How Is The Cloud Transforming Employee Learning
The pace of business change is unrelenting in the era of the cloud computing. As businesses adjust to this new world, the learning & development role is becoming increasingly crucial as the number of employees and their associated demands grow in form and complexity.
Take a moment and think about the ways in which transport was changed by technology. Only a hundred years ago we use to travel with the aid of horses and carts. Nowadays, we can get into any corner of the world in a day or less. Our world is changing so fast that it’s even hard to keep track of it at times, and this shift happens not only to transportation. Workplace learning has been highly transformed by the rapid improvement in technology, and this change is set to continue. From evolving LMS’s (learning management systems) platforms, to on-demand content strategies, businesses are more willing than ever to increase the adoption of alternative learning means. Tools such as e-Learning, m-Learning and other training avenues are becoming more and more preferred over the traditional training classroom.
When the cloud hit the hosting market, everyone was amazed by its capabilities. However, its capacities are helpful not only for server backups and secured file transfers. Below we’ll show you the 6 most important ways in which the cloud is changing workplace training and employee learning:
A self-service environment
Nowadays, learners want to be in charge of their own experiences. As a result, the focus is shifted from prescriptive learning to a model where the learner decides what he wants to learn in his own order. Monolithic courses that are delivered through an LMS fail to meet the requirements of new learners. It would be a lot better to just break the content into small parts instead, and placing them in the cloud where learners can access it at the moment they need them.
An interactive learning experience
The mobile devices which are hastening cloud’s performance more than any other ones are the tablets. Through tablets, anybody can experience a real work/learning environment that’s available regardless of their location, benefiting from an improved content consumption and productivity.
A simple converting of textbooks into PDFs or the ability to access an LMS on a tablet doesn’t meet the requirements of new learners anymore. With tablets, the touch-based gestures are capable not to provide reach user interactions, but also to create contextual awareness, thus enabling users to access key information and data from the cloud at any time. The training content available in the cloud should keep pace with the tablets’ vast capabilities.
Add to that the options of online social and collaborative learning (see more below), and employee learning is more interactive than ever before.
Learning possibilities on any device and platform
Due to the fact that learners now use a multitude of devices and associated operating systems, with no one being able to tell which the primary hub is, learning content should be fit for all forms of devices.
This presses learning organizations to fasten things up and accommodate their content with all platforms on the market. It no longer counts how fast a designer can author a course, what it matters now is how fast that content can be reproduced for all devices available, and even for those which hasn’t hit the market yet.
Employee learning is gaining an increased importance thanks to the mobile and social media use, and with the arrival of cloud-delivered content things are to change forever. Learners will soon be sending a constant feedback stream from the social networks and other apps back to the cloud. The ones which will assimilate this feedback will be the designers, which are to create continuous updates of training content in a timely manner. Given all these, the monolithic course content stored on the cloud will be accessible to learners at any time and from any device. What’s more, designers will focus on creating learning experiences instead of dictating the contents’ consumption. Thus, learners will benefit from a personalized training with powerful support.
The days of initial classroom training sessions representing the entirety of workplace training are over. What we see increasingly more nowadays is blended learning, that is a framework which combines classroom training with informal education, both inside and outside the office. Given that training assets are stored in cloud, tablets will gain the ability to become fully-blended learning environments. Learners are already able to download training material from the cloud to their own tablets at any time, giving them the ability to navigate through text, audio, video and many other interactive assets for a more efficient and personalized training experiences.
Learners’ requirements have shifted rapidly and dramatically. Having the unprecedented adoption rate of smartphones and tablets in mind, coupled with the mobility, accessibility and performance offered by the cloud, we can assume that we have already entered in a new learning era. From content development to instructional design, the old approaches of training simply cannot suffice any longer.
People are seeking enhanced ways of connecting to one another and learning things on the go, and only cloud is able to offer all these. Businesses and organizations who understand these things and act quickly are the ones who will gain a competitive edge over the others.
By Jason Silberman,