Digital training: The industry expects these 3 developments
“That’s why the corona crisis is good for digitalisation” or “Corona virus: A chance for the digitalisation of the middle class?” – there are many headlines like these in German newspapers at the moment. They suggest that digital training is a booming market in times of the corona crisis and that digital education companies benefit from it. But is that really true? What does the industry itself say? And what development do they expect?
To figure this out, the German mmb Institut, an independent and private research and consulting institute for digital learning, conducted a quick poll among providers of digital learning services and tools in Germany in April 2020. Within five days 64 e-learning companies gave their feedback. In the following you will find the results of the survey as well as our appraisal.
Expectation #1: The demand for consulting and content will increase
First, the mmb Institut wanted to know which long-term impacts e-learning companies expect for individual business areas. Here you can see the four most common answers:
Knowing that most companies consider further education necessary to ensure their long-term success, it’s obvious that the e-learning industry requires an increasing demand on consulting services for e-learning. However, classic classroom trainings are impossible during the corona crisis and it’s not predictable when normality will return. Against this background many organisations push digitalisation and look for digital training formats. Digital education companies can advise them to find the best-suited solution. Futhermore they can help to develop a learning strategy that is tailored to the specific needs of a company. Digital education companies are also in demand as experts when it comes to the development of digital learning content. Finally, the portfolio of the e-learning industry includes solutions that enable companies to create their own e-learning courses quickly and easily.
Expectation #2: The trend is moving towards simple and easily accessible e-learning formats
The mmb Insitut also asked the e-learning industry about their appraisal of the effects of the corona crisis on learning applications. Which learning applications will become more and which less important? Here are the answers:
The e-learning industry sees virtual classrooms and webinars as the main winners. This probably has several reasons: On the one hand, webinars can virtually replace classic classroom training 1:1. On the other hand, virtual classrooms resemble tools for web conferences in regard to their function. These web conference tools are used by many employees while working from home and have proven themselves. The tools have some decisive advantages for participants: They are easily accessible and participants can use them directly without much training and find their way around easily.
Furthermore, the industry thinks that learning applications such as videos or learning videos, learning nuggets and mobile applications will become more important as a result of the corona crisis. The advantage of these formats is that they are easy to implement and can therefore be made available to customers quickly. Moreover, they are flexibly applicable und the participants can use them anytime and wherever they are. Short and less complex learning applications have a further advantage: Even users who face the challenge of coordinating work from home and childcare have the opportunity to complete a learning unit from time to time.
The survey also figured out: Complex formats such as AR or VR applications as well as Serious Games will be the losers of the crisis. We agree with this view, because such formats are complex to implement, expensive and usually cannot be realised completely online.
Expectation #3: Professional further training will become lasting more digital
Finally, the mmb Institut asked for the expected effects on the digitalisation of learning:
The forecast is: Professional further training will benefit from the crisis and become lasting more digital. That’s what we think as well. In any case, since the lockdown in March we have registered an increasing demand for e-learnings and webinars on the learning platforms that we support for our customers.
We assume that this trend will continue: During the corona crisis many companies were forced to digitalise their processes and workflows. Now they realise that it works better than they thought. At the beginning of this year, even we at ICON could not have imagined how good collaboration and communication works with the help of digital collaboration tools even when everybody is working from home. We assume that this effect will also become apparent for professional learning and further training: Advantages of digital learning such as spatial and temporal independence as well as the possibility of repeated viewing of learning content will become more apparent than before the crisis. Therefore, it is likely that many companies will increasingly rely on digital forms of further training in the future.
Altogether, the e-learning industry is optimistic about the future: They assume that companies will push the digitalisation during the corona crisis and that there is a corresponding demand for digital training materials. In their opinion this will also lead to an increasing demand for consulting as companies need experts to accompany them and give them orientation among the many different e-learning formats and offers. The industry also expects an increasing demand for digital content, especially in the form of pragmatic and easily accessible applications.
What effects does the corona crisis have on the strategy of professional further training in your company? Do you agree with the assumptions of the e-learning industry? Or do you gather other experiences? We are looking forward to your feedback.