The era of training restricted to a classroom setting is now on its way out. Let’s be clear: it’s not that classroom learning is no longer useful. Far from it. But it should no longer be considered THE ONE AND ONLY setting for training. It is just one of the many ways people can learn what is meaningful to their professional and personal development in the landscape of personalised training.
What people want today is training that is immediately useful, has a specific focus and is compatible with the everyday pace of life. They want training that suits their individual needs, as delivered by the methodology used in adaptive learning.
Digital technology allows this to happen very precisely and efficiently. We can calibrate the level of detail of content, in line with the specific roles and duties of individual learners. In fact, some areas require someone in the company to have in-depth, specialist knowledge. Others require only a sprinkling of knowledge, just enough to establish whether a problem exists and who to turn to if it does.
It would be a waste of time, money and motivation to require people to study things that only experts will ever use on the job.
Personalising content for actual practical application by specific functions and roles is one of the innovative benefits of digital adaptive learning.
What’s more, learners are able to learn when it suits them, devoting time and energy only to the content they need, thanks to the software’s ability to calibrate how the material is presented to them.
Training programmes with these criteria involve some initial work to organise the content. Delivery, on the other hand, takes less effort, occurring over a period of time as and when needed by learners. The system provides reports so activities can be monitored in real time.
The principles and theory behind adaptive learning are not entirely new. What is new is the fact that digitalisation now enables full and effective implementation of those principles. Now that the technology exists, it is up to humans to develop the best methods and processes to take advantage of this valuable new opportunity for personalised training. And that is precisely what we mean at APPrendere when we say we transform how learning is provided within organisations.
Is e-learning a temporary remedy for the pandemic? One more thing to place complement traditional classroom training? A fashion? The figures and sales say no, that’s not what this is. E-learning already existed before Covid. It had been growing exponentially for at least a couple of decades and it is here to stay and to continue to grow.
Reporting on a study by the Irish company Research and Markets, the specialist e-Learning Journal remarks that all entities – whether companies, schools or universities – are making more and more use of digital technology in their teaching activities.
According to this study, the overall e-learning market is expected to grow by an average 9.23% every year until at least 2025.
The Irish analysts expect the total value of this market to grow from the current $187 billion to $320 billion in five years. The highest percentage of growth will be in the Asia Pacific region (roughly China, Japan, Indonesia and Australia), whereas the US market remains the most important in terms of sales.
What’s driving this growth in e-learning sales? According to Research and Markets, the most notable factor is the marked increase in Internet coverage in different areas of the world, even the most remote. No less important are the spread of cloud-based solutions and a cost-benefit scenario that puts e-learning in the clear lead over traditional training.
Added to this are other factors, such as the use of artificial intelligence and the development of theInternet of Things. Also the fine-tuning of methods and techniques specific to digital training are making it and will continue to make it more efficient and effective.
Those who have been following us for some time now know that the last of these factors is the most innovative and at the same time most challenging. Digital training is not only technology. On the contrary, to unleash its full potential it requires a completely new method and a new design. We have created Silverline to facilitate this transformation. Registration for the Autumn 2021 edition is now open on this page.
Efficiency and speed in the administration and logistics aspects of courses. This is one of the benefits of digitalisation. We’ve already talked about Learning Management Systems and we’ll certainly be coming back to them, given how important they are. These systems are for creating and delivering e-learning courses, and are not optimised for classroom management.
Other systems with different features have been developed for this, known as Training Management Systems (TMS). We’ll be talking more about them in an upcoming webinar with our partner Training Orchestra. So for now, let’s just take a quick look at what they are.
In very basic terms, an LMS is used to deliver content, whereas a TMS is for the back office, i.e. administration and logistics. It helps organisations optimise the processes involved in delivering training in physical and virtual classrooms, offering a more efficient way to manage, track and sell courses run by a trainer.
A TMS provides support for activities such as calendaring, assigning trainers and resources to each room, and tracking costs analytically.
TMS and LMS are complementary systems. Therefore, organisations that have physical classrooms and digital tools may decide to invest in both types of software.
A Learning Management System is designed with course users in mind: it is used to organise content, it delivers the course and tracks progress.
Features of a TMS
A Training Management System, on the other hand, is designed around the needs of training administrators, such as training managers, training companies, heads of corporate academies, HR people, etc. A TMS typically handles back-office processes, including:
- Organisation of logistics and resources.
- Calendaring of courses: virtual classrooms, in-person sessions, etc.
- Automated administration and centralisation of data.
- Confirmation of registration, reminder emails.
- Reports and business intelligence.
- Monitoring costs and profitability, managing and optimising budgets.
- Management of orders and invoices for the entire sales cycle, for training companies and extended enterprise.
We’ll have an opportunity to learn more about the features of a TMS and how it differs from an LMS during the webinar scheduled for 29 September 2021. We’ll be publishing all the details shortly. Stay tuned!