Online learning: the (not so new) trend that keeps on growing

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We all know that this pandemic was a turning point for understanding the power of digital. The challenge now is embedding this concept in companies, as a whole: in recruitment, onboarding, training, communication, processes, customer relations, the way we deliver services.

It is time to look at such a dark moment in our history and accept that digital transformation is not just a fancy concept, it is the way forward. It is the way to improve business performance, customer satisfaction and everyone's quality of life. It is time to allow choices and to be confident that technology can be used to our advantage and that digital represents a set of choices that should be valued.

Education is one of the domains in which there was a dramatic shift to the online mode of transacting. Since the beginning of the lockdown, learning institutions around the world have shifted their classes to video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Meet. Along with these synchronous models of teaching, asynchronous platforms have also seen an increase in enrollments. Some institutions are now shifting entirely to the online mode for the forthcoming academic year, with the exception of sessions that require a physical presence.

But, distance learning is not knew to the XXI century and the pandemic.
In the beginning of the 1950’s youngsters that were abroad, living in Portuguese colonies, for instance, and couldn’t attend university in person, received lectures and exams by post and replied the same way. This was the first generation of distance learning: the use of traditional mail and handwritten materials such as written exams and letters as means of communication between students and teachers. These correspondence courses became popular during the II WW, with the need for training recruits, but it opened the doors to many other realities.

Around the 1970’s, when most homes had a radio and a TV, the so called second generation of distance learning appears. This generation was characterized by the mixed use of means of communication, from printed materials that could be purchased in specialized bookstores, to classes broadcasted through radio and television, that covered different levels of education. The most known model at that time were the open universities, which allowed students that lived far away from big cities and central universities to have access to the same materials and classes as those that had the opportunity to attend classes in person.

The third generation is the one that we are experiencing now and that is possible due to the availability of personal computers and internet: eLearning!

Let’s look at some stats about internet on the past few years:
- As of July 2020, the number of internet users has reached 4.6 billion users worldwide, 59% of the world’s entire population. In 1997 there were only 36 million people online. (Statista)
- Over 570 websites are created every minute, adding up to a total almost 1.8 billion websites since 1991. (Statista)
- Over 90% of the world’s data were created only in the last couple of years. (Science Daily)
- 3.5 billion searches per day are made on Google, and up to 1.2 trillion searches per year. (Google Search Statistics)
- 44% of businesses planned or accelerated their digital transformation, due to COVID-19. (SWZD, The 2021 State of IT Report)
- 30% of businesses plan to develop training campaigns for hiring and training remote employees. (SWZD, The 2021 State of IT Report)
- The corporate e-learning market could increase by $38.09 billion between 2020 and 2024. (Business Wire)

Ever since the internet became a household amenity, distance learning has become popular among adults for several reasons and for different needs. Some of them are exactly the same as in the past, such as being away from big centres and, therefore, from universities and other lifelong training providers. The common reason behind this choice is flexibility and easy access. Flexibility in training schedule, access to training content 24/7 and with the massification of eLearning, attending courses from the most prestigious universities around the world is just a click away. Knowledge evolves in such a quick pace that lifelong learning has to be in every professional agenda. eLearning allows to combine work, learning and family.

In the business context, when you bring a lifelong learning mindset to the workplace, it will have a positive impact on employee retention (job satisfaction, motivation), as well as creativity, productivity, problem-solving skills (fostering innovation and competitiveness), diversity and inclusion. And eLearning is sure to facilitate the promotion of a learning mindset in your company.

Statistics say that corporate e-learning takes 40% to 60% less time to complete when compared to traditional learning (eLearning Industry), and that eLearning increases learning retention rates by between 25% and 60% (SH!FT).

Furthermore, a digital training is an effective strategic bet that can be used throughout the entire customer journey. From using educational content to attract and convert leads, to onboarding and training customers that become ambassadors. The benefits of this type of solution can extend to all the different company stakeholders — customers, partners and employees.

With the help of a digital academy you can impact the entire customer journey, grow your business, keep your customers happy and make the whole process much more efficient. It all comes down to 2 things: creating good and relevant content in the best format available and choosing the right training platform.
So, it’s no surprise that corporate eLearning is expected to grow by over 250% between 2017 and 2026 (Business Wire), and this it is definitely time for your company to invest in this (not so) new trend: online training!

Bugle can help you implement your training programmes, update them or transform legacy content such as in-person training into an effective and efficient digital format to reach your customers, partners, and teams.

How to convert in person training to online delivery

You may also find interesting:

The North Star metric and bugle's use case (guide)
How to get more ROI from your training (article)
How to encourage lifelong learning among your employees (article)
12 Tips to choose the right training platform (article)


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Writen by Inês Carneiro
26-Aug-2021 09:31:00

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