Ongoing, self-motivated and progressive learning is the key to corporate growth. Hence, companies all over the world are taking measures to incorporate employee trainings in their schedule and indulge in newer forms of elearning modules. As per a recent estimate, the national e-learning industry is expected to grow by a significant 25% year-on-year with projections of up to $1.96 billion by 2021.
To make learning most effective and wide-ranging, it is necessary to make optimal use of suitable e-tools being introduced. Most trainings designed to enhance knowledge and skills of geographically dispersed, inter-departmental employees are supported by a diversified set of e-learning tools. These tools are created diligently and in a focused manner to solve specific problems.
With the benefits of customisation, the learning can be channelised, monitored and easily measured. Moreover, companies can plan their budget according to the training needs and cost of E-learning tools.
Latest types of E-learning Tools used in corporate trainings
The list of E-learning tools is quite elaborate and there are educational websites that can guide you to choose the best suited one. Here is a list of tools segregated according to the purpose that they solve and areas where they are used:
1. E-learning Authoring Tools: Bringing together an e-learning course from scratch is like solving a puzzle with text, videos and images. To enable smooth transition of these elements from disjointed parts to a coherent module, authors use tools like Adobe Captivate, Elucidat, Lectora online, Articulate Storyline and iSpring Suite.
2. Designing Tools: To make the task of designers easy, there are several tools that provide ready-to-use templates. They are quite popular for their integrated info-graphics and storylines. For instance, mysimpleshow is a tool used for creating videos and Canva is a popular tool for presentations and graphics. They help to make the modules informative as well as engaging.
3. Delivery Tools: A number of new methods of delivery are creating ripples on the E-learning arena, especially for the corporate sector. Dissemination of modules through Video-based Instructor-led Training, games, podcasts, augmented reality and simulation is becoming increasingly popular in an effort to make trainings interactive. In addition, smartphones are gaining immense popularity as easy platforms for easy adoption of elearning 2017, 67% of US companies offered learning opportunities via smartphones.
4. Assessment Tools: There are a number of tools used for assessing the knowledge of employees after training. These include online quizzes, worksheets, case studies, memory games, etc. Quizlet, a quiz designing tool, is much in vogue for its value added features.
5. Learning Tools: Learners are also adopting a wide range of tools to access the material in the most convenient manner. A pre-training assessment, done with the help of a chatbot, enables learners to know their learning needs. Then there are forums and discussion boards through which participants share ideas and feedback. App based learning and ebooks are other trending resources.
By creating interactive content and engaging websites, Top E-Learning Companies in India are providing a strong foundation to the corporate world, based on which companies can expand with ease. The tools have proved to be highly effective for learning new software, streamlining processes, creating new product ideas, improving communication skills, etc. This is reflected by a 72% reporting by top companies in favor of e-learning practices for corporate learning and its subsequent competitive edge.
However, it is not to be forgotten that elearning tools are still on the brink of transforming from an incandescent stage to a developing phase. This essentially means that there is still a long way to go for most technology entrants.
Limitations of corporate E-learning tools:
Although elearning has transformed by leaps and bounds ever since its inception in 2000 (‘elearning’ was coined in 1998) in terms of formats, layout, embedded features, outreach, etc., it is still to attain a 100% adoption rate across different industries.
1. Lack of personal touch: Learning from a machine is not the same as learning from a human being face to face. Despite the interactive material and live video conferencing classes, the one to one learning and feedback system is often missing.
2. Not 100% adaptable: The course modules are created according to the thought process of content developers and designers. So, it is tough to adapt the module according to the needs of individual learners. Some people may need extra explanation, examples or practice quizzes. Though some leading E-learning content providers are now taking initiative to create content after taking thorough inputs from learners as well, yet there is much scope for enhancing the flexibility of the online courses.
3. Less time discipline: Since the courses can be completed as per the convenience of learners, there is a lower level of commitment. Learners can easily stop the course in between, which often breaks the flow of knowledge and reduces the effectiveness of course. E-learning modules can become a formality for official obligation, instead of being taken as a genuine learning source if not well-guided or time-tracked.
4. Cost and Time investment: For small companies, trying various E-learning modules, conducting seminars and workshops can amount to a considerable investment of time as well as money. If the courses are attended by the entire team, instead of only the targeted people, then many man hours are lost in vain. So, it is important to first judge the suitability of a particular course before plunging to purchase it.
5. Technology dependent: Some courses may be highly beneficial for an organisation but its results can depend on ownership of complicated or expensive technology. If the team learns certain skills, but does not have the resources to apply these skills, then conducting the course will become pointless.
Looking at the above points, it is recommended that courses be made more flexible, so that they can blend feedback from learners, as well as get updated with the latest advances in the specified knowledge field. Making people practically do the tasks that they learn about is a great way to strengthen the training process.
No doubt e-learning segment is today the fastest growing industry, but constant innovation is highly desirable in most e-learning modules. The new age technologies like LMS (learning management systems) and ‘blended learning’ that combines interactive learning with technological support have managed to overcome several challenges. Indeed, there are a number of LMS software for SMEs that can boost business growth without burning a hole in their pockets. According to a recent company report, IBM saved $200 million (approx.) by switching to latest modules of e-learning.
E-learning tools can definitely be a boon for any company’s bottom line if utilised judiciously and in a planned way.
Mike Cornell and Emma Jones are behind the success of Elearning Blog, a blog solely focused on providing free resources and tips for e-learning.