A time for Re-Gathering
Covid cases, local outbreaks, and virus variants may still be a concern, but with vaccines going into arms at a rapid rate everyone is looking forward to easing of public health restrictions in the near future.
What does this mean for the future of learning?
No matter how it is delivered, learning needs to be carefully designed in order to be effective. Learning happens best when the learners are actively engaged with the content. They learn best when the facilitator helps them create meaningful connections to the content, as well as connections with other learners, building a sense of community. When learners feel connected and valued, and are surrounded by a learning culture, they figure out the solutions on their own, and that’s where true learning happens.
Prior to the pandemic, many people viewed online learning as “lonely” or as a “second-best” option but a recent study by online and blended learning specialist Arden University showed that almost 60% of learning and development professionals have changed their opinion of it since the pandemic.
In the early phase of the pandemic learners all over the world found that in the online setting, without the distractions of things like food and side conversations, the skills and quality of the facilitator are more important than ever. And our Associates learned that preparing for effective, meaningful, and interactive learning online takes a little longer, and it may take more energy to get people engaged and keep them engaged online.
But at LearnSphere we have found it’s possible to do online learning well, and that it can be effective. Thanks to our investments in building capacity among our Associates, 90% of our participants in online learning programs rate their experience as 8/10 or higher.
So, even when all the restrictions are lifted, online learning is here to stay at LearnSphere, as part of our learning practice. However, the delivery medium will be chosen to fit the subject, the audience, and the needs of the learners. We will reserve face-to-face training for those practical, hands on, technical skills or other capabilities where in-person connections are needed but we will continue to use online learning where appropriate, to help us reduce barriers to access, control delivery costs, and reduce our environmental impact.
The era of (re)gathering is upon us, but it won’t look exactly the same as it has in the past.