The Progressive Power of Ed-Tech
The tension is building between humans and technology. Can you feel it?
On one hand, corporate trainers and managers know they need to be using the most cutting-edge, blended training. On the other hand, managers must acknowledge the growing need their employees, especially Millennials, have for jobs that value and invest in them through benefits, enriching training, supportive human resources, and managers who communicate openly and frequently.
These elements are imperative not just for a positive employee experience but also to ensure organizations’ survival though the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
What the world of corporate training needs right now is a synergy of humans and tech—this will be the secret method for success in the workforce of the future.
Tech Might Seem to Be the Opposite of the Human Experience, But It’s Not
It seems there is a contradiction: How can you use tech in such a way that it will still maintain the human factor, the personal touches of an in-person training? The humanizing approach is what creates a synergy between tech and humans.
Many corporate managers and trainers today are confused as to what’s the most effective way to train, retain, and reskill their employees amid changing work dynamics and learning model shifts.
At the same time, employees are not blind as to how technology is changing the way they work, and the way organizations run their businesses. Today’s workforce constantly is looking for more ways to grow and stay relevant in their skills.
The combination of these elements is what makes creating the human factor in your HR and training programs the key to a successful organization.
What Exactly Is Humanizing Training and How Will It Meet Challenges?
First, let’s acknowledge the fact that managers are not considering how learning and training are very human experiences. Technology can make a change in your organization if properly used.
Now that the digital era has arrived, trainers can transform the learning experience for both the learner and the leader.
At the most basic level, to humanize is to be learner or people focused, and to understand that when learning occurs entirely through digital platforms and means, learners often feel nervous, isolated, and unsure of how they are expected to engage—all of which may decrease motivation and increase attrition.
To humanize our training means we must create a situation where potential strangers can meet for the first time, feel free to discuss what is important to them, and depart with the sense of connection and a feeling of community in an environment of trust and authenticity.
In a digital space, we need to understand that human experiences don’t start and stop at the content or class; it’s from the moment you first interact with the community and they with you. It is essential to leverage any technology or tool that will help the learners feel a connection not only to the content but to the course, fellow students, and the instructor.
The end goal of humanized training is for the human to leave notably learning more, but also becoming more after the experience.
Learners who are a part of training that is human focused and human crafted not only achieve the course objectives more successfully, they feel more connected, confident, and complete; they conceive of themselves as part of a larger community (Picciano, 2002; Rovai & Barnum, 2003; Richardson & Swan, 2003).
Overcoming the Challenges in Effective Learning
How can you cost-effectively create humanized training in your organization? The one and only answer to the above question is digital learning. By implementing a proper learning solution in your organization, such as T2K Echo, you will enable your learners to easily and efficiently reinforce the knowledge and skills they have learned. The following diagram presents the proposed implementation of the Optimization Cycle for Effective Learning.
It’s a process that starts by involving the learner in Active Learning and Social Learning with peers and the instructor. This type of learning produces a lot of data that can be the basis for insights on learners’ performance, engagement, and trends.
Effective Learning with Active Recall and Social Collaboration
Active recall is a principle of efficient, active learning, which claims the need to actively stimulate memory during the learning process. It contrasts with a passive review, in which the learning material is processed passively (e.g., by reading, watching, etc.).
For example, reading a text about Washington, D.C., with no further action, is a passive review. Answering the question, “What is the capital of the United States?” is active recall. Active recall is very efficient in consolidating long-term memory.
That’s why gamification in learning works so well, because it’s working with Active Recall and bringing the human elements into learning.
The Power of Social, Active Learning
Research shows that effective learning should include social interactions in addition to Active Recall. It is well known that online individual learning can create a sense of loneliness, lack of collaboration, and diminished communication.
Social Collaborative Learning is an approach where two or more people work together to do a task, complete a project, or solve a problem. Unlike individual learning, however, people engaged in collaborative learning capitalize on the resources and skills of team members by sharing information, evaluating ideas, monitoring each other’s work, and more.
Effective social learning also includes human interaction with the course instructor. This interaction is essential to successfully going through the whole course without dropping out. Human instructors can and should mediate complex concepts and address learning misconceptions.
These elements lead learners to be active and engaged and increase learners’ ability to express themselves to be heard and seen. The solution allows even shy learners to speak up.
Instructors and learners are placed in the center of the learning process, so instructors can personally relate to all their learners for a more humanistic experience. Also, peer communication is integrated, allowing interpersonal communication and resulting in a supportive experience.
Actionable Insights—From People Analytics to People Empowerment
Based on these rich insights, the platform can produce alerts that will focus the instructor on the main issues to address. Based on these alerts, the instructor can act and perform effective interventions.
These interventions lead to happy learners, lower drop-out rates, and deeper learning. The ongoing learning will begin a new cycle starting from Active Learning and Social Learning, while the next step, actionable insights, provides progress reports on engagement and performance, then alerts for just-in-time intervention to help the struggling learner.
Thus, the cycle creates a happy learner who will once again go through the cycle with a new subject! This process is called the Full Cycle of Effective Digital Learning.
An Effective Digital Learning Solution Doesn’t Forget Humans Are Involved
So now you have reached the stage where you can look at your Return on Training (ROT) and see that it’s increasing. Through these methodologies, your organization has overcome the challenge of delivering effective learning; improved the overall training experience; and created a more productive, loyal, and engaged workforce while enhancing their skill sets.
For corporate trainers, a synergy with technology is the only way to move forward. Once you have implemented these elements, the possibilities are endless for training and learning. It should be viewed as exciting and not a chore because the irony is the more we use technology, the more it frees up our time. By doing mundane tasks through automation, we can focus more on our human attributes such as creativity and communication.
Angela Maiers focuses on transforming education, corporate learning, and training. Founder of Choose2Matter—a universal movement that challenges us to make “mattering” a way of life—she is a featured author in the Huffington Post, TEDx keynote speaker, educator, entrepreneur, and leading change in education and enterprise for 31 years consulting with companies around the world. For more information, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelamaiers/
Dr. Dovi Weiss is an educator, writer, and lecturer with a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education. He’s the head of Digital Pedagogy at Kibbutzim College, and pedagogical founder/chief scientist of Time To Know, a next-generation Ed-Tech solutions company. He’s been featured in publications such as eLearning Industry, as well as many educational research journals. Dr. Weiss’ article recently was mentioned in Forbes here. For more information, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-dovi-weiss-a1a8704/