eLearning is nothing but an articulated network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. One such example of eLearning is E-LEARN- a Pluralsight & IMRB initiative which is taking Indian IT industry with storm. The main objective is to understand the state of learning industry, identify key trends and shifts in market.
People Matters alongside Pluralsight organized a webinar on "Understanding the Learning & Development Practices in IT Organizations". Kindling the lamp of knowledge on eLearning was Indranil Dutta who gave an insight on the following key points:
- Importance of L&D programs
- Learning & Development methods
- Key challenges faced by Indian IT industry
- Steps to overcome the challenges
- eLearning vs. Instructor-Led Learning
- Trends in eLearning
How important is L&D for IT organization?
L&D today has caught up a very good pace and a position in almost all IT organizations. It has successfully transformed the mode of learning keeping in mind what business needs to prosper. Because of this, Learning and Development programs are considered as a career catalyst withholding its importance in 97% of respondents in the organization.
What are the measures to enhance effectiveness of L&D programs?
One of the most imperative factors to measure the effectiveness of L&D programs is embracing learner feedback which accounts to more than 50% in all the levels in the organization. Assessing the learner’s behavior post training and evaluating business results like profit, revenue can give the trainer an insight to make any changes in the L&D program. Incorporating strategic HR metric approaches such as retention and employee engagement also are au courant parameters to measure the efficacy of such programs.
What are the different types of Learning & Developmental methods?
On-job training: Being the oldest trick in the book, it is the most preferred one among the Business Delivery Heads accounting for 81%, 78% among the HR Heads and 78% in Learning & Developmental Professionals.
E-Learning: The rapid growth of internet has served as a stimulator for the massive and diverse eLearning industry today. eLearning is gaining ground, spreading its tentacles to many IT organizations. 71% of all Business Heads are using e-learning as a platform to catapult their knowledge. The same is 78% for HR Heads and 88% for L&D Heads, thereby turning out to be a chart –topper among all L&D programs. There are various technological developments which are affecting the eLearning landscape such as the Learning Management Systems, Crowdsourcing etc.
Instructor led Training: This is considered as the most effective and popular form of training facilitated by a trainer either online or in a training room. This can have one or more trainers teaching skills to a single person or a group through lectures, presentations and discussions. This kind of training is more prevalent with a whopping 83% among L&D heads.
There are various other L&D approaches such as Webinars, external conferences, workshops, events, in-house development programs, coaching by in-line managers and many more.
What are the key challenges faced by Indian IT industry?
The top key challenges faced by any IT industry are finding the right talent and retaining that talent in the organization. To overcome these challenges, L&D programs have come up with brainstorming ideas like offering programs as developer skills and IT operational skills.
There lies an ocean of challenges with the current scenario of learning methods like it tends to consume a whole lot of time, spending a lucrative amount on training, maintaining the quality of content and providing customized content to individuals, finding the right trainer with exceptional subject matter knowledge, designing attractive agenda from consumer perspective to attract interest in eLearning.
Statistics showed a very brighter side of eLearning. It was seen that 25% of respondents declared >30% growth in terms of investment as compared to previous year. A huge 83% of respondents foresee an exponential growth of eLearning in the next 2 years. The reasons behind the anticipating growth of eLearning are
- Flexibility in the whole process
- It is easier to find content catering to user's needs and choice
- Auto update of the content online keeping the user in accordance with current information.
- No expensive classroom based training
Whereas 17% also thinks that eLearning will fade due to less or no real-time interaction. The reasons supporting this data are:
- No real-time human interaction leading to the perception of rising difficulty in doubt clearing
- Absence of fixed schedule of the course can make it less effective
- eLearning can be a bit challenging for new learners
ILT sails in completely different boat of statistics with 50-50% of growth and with chances to decline in the next 2 years.
Growth reasons of ILT
- Learners will be more focused
- Real-time human interaction with cross flow of information
- Instructor can adapt the training content
Decline reasons of ILT
- Expensive from all perspective
- Time consuming
- Non-availability of instructors and venues
Although presence of the instructor makes ILT more effective and growth driver, the expensive and time consuming factors have been cited as the key reasons behind its declination.
What are the trends in eLearning?
As seen above, most of the shortcomings of any L&D program are time and content based. In order to overcome those, various strategies have been tried and tested such as:
Byte-size learning: For most of the eLearning professionals, byte-size has always been the right size. Byte-size learning is an e-Learning paradigm that has made a remarkable mark in eLearning programs in many organizations. Content if served in a snackable manner makes it palatable for any learner to savor it easily. Byte-sizing helps the learners to view and download courses easily mainly tailoring to their needs.
Gamification: Gamification is more than a buzz and is gaining momentum with the rising eLearning programs. It is the process of integrating game mechanics into any website or an application to enhance problem solving skills of learners. Learners are given a stimulated situation to compete with each other to drive in more interest and engagement.
Pre & post assessment: These are like salt and pepper for every L&D professionals to magnetize learners for their eLearning course. Putting a comprehensive test in form of a quiz or any case studies at the beginning of the course can help identify true knowledge and skill level. If the user passes the test, he goes to the end and gets certified and if not he or she can be directed to additional assistance and remedial training. One can also give the user a choice of skipping the assessment and can go through the course content to get an idea of it. Post assessment helps the learners to fill in the gaps and monitor their progression by providing feedbacks in order to improve their eLearning experience.
Live interactions: There is no better way of learning than interactive sessions thus boosting the skill sets of the users. Through this approach, professionals can gain the trust of the learners by continuously motivating them and enhancing their professional and leadership skills.
The speaker was driven by the goal to make L&D programs more enticing by shifting to e-Learning. So I leave it to you to decide if you are ready to enhance the cornucopia of your knowledge with e-Learning programs?