Technological advances in the past few years have enabled many possibilities to engage employees through online learning.
Beryl Oldham, managing director, Complete Learning Solutions, told HRD that often people are “in love with the technology” and choose to use it even if it’s not the best course of action.
“I would say don’t make technology the solution to a problem that you haven’t defined,” said Oldham.
“Go back to the problem you’re trying to solve and then work out whether or not technology will meet your requirements. If so, technology can definitely enhance what you’re trying to do.
“If not, you could have an expensive exercise that doesn’t meet anyone’s needs.”
Oldham added that now is a particularly exciting time to be in L&D given the new advancements, such as augmented reality and virtual reality.
“I think that technology has caught up with what we’re trying to do,” said Oldham.
“People want to use technology more. For example, in the old days, we had all these great ideas about online learning which was called computer-based training - but it was so deadly boring. Now we’ve got all the whizbang technology and it’s still often very boring. Why?
“Because people don’t bother to make it engaging. But I think what’s hot now is really talking about engaging the learner and making sure that the learning experience is really motivating and exciting for them.”
In particular, Oldham said it’s crucial to keep people interested or else they’re not going to want to do it.
She added that it’s important to get the balance right between what’s engaging the learner and what’s the important thing that they need to learn.
“Sometimes it won’t always be a pleasant experience and sometimes it’s designed not to be that way. It’s going to be challenging along the way.”
“All these wonderful gadgets that we now have are changing all the time and it’s a big task keeping up and making sure that they are a part of the correct solution for whatever problem you’re trying to solve.
“But I think it’s a very exciting time to be in L&D because finally the technology has caught up with what we’re trying to do.”