By David Saben. This article appeared originally on Elearning Inside News.
We have witnessed an uprooting of traditional education and our global workforce. People all over the world are looking to online education providers to help prepare them for the future of work. The online learning space is an opportunity to seize the impact and harness the power of immersive technologies to deliver more engaging and meaningful experiences. Elearning breaks down traditional geographic and socioeconomic barriers. To this end, online training is the liberation of learning.
Over the last 10 years, we have seen massive open online course (MOOCs) communities and video-based learning providers bring world-class education content to millions of people. While the content is often remarkable, and the insights provided by the educator thought-provoking, the delivery of the material often felt antiquated and archaic.
Nascent developments in online learning
Recorded video experiences create a traditional lecture experience at scale. The key difference is that instead of 150 people in a lecture hall, there are now millions of people in the audience, with similar outcomes: The majority of the audience is disengaged.
We should ask ourselves, “if it didn’t work with 150 people in a room, without real-world distractions, why did we expect it to work with a million people in the room?” The problem is that rather than provide opportunities for exploration of concepts through dialogue and discussion, organizations replicated the traditional lecture when they abruptly shifted to recorded videos.
Education providers and developers of the online curriculum should challenge themselves to go beyond recorded static video. We should embrace technologies like intelligent tutoring systems, adaptive learning platforms, and adaptive testing methodologies. These technologies have been explored for over 50 years and are supported by a plethora of evidence-based research on efficacy. For the majority of us, deep human learning is experienced through dialogue. Online education needs to embrace the dynamics of human learning that include dialogue and discussion, exponential learning concepts, learn-by-doing exercises, as well as individualized attention.
COVID-19 accelerated many trends that we are already observing in the workforce. A slow move away from traditional degrees, business process automation, a remote workforce, and a globally connected society has been greatly accelerated. This acceleration requires a new set of skills to prepare for the future of work. One needs fluency not only in productivity software, but also in a deep understanding of computing and connectivity. Cloud training providers need to continue to show our value and cement ourselves as a conduit between skills, knowledge transfer, and employment mobility.
There is no question that the best possible results are needed now, for our world’s recovery and our education sector’s. It’s the worst time for shortcuts – for our students and for us. We’re ready. Let’s do it and do it well – the way we know that works best.