Digital Learning: What, Why and How
Thriving in the digital age requires the right combination of talent and technology. To stay competitive in the market, you need to quickly and constantly upskill your employees, but with minimum time to spare! So, how to balance the bowl between these two expectations?
Simple, take the smarter route of Digital Learning.
What is Digital Learning?
Before moving ahead, it is important to know what is Digital Learning? Thriving in the digital age requires the right combination of talent and technology. Any form of learning involving digital tools, platforms, systems, and resources is termed digital learning. This includes online courses, mobile applications, internet research, and much more.
Technological advancement, accompanied by an increase in the remote working trend, has caused digital learning to become an overarching practice that encompasses all forms of training among business organizations. To stay competitive in the market, you need to quickly and constantly upskill your employees, but with minimum time to spare! So, how to balance the bowl between these two expectations?
Why Digital Learning?
Not many of us had imagined the power of digital learning and how it could transform the employee reskilling and upskilling scenario at large. It was only due to the pandemic that digital learning became a necessity rather than an option that we realized the wonders we could achieve with it. Here are five reasons digital learning is a win-win situation for employers and employees.
1. Personalized learning
Everything is better when it is made just for you- isn’t it? A digital learning platform enables personalized learning tailored to suit each learner’s needs in terms of content and pace. Eliminating the one-size-fits-all approach helps employees absorb the content at their own pace and capacity, leading to significantly better outcomes than those with the conventional method. Further, this compels candidates to take ownership of their learning and organize their time to meet milestones, instilling in them the important skill of self-discipline.
2. Learn anytime, anywhere, in any way
The flexibility makes digital learning a notch ahead of the conventional approach. The pen-paper-classroom model makes learning less accessible and highly dependent on location, classroom capacity, and trainer and trainee availability. But with the digital method, one can access learning content anywhere, whether on the go or from the comfort of their home.
Imagine how much easier it is to open an app on your mobile phone and watch a quick video than to step out and travel to your classroom!
3. Tracking progress
Tracking progress is a no-effort instantaneous process in the digital mode of learning. Automatic feedback helps tutors save countless hours they would’ve spent evaluating each test and each assignment separately. Most importantly, consistent assessment allows learners to easily align their efforts in the right direction and monitor everyday progress.
4. Helps you save up some money
Needless to say, digital learning is one of the most cost-effective modes of learning. It enables organizations to cut back on excessive costs related to accommodation, travel, catering, printing, and other such event management costs. These funds can then be reinvested into other meaningful projects or activities in the firm.
5. Global Collaboration
Digital learning enables real-time sharing of learning with peers beyond the classroom. Collaborative learning fosters a much-needed spirit of community building and team culture in the learners. New solutions come up when employees from across the world connect and communicate. This is the essence of innovation which can drive businesses forward.
6. Consistency and Standardization of Training
Despite offering diverse courses, digital learning allows for a standardized training method, as the same course material is available to all students. The well-organized and carefully crafted course materials can help break down obstacles to online learning and improve the classroom experience.
Digital Learning Vs E-learning- What is the difference?
Given that both terms refer to a form of virtual learning, it is natural to get confused between digital learning and e-learning. However, there’s a thin line of difference between the two.
While digital learning combines face-to-face classroom interaction with digital learning tools, eLearning refers to a fully online learning format where communication only takes place online.
For example, when you learn in a classroom with your peers and trainer but with the help of digital devices and systems, it is called digital learning. However, if you take the same course entirely online, wherein you can communicate with the instructor and peers only through emails, calls, and chat forums, it is part of the eLearning setup.
How to build an effective Digital Learning Program- A step-by-step guide
The digital learning experience goes beyond buying online content and marketing it to the users. It involves understanding the requirements of the learners and the organization and bridging the gap between the two wherever needed.
So, what does it take to devise a digital learning program that works?
Here’s breaking down the whole process into three simple steps.
1. Learning Strategy
The foundation of the entire program, a digital learning strategy, helps you lay out a plan for creating impactful and immersive content. An effective learning strategy involves-
- Defining the objectives of training based on a detailed assessment of existing skill gaps and in-demand skills required by the organizations’ projects
- Identifying the target audience and mapping their needs with the objectives of the program
- Creating a detailed structure of the program listing the topics to be covered, mode of content delivery, and methods of assessment, along with a learning schedule.
2. Learning Design & Development
Now that you have a detailed plan, it’s time to work, i.e., designing and developing course material in the planned format. Experienced L&D professionals and creative directors come together to create a compelling learning experience. On the technical side, developers implement the latest digital learning modalities such as eLearning, mLearning, gamification, classroom technologies, and more and deploy them on a suitable LMS.
Along with this, the platform must also be accompanied by a performance support system with How-to videos and reference documents to enable learners to utilize the platform entirely.
3. Implementation & Evaluation
The job doesn’t stop at just creating and implementing a platform. Measuring and evaluating your program’s effectiveness is just as important as creating one. Keep an eye on the KPIs (established in the planning stage) and see if they’re being met. Are your learners finding your course useful? What is the completion rate? If not, then what can you do to remedy that?
What does the future look like?
1- Mobile learning
The Mobile Learning Global Market Report 2022 says that the mobile learning market is expected to touch $155.81 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 30.12%. Given smartphones’ exceptional convenience, it is no surprise that most people experience increased engagement with mobile learning. Therefore, organizing and optimizing your learning modules for smaller screens is the key to staying relevant through the era of technological transformation.
Building a mobile-friendly digital learning platform consists of several tasks, including content development, content authoring, gamification, portable LMS, mobile and video-based courseware,interactive assessments, M-enablement, and much more.
With attention spans getting shorter than ever, consumers require hyper-relevant bite-sized information which they can consume in less than 5 minutes. This is what we call micro-learning. Micro-learning consists of brief modules that help learners cover a specific topic through videos, articles, tools, and more. Short-time learning activities improve learning and productivity massively by assisting users in avoiding information overload. The combination of nugget-sized learning modules and the flexibility of technology enables employees to learn faster and retain information for longer.
‘Gamification’ is the buzzword today, and for a good reason. But what exactly is gamification, and how is it relevant in the digital learning scenario? Keep reading.
As evident from the name itself, gamification refers to the application of game-design elements in a non-game environment, and the key idea behind this is to engage users. By stealing elements like the storyline, vivid graphics, challenges, and rewards, from gaming and applying them to learning, we strive to make training less boring and more fun.
Digital learning goes beyond just providing a laptop and an internet connection. Effective digital learning requires the right combination of technology, learning content, and instruction. Traditional education, blended with suitable applications, can enable employees to learn in and out of the workplace, with or without formal instruction.
Most firms embrace digital transformation today to keep up with rising customer expectations and be competitive and relevant in the global market. However, many businesses still need help to adopt new technology. While some need a customized digital strategy, some are reluctant to change how they have been conducting business for years. Digital learning has numerous advantages, be it cost-effectiveness or flexibility, or maintaining high standards. Do read our blog on the benefits of digital learning.
As digital learning experts, we at Mastech Digital develop and deliver learning that supports our clients with an organizational strategy to grow and improve continually! Get in touch with us today to know how you can augment your team’s performance with our customized digital learning packages.