Just as mobile devices can give workers the freedom to access corporate resources from anywhere, at any time, remote/online training can give them the freedom to take training and improve their skills, whether they are at work or on the road.
TIM DEWEY, B VIRTUAL, INC.
Whether the change your workforce is experiencing is generational or simply logistical, the question is always, “How do I effectively train my team?” But sometimes, we are so busy searching for the ideal training medium, one that perfectly meets the needs of a changing workforce, that we miss the obvious. Sometimes we opt for the technology-first approach, but the reality of today’s training paradigm is simple: Learners believe more than ever in personalized learning programs.
What is a personalized learning program (PLP)? PLPs involve turning over the keys of learning to the learners themselves. Simply put, it means letting learners learn on their own terms! There are many ways to facilitate PLPs, so how do we as leaders determine the most effective content and distribution methods? First, take a look around and see how everyone else is doing it. You may be surprised to learn that the annual growth of online higher education is 20 percent. Yet the percentage of students matriculating on campus has gone down just one percent year over year for the last five years. We have a new generation of learners (aka future service and support professionals) who are acquiring knowledge in ways we can’t imagine.
In general, when you consider training and learning opportunities for your teams—whether they are young or old, in your building or around the world—take a look at how they are learning today. Ask them to envision their personalized learning programs and what those might include. Self-paced online training, YouTube videos, Google, webinars, recorded meetings, etc., are all low-cose, effective methods for training your teams.
It is easier to provide training today than it has been in the past, and learning is happening all around us, all the time. Sometimes, it’s just so obvious, we overlook the solution that’s right in front of us!
KATE SPELLMAN, UBM STUDIOS
Remote training used to be a one-dimensional, bland experience where learners were tethered to their PCs and restricted to the workplace. However, digital environments have allowed it to blossom into a rich, interactive, and collaborative experience that is rapidly redefining the world of learning and transforming the way audiences connect, educate, and engage.
Now remote training environments can be designed to replicate the “look and feel” of schools and universities, where learners come together to access educational resources, investigate, experiment, collaborate, share, and learn. These digital learning environments are available to global audiences—live and on demand—through webinars, self-paced curricula, and tests/quizzes, as well as blogs and networking lounges.
Technology has also made remote training more appealing to learners by enabling them to connect and learn on the go. Today, learners can train remotely via mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, from wherever they are—twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They no longer need to be at work or in front of a PC to learn a new skill or trade.
Remote training has also benefitted from the addition of images, animation, and streaming video and audio. Inviting visuals and engaging content delivery methods create a powerful and intuitive learning solution. In addition, technology instantly connects audiences directly to subject matter experts and pushes high-value content to audiences. Attendee reactions and engagement patterns are then dynamically captured and monitored to evaluate content quality and help evaluate program success.
Technology also allows remote training to be more collaborative than ever before, creating a community by connecting learners with their peers and teachers. And because technology allows for flexibility and cost savings (learners do not have to travel or spend time away from home or work), it’s gaining momentum as a valuable tool for
all types of organizations.