Thanks to eLearning and the ways in which it is revolutionizing the distribution of information, the way in which we learn is continuing to transform. Through the use of eLearning platforms, individuals across the globe are afforded the ability to access the exact same materials and processes, all through computer networks developed for specific schools and organizations.
In order to provide a glimpse into what excites us about eLearning, we want to provide two short case studies highlighting projects we have worked on recently. The first project was with DoubleTree Hotels, and falls on the corporate training end of the spectrum, while the second was with OnCourse Learning, and is all about continuing education.
A few years ago we had the pleasure of working with DoubleTree in order to develop an app that was utilized during the internal training process for their employees. Over the course of three years, our app was installed onto iPads, and shipped to 1,700 DoubleTree hotels with support for 13 languages.
As many of you may know, traditional job training consists of meetings located at regional training areas, or group learning events where people with a similar role learn together at the same physical training location. eLearning completely disrupts this process, as training can be done practically anywhere, through the use of mobile or desktop devices. With the app that we built and implemented for DoubleTree, we incorporated tablet devices, tracks to complete, regularly updated content, all right where employees did their jobThis makes the training process extremely efficient, as employees can learn right where they are, which is a massive benefit for jobs without a desk or stationary workstation. At DoubleTree, we had 2 devices shipped to every hotel, and found that there was not only an increase in training efficiency, but also overall employee engagement. According to Molly Fletcher Company, organizations can achieve an 18% boost in employee engagement when incorporating eLearning tools into their training processes.
DoubleTree went about training with a much more hands on approach then what many are used to. A big focus was the creation of mixed media tools that provided more than one way for employees to learn. Large amounts of audio clips were created (all with the correct voice inflections), videos were produced, and quizzes were developed.
The future holds some exciting possibilities in the realm of eLearning as it relates to corporate online training. According to eLearning! Magazine, as of 2013, 41.7% of global Fortune 500 Companies already use a form of this technology to train their employees, and that number has been increasing. This upward trend is occurring within smaller and medium sized companies as well.
Traditionally, most of the eLearning platforms being utilized today are built on a spec that was designed in 2004, and the result is a pretty terrible mobile experience. With OnCourse, our focus was to create an app meant to function equally well on both desktop and mobile devices. Thus, a large portion of our work was retooling OnCourse’s entire catalog in order to make it much more mobile friendly. This entailed taking 10,000’s of pieces of content and making sure that they could fit in a mobile sector.
The concept for our OnCourse app was built on the fact that people now expect the ability to learn from exactly where they are at any point in the day. This is not just about mobile content itself, but rather content that is mobily transferred and in multiple places at a time (mobile, computer, portal system, public app, etc.). Wherever someone is, the content should be accessible.
OnCourse is effectively utilizing a lot of video content on the mobile side. With video continuing to propel content across the internet, it is the logical choice for organizations developing their eLearning platform. Some of the common benefits associated with video content include, increased engagement, videos make it easier to explain complex concepts via demonstration, and video reinforces information that has been taught verbally.
In fact, The Research Institute of America found that “eLearning increases retention rates 25%-60%, while retention rates of face-to-face training are much lower in comparison: 8% – 10%”. Increased retention results in increased efficiency, time saved, and an ability to learn more information in a shorter period of time.
Developing an eLearning platform offers immense value to both companies looking to incorporate more effective training methods, as well as education providers hoping to offer more efficient learning methods.
These clear benefits coupled with the fact that eLearning is one of the fastest growing industries (with market growth upwards of 900% since the year 2000), is evidence of the continued value this technology will afford to those who incorporate it into their organization.