Around the world the COVID-19 crisis resulted in a significant rise in online learning, with much of the training that used to happen in a traditional classroom setting shifting to online platforms. For many, the various lockdowns reduced access to offices and increased job insecurity, but it also provided an unexpected opportunity to make positive changes by developing new skills, all from the comfort of home.
How Things have Changed
One great thing we all learned from the pandemic is how online learning has the potential to overcome traditional training or learning barriers. It enables people to choose a time, place, and location that is compatible with their work and family obligations. Online learning and training were especially beneficial for improving one’s current job performance because they could be completed more easily during working hours. Aside from providing greater flexibility, online learning is also typically less expensive than face-to-face training.
Ensures Accessibility for All
Distance learning requires both reliable learning materials and management systems that are easily accessible to all users. People living in remote areas who are unable to leave their homes due to family obligations, as well as people with special needs or disabilities can now much more easily access learning resources through online platforms. Similarly, the use of online learning technology for professional development is now viewed as an enabler rather than a barrier to learning.
Fosters Online Connections
Remote learning has created a meaningful opportunity for individuals to experience a sense of belonging and connectedness, which earlier seemed like a challenge in digital learning. The benefits of social connection through online mediums are linked to increased productivity, performance, self-esteem, engagement, retention, and satisfaction. To facilitate collaborative activities, some businesses are organising online peer review and simulation tasks. Online meetings and workshops are now being designed to take advantage of the interaction between learning and discussion. Activities like these are helping learners all around the world to stay focused on their learning objectives while also enjoying the benefits of social interaction.
Broadening the Range of Online Training Courses
Opportunities for development are essential for a productive and engaged workforce, and a broader range of online courses makes learning more inclusive. Remote learning opportunities assist employees in determining the best and most appropriate training options that align with their learning and performance goals. Training providers are even starting to employ artificial intelligence in their courses to overcome limitations, as AI can help in the creation of simulations and virtual reality experiences that allow for “learning by doing”.