider of professional qualifications, to find out five of the key ways technology is changing Learning and Development
- The rise of mobile and tablet devices
The rise of portable devices has given us a lot: a way to browse social media and chat on-the-go; a platform to enjoy a range of apps; the opportunity to Google the symptoms of every illness we’ve ever had (OK, this one might not be a benefit).
But aside from offering a sense of convenience in our recreational lives, mobile and tablet devices have also provided the perfect place for interactive learning content.
As materials can now be accessed via a range of devices, learners are offered an increased level of autonomy, flexibility, and control. Not only can they choose when and where they study, they can also learn at their own pace.
These developments have additionally provided L&D practitioners with the foundations they need to better support individual learning processes.
- The increase in ‘bringing your own device to work’
With an increasing number of employees opting to use their own devices not only at work, but also from home or when working remotely, organisations have come up with new ways to make universal access easier.
By creating learning apps and programmes, organisations are able to give individuals direct access to learning materials and resources from any device, which ultimately helps to maximise their workforce’s productivity.
L&D practitioners also use apps to communicate more effectively with delegates – whether it’s to track an event, register its attendance, or provide an online vault of learning materials.
- The gamification of learning
Chances are, you’ve had your fair share of mild addictions to mobile games (see: Plants Vs. Zombies/ Candy Crush/Pokemon GO/all of the above).
With the wide variety of mobile and tablet games that are now available, it’s no surprise that the learning and development industry have utilised their popularity.
From gamified micro courses that help employees get to grips with procedures or software, to educational apps that teach through quizzes, videos, flashcards, and memory games – the gamification of learning materials provides a fast and easy way to digest information.
By linking games with learning activities, organisations can tap into people’s desires of socialising, being rewarded, and making choices – which consequently makes them more likely to engage with the content and apply what they’ve learnt practically.
- The opportunity to interact virtually
Don’t understand a question? Working on a group project? Just need to vent? No problem.
Whether it’s to assist the communication of virtual teams, or to build an online learning community, the rise of social media and other communication tools have played a big part in supporting learners.
It offers the perfect way to connect groups of people who are getting to grips with the same topic – whether they’re taking an online or classroom course, carrying out an independent learning venture, or doing work-based learning and development.
By creating online groups or utilising hashtags, instructors, L&D professionals, and learners are able to share and access a range of information; from quizzes and questionnaires, to images and tips.
Because social media doesn’t need to be a distraction (as long as you use it right).
- The assessment of progress
As a result of advancements in tech, tracking your development has never been easier.
In the past, feedback was only able to be given at the end of a learning intervention, consisting of a review – rather than an on-the-spot assessment. With new online tools, learners can benefit from a better monitoring system that tracks their learning as they go.
This means learners receive a more personalised, tailored and effective approach in their e-learning and online modules. And with more formative types of assessments, self-reflection and improvement is much easier.
Personalised feedback can also be provided if needed, which allows the learner to immediately identify and reflect on their learning.