Five learning technologies top the list in a study by Brandon Hall Group by eLearning analysts that looked at the technologies organizations wanted to put in place for 2016, according to eLearningIndustry.com. At the top of the list were social and mobile tools, which have gotten more popular recently.
Out of a world of 7 billion people, about 2.3 million of them use social media, and over 50 percent of web traffic is from mobile devices. Companies want on-demand and personalized learning experiences for their employees, and social and mobile learning solutions offer just such an opportunity.
Putting employees in a classroom with tables, chairs, a whiteboard, an instructor, and a thick training manual is convenient because it is traditional. Companies know how to deliver trainings in this way. However, alone, these types of trainings are not enough. Developintelligence.com trainers state that students retain just 10 percent of what they learn a week after a training. However, students who can access follow-up material on social media and through mobile delivery can increase their retention rates and bolster their learning at the training.
Some examples of social learning tools include frequently asked questions and discussion forums. The in-person training can introduce a new idea, and the social learning tool can reinforce it, clarify difficult concepts, and serve as a resource for on-demand reminding in work situations where students need to apply training information. Collaborating with other workers enables employees to collaborate and share their ideas about how to put the training in place in actual work situations.
Another idea is to have short, targeted videos that enable an employee to access information presented in the training while they are at work. This could be helpful, say, for a salesperson who needs to remember information about a new product that was introduced at a training event. They might also watch a slide presentation on how to call customers and effectively present a new product. These types of micro-learning take little of an employee’s time and prevent them from having to consult a cumbersome manual or flip back through pages of notes about a new product, policy, or procedure.
When these types of materials are available on mobile devices, workers can access them anywhere they are. To that salesperson about to enter a potential client’s office, having the ability to review the features of the new product can be a lifesaver. It’s convenient; it’s fast, and it’s just what the employee needs to do their job well.
The problem is that the market does not offer the learning solutions that companies and employees need. While organizations are on-board with having a learning management system, many of them feel (48 percent) that they need a new one because the one they currently use does not offer the functionality they need. The survey is quoted as saying, “When 46% of companies consider discussion forums essential and 8% consider them critical to the business, it’s a significant problem when only 5% say they are very satisfied with the discussion functionality of their current platform.” The goal is for organizations to have social tools to reinforce formal learning to create a culture of learning, and the current tools on the market do not meet that need satisfactorily.
Some new options are coming online, though. Docebo, eLearning reports, “added social and mobile learning capabilities to the corporate Learning Management System that can greatly improve an organization’s learning strategy.” Another tool is the Coach and Share tool that enables organizations to leverage experts in the organization and helps colleagues learn from one another. Other mobile apps bring the LMS to mobile devices for iOS and Android operating systems.