Wistec blog: Online learning as an alternative way to the learning path

Online learning as an alternative way to the learning path

In my previous blog, I wrote about the change of learning path and I referred to the learning trends in the workplace offered by Lynda.com’s research. The study revealed that most of the employers offer their employees only online courses: but these have not yet replaced the Trainer-led trainings, according to our experience, at least.

On the one hand, sometimes employers need to get things done fast and they organize, for example, a webinar. It certainly gives a better outcome than the online course per se. On the other hand, very often an employee who wants to learn more about using, for example, power tools in Excel chooses a traditional classroom training. However, this should not be the case, there should be a third way.

Commitment to learn is individual

I have interviewed hundreds of HR and IT managers, whose tasks include acquiring ICT trainings for their staff. Confusingly, many of them have told me “We are a little conservative about online courses”.

I have felt a true interest towards this way of learning, but I have also noticed that the trust in the commitment of self-learning is weak.

It’s legitimate and understandable to have concerns about trusting the employees when it comes about the commitment to learn. Statistically, about 10% of the employees wants to constantly learn something new, 15% needs constant support and a reminder to be interested into learning, and another 15% is so hard to get involved that it might be easier to keep things as they are and forget about learning.

TaaS considers different ways of learning

The advantages of Blended Learning services from a specialized training provider, compared to individual course purchases, are related to a better customer understanding. An educational service is a real service only when it considers people’s different ways of learning.

For example, at Wistec we provide trainings to companies’ personnel as a continuous service, called TaaS, or Training as a Service. Our TaaS service provides online courses that, in addition to watching videos, include many exercises as well as assessment tests.

However, online courses planned to do at one´s own pace are not always the best option for everyone. That is why our service includes also scheduled trainer-led trainings, where our customers can become familiar with an experienced trainer. All the trainings are reinforced by our support service, where our trainers help participants and follow their learning process step by step. In addition to our support service one can get instant help to the daily questions concerning, for example “How to manage with my pivot table?”

We provide a reporting service to decision-makers, offering an up-to-date view at both organizational and individual levels. In addition, the effectiveness of the courses can be checked by tests, and their results are also visible in the reports.

This is what we call Blended Learning.

Online learning has come to stay

From 5th to 7th of March 2018, we attended the INTED2018 conference in Valencia, Spain, that provided a considerable amount of research information on e-learning. The survey mainly considered university students moving from studies to work, and their samples were so large that we have decided to trust them.

One of the most noteworthy comments was that 20-25 year old workers would be happy to study online, but they need a continuous “teacher” to support and help, a community spirit and to have fun. That is quite the opposite of what our 40-50 year old customers told us: “The learning environment should be as simple as possible”. Also, young people can’t concentrate on one thing for a long time, but they want to learn preferably 5 minutes at a time. Fortunately for them, 5 minutes at a time can become a life-long learning process.

It will take some time before the classroom training will be completely dismissed. However, online learning has come to stay, whether we like it or not.