The rise of digital technologies has created a number of opportunities in the corporate learning arena. Learners have access to different kinds of online tools right from MOOCs, gamified learning modules, and byte-sized learning tools to virtual classrooms. These tools bring a number of questions to the fore about the efficacy, costs and learning retention associated with each method. Apart from this, L&D leaders need to choose technologies that enable personalization and practice of learning.
Leaders also need to understand which technology best addresses the needs of which employee cohort. Which demographic group is the most engaged in byte-sized learning? And how does one design a learning strategy that prioritizes minimal cost and enables effective learning?
On the other hand, business leaders should also reflect on how to choose learning technology that matches the philosophy and culture of the organization while also accounting for their efficacy. At Cognizant, there are three factors that we assess to understand whether a said learning technology tool enables personalization – a key attribute that enhances user adoption and engagement in learning related initiatives. Here are the three factors:
- Hyper engagement: While user engagement is at the heart of assessing technology use, it is also important to measure effectiveness across different communities of users. Among learning technologies, given that different modules cater to different types of audiences--for example onboarding courses, online technical courses and management-related training--it is important to assess the technology spend across user populations.
- Gamification: The element of gamification has created a buzz in the corporate learning environment of late. According to one study, 79 percent of the learners said that their productivity would increase if their university or organization was more game-like. By enabling individual learners to engage interactively with learning content and by adding a layer of social engagement through competitions and ranking boards, learning has been rendered fun.
- Analytics: The rise of data analytics has enabled a paradigm shift in the field of learning and education. Educators today have access to minute data that can not only enable personalization from a learner's standpoint; it can also give trainers feedback on their content and delivery. Take the example of video analytics--data gathered using cameras can allow L&D pros to assess audience engagement rates based on the training they are participating in. Such tools give invaluable information not just to the learner but also to educators or trainers.
As technology continues to evolve, the scope of managing data and analytics will only improve. It will continue to help companies design sharper individualized learning roadmaps and help create an organization of one, thereby creating a learning culture that is systematic, data-driven and impactful. The role of the L&D leader for the future is to not just serve as an enabler of this paradigm shift but to also facilitate real-time business impact.
As told to J Jerry Moses