Digital learning strategies for the workforce of today – and tomorrow
Looking back at this year's Learning Technologies conference in London, the pace of digital change in the workplace learning industry is increasing rapidly. Several key factors are combining to significantly impact the learning needs of the global workforce. Most importantly, workplace learning programmes need to address the challenge of reskilling employees for a technology-driven workplace in a fast-evolving market. The Covid pandemic accelerated this change, requiring workers to develop both their soft and technical skills to succeed in new hybrid work environments. Additionally, shifts in workplace demographics are occurring as new generations enter the workforce while older employees retire.
These factors are evident in recent research by Gartner, which asked employers to share their top learning and development initiatives to support organisational priorities in the short term. The top priority identified was skills development, particularly in digital skills for knowledge-based roles like business, scientific and technical services. Virtual training is becoming the norm as companies transition to remote or home-based work, with a focus on training solutions that can be conveniently accessed to meet the diverse needs of today's employees. These trends are reflected both in Haremi's own workforce and also in the workplace e-learning projects that Haremi is commissioned to develop.
It is clear that learning resources play a vital role in today's knowledge economy. Corporations are relying on e-learning as a cost-effective and accessible solution to deliver learning at scale. This raises the question of how digital learning materials should be designed from a pedagogical perspective. At Haremi, we think it's important that all the following points are considered.
Accessibility should be a central feature of workplace learning resource design. Digital tools and resources must be designed with inclusivity in mind to accommodate a wide range of learners. When developing work-based learning content, accessibility considerations such as cognitive, motor or visual impairments should be taken into account, while also considering the needs of diverse audiences with different cultures and experiences.
Today's digital learning must be relevant to the real world. Work-based learning aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Digital pedagogies can facilitate the integration of real-world scenarios, simulations and interactive activities into the learning process. Learners can practice job-related skills, solve authentic problems, and make connections between theoretical concepts and their practical application in the workplace.
Collaboration opportunities can enhance the development of soft skills. Digital learning tools provide opportunities for learners to collaborate with peers, instructors and industry professionals, fostering networking and knowledge-sharing. Through online forums, discussion boards, virtual classrooms and social media groups, individuals can engage in meaningful discussions, exchange ideas and learn from diverse perspectives. Such collaboration replicates real-world work environments where teamwork and communication skills are essential.
Personalised learning is more effective than a 'one size fits all' approach. Digital tools enable personalised learning experiences tailored to individual needs and learning styles. This allows digital learning tools to assess learners' strengths and weaknesses and provide targeted resources and feedback. An individualised approach ensures that work-based learning aligns with learners' specific goals, enabling them to acquire skills and knowledge more effectively.
Developing digital skills enhances technological literacy. In today's digital age, technological literacy and digital skills are crucial for workplace success. Digital pedagogies familiarise learners with technical tools, software applications and online platforms commonly used in work environments. By integrating technology into work-based learning, individuals can develop critical 21st century skills such as information literacy, digital communication, data analysis and problem-solving, which are increasingly valued by employers.
Digital education supports lifelong learning and continuing professional development. The rapid pace of technological advancement and evolving work environments necessitate continuous learning and adaptability. Effective digital learning enables individuals to explore new tools, stay updated on industry trends and acquire new skills throughout their careers. The scale and efficiency of online learning means that continuing professional development can be accessed anywhere and in highly relevant bite-sized chunks to suit the needs of time-pressured learners.
In summary, digital teaching methods enhance work-based learning by focusing on accessibility, real-world applications, teamwork, customised learning, technological skills and adaptability. By using technology in education, employees in work-based settings can gain the essential skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today's digital work environments.
Haremi offers a range of content creation and editorial services specifically for workplace learning providers that are looking to improve the quality and effectiveness of their digital content. Contact us for more information.