How COVID-19 Has Changed E-Learning Forever

Image sourced from Entrepreneur.

E-learning has changed.

Much of this change is due to COVID-19, and there’s no going back to the way we were before, however, many organisations may want to do so.

“COVID arrived and new technology came to the fore – like Zoom, Meets, Teams and so on. How did you upskill your people on it? Were they ready for it? Are you teaching people to get the best out of things like LinkedIn?” says Michael Gullan, CEO of corporate e-learning consultancy G&G Advocacy.

“Executives may not be as equipped to deal with online networking now that physical networking events aren’t as common anymore. Can your C-Suite execs use these tools? Can your sales team?”

Companies can no longer afford to see their e-learning as a grudge purchase or an afterthought, says Gullan.

“That’s the current mindset. Companies know they need to invest in professional development, so they go and find the cheapest content management solution they can, upload long-form content to it, point their teams in its direction and tick the box – done!”

“This approach hasn’t ever really been effective, but it has been tolerated, or perhaps endured, by employees. For the current generation, it is definitely not going to be adequate.”

How the Pandemic has Spurred Digital Transformation

In addition to changing the way we work and consequently accelerating digital transformation initiatives, the COVID-19 pandemic has also served to change how and what people perceive as valuable.

This is evidenced by the sharp rise in ethical consumerism, for example.

For companies, this means that where employees may have previously valued high salaries, bonuses and other financially-driven incentives, they are increasingly valuing the so-called softer elements.

These include time to spend on self-care or with friends and family (leave days, duvet days, days off to do community work), and opportunities for professional development.

Companies that are not investing in their skills development platforms are going to find themselves competing for talent with those that have.

E-Learning Needs to be a Priority

“E-learning needs to be done well, and in a way that takes the reality of people’s changed daily lives into account,” they say.

“Companies need to invest in e-learning platforms that can deliver the kind of excellent experiences that today’s employees demand. Learning needs to be delivered in the form of small chunks (we call these Content Capsules) of engaging and interactive content, that they can digest when they have time, using gamification and other e-learning techniques. Your good old CMS isn’t going to be up to it,” Gullan concludes.

Professional development requirements have moved beyond the traditional approach of putting employees through days-long courses at offsite venues to upskill them. It’s time for your e-learning platform to move along with them.

Edited by Luis Monzon
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