From passive learning to active engagement
by Latheefa Gangat
E-learning as a tool of choice
In a dynamic world that is constantly shifting in line with digital changes, it should come as no surprise that more organizations are looking to technology for answers to their learning and development needs.
According to Training Industry, e-learning is increasingly becoming the tool of choice for forward-looking organizations that are eager to upskill their staff and help them remain relevant in a swiftly-evolving business landscape. Indeed, organizations would be hard-pressed to deny the benefits that e-learning has to offer, especially when this learning model is contrasted against the more traditional methods of learning and development that are passive or often ineffective in ensuring long-term retention of information. Certainly, the advantages of using an e-learning model are undeniable – per NOSA, it is cost effective, time efficient, and easily adaptable; helps boost morale and employee engagement; and offers employees the benefits of learning at their own pace and in their own time. When viewed in this light, adopting an e-learning solution should be the clear answer.
“…the advantages of e-learning are undeniable – it is cost effective, time efficient, and easily adaptable; helps boost morale and employee engagement; and offers employees the benefits of learning at their own pace and in their own time.”
An active approach to learning
Of course, there are other benefits as well, key to which is a shift away from passive learning – where information is merely distributed to employees via the organization’s intranet or lengthy PowerPoint presentations in the hope that they absorb something – toward a more active approach to learning, where employees engage with content in a meaningful manner via interactive e-learning courses that can be managed and fully tracked from an organization’s learning management system (LMS).
A win-win for everyone
The age of passive learning is past. Today, organizations cannot simply distribute guidelines, regulations, mission statements, protocols, statements of procedure, and other essential work knowledge, in static PDFs, Word documents, or PowerPoint formats, expecting that they will be consumed. Why? To start, these formats are not interactive and are often boring or unrelatable to employees. In fact, the core principles of adult learning are grounded in the idea that active learning – where employees engage meaningfully with content – is key to helping employees absorb and utilize information going forward. In addition, the consumption of this information cannot be tracked or verified – even if a learning manager allocates material to staff, all they can ever show is that the files were downloaded and/or opened for a period of time. However, if an organization converts their learning material into an e-learning format, they can easily ensure that each part of a document has been engaged with. The result? The ability to measure employee progress and development and identify areas of learning that are difficult or confusing via their LMS systems; organization can thus revise their content or institute remedial action based on this information accordingly. It’s a win-win for everyone.
“The age of passive learning is past. Today, it is simply not enough for organizations to distribute guidelines, regulations, mission statements, protocols, statements of procedure, and other essential work knowledge, in static PDFs, Word documents, or PowerPoint formats, and expect that they will be consumed.”