eLearning, computer-based training (CBT), web-based training (WBT), technology-enabled learning (TBL), virtual learning environment (VLE), computer managed instructions (CMI), and many such acronyms attribute to learning or education delivered by a technology medium.
As social, mobile, computers, badging, games, apps, augmented reality, wearable computing, and many such concepts continue to take center stage, Digital is an all encompassing term for capturing. Hopefully, Digital doesn’t end up becoming the same ol’ same ol’. As you think about revisiting, there are probably three big dimensions of your corporate digital learning or education experiences.
1. Virtual Environments
Each time you simulate something digitally, you end up getting a virtual environment. For example, a classroom when conducted in a digitally simulated environment is called a virtual classroom. WebEx Training Center, Centra, and others fall into this category. You may also end-up using a software like Unisfair, On 24*7 that simulates a virtual fair digitally for various learning events. The typical metrics that one may measure here are traditional in nature (like an attendance report or the amount of time someone paid attention to the class).
2. Digital Engagement
A digital course, an app that streams informal learning or education, an ecosystem to enable paperless classroom, connections into social streams/groups, MOOCs, SPOCs, and many others fall into this category. They derive inspiration from real life references such as Flipboard, BuzzFeed, and many others. The key metric here is no more a classroom roster but likes, shares, recommendations, bounce rates, social influencer scores, and others that many real life inspirations that capture our imagination use. Simply stated, this dimension is a backbone of your informal learning or education strategy along with enriching a few aspects of formal learning strategy.
3. Digital Loyalty
Digital loyalty is about knowing if your employees are advocates of the learning media. It is also a catalyst to your digital learning strategy. Badging plays a prominent role, gaming concepts such as levels & achievements play an important role, and the best hoped measure or outcome is when you have employees sharing knowledge, becoming teachers themselves, and a social knowledge sharing environment comes into existence.
In many ways the above mentioned three dimensions are a curve that indicate both your digital learning practice’s maturity as well as your employee’s advocacy. If environments fostered teaching, engagement fostered reinforcement/learning, loyalty gave rise to a knowledge ecosystem. If all goes according to the plan, the organization may move from teaching to learning to knowledge.
If you are wondering where are concepts like flipped classrooms, I’d say those are more applications of this dimensions, and if you ask where is LMS in this picture, I’d say that shouldn’t even be in the conversation as it is not about learning management but more about learning.
I do think that this thought process of a digital learning or education strategy outlined in this post is just the beginning. We can learn a lot by both innovating & inspiring from other disciplines such as marketing. There are probably many more that you may be adopting. If so, please share via comments. What do you think?
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