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How COVID-19 has reshaped the learning landscape

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The novel coronavirus has not left a single industry unscathed. One of the sectors that has been impacted severely is the learning sector. The impact has been felt at all layers of the sector starting from the closure of various educational institutions all the way to the lack of adequate training to the employees in an organization.  

Pandemics usually result in people staying at home for a long period of time. Thankfully, the COVID-19 hasn’t been successful in completely stopping the functioning of many companies as most of them have shifted to a work from home model. Companies irrespective of their size have invested in tools that enable teleworking or remote working for the employees. 

However, COVID-19 has been successful in creating a temporary pause on in-person interactions, in-person training and in-person knowledge transfers in offices. New joiners are the ones who suffer the most during such times. Neither they have sufficient handholding from the existing employees, nor they have any training material to go through.

This is where remote training helps as it is the only viable option now to train the employees as it minimizes the possibility of a person getting any infection. In fact, COVID-19 has brought remote training into the forefront, a sector that had always played the second fiddle to the offline training system. Many experts have started to rethink their thoughts about the primary mode of training in the future.  These experts are sure now that the future will be an ideal mix of digital training coupled with in-person training.

Far-sighted organizations that had a sophisticated remote training system in place previously are reaping the benefits today. These companies have invested in ed-tech in the form of a Learning Management System or Learning Experience Platform, which has revolutionized the training in recent years. Besides the new joiners, even the existing employees of such organizations are utilizing the time they saved by working from home for upskilling themselves and being more useful to the organization.

Why does shifting to an LMS or LXP make sense in these times?

A Learning Management System or a Learning Experience Platform significantly improves the learning rates of your employees by enhancing their engagement with the training process. In the current situation, it makes even more sense to invest in an LMS or LXP as it helps your employees to use this time to improve their expertise in a subject which in turn can be productive for your organization. Here are some reasons why investing in an LMS makes even more sense today – 

1. Flexible learning

Many employees are working from home for the first time and finding it challenging to manage their workload. For such people, LMS offers the flexibility to learn at any time in a day and also set their own pace of learning. Besides this, it allows them to take a course any number of times thereby helping them to retain the information for a longer period of time. 

2. Saves cost in the future

Many organizations stay away from an LMS fearing its cost, even so during such pandemic when the cash flow is very low. They also feel that setting up the courses can be quite a time-consuming process and can add to the cost significantly. But what they fail to understand is that LMS is not an investment just in response to the pandemic, rather it is an investment for the future that can help them to save a lot of money in the long run. Even after the pandemic ends, remote training can save the huge cost incurred on in-person training. Some of these expenses include the travel cost of the trainers or the employees, their accommodation and food, the cost of the venue, training materials, etc.

3. Better utilization of the time

These are difficult times for everyone and people are extremely anxious about the future and their career. Rather than spending their free time worrying about when the onslaught of coronavirus will subside, an LMS allows the employees to focus on upskilling themselves. This makes them more productive to the organization and also help them to climb the corporate ladder faster. 

4. Improved engagement

Another fear constantly lingers on the minds of these organizations is how can people concentrate on getting trained during these difficult times when they are unsure about their future. Though this fear is understandable and valid, a powerful LMS can ease their fear a bit by offering advanced features such as gamification and social learning that improves the engagement of the learners with the courses. Such features can engage the learners with the courses and forget about the uncertain future.  

What are the challenges in implementing LMS during these times?

Implementing an LMS in your organization is not without its fair share of challenges. The challenges are even more pronounced during these times when businesses are on the brink of close down and employees are in a state of panic and restlessness. Here are some challenges that an organization might face in implementing an LMS during these times – 

1. Initial cost of investment

Most companies, especially the small ones are struggling to get their business running currently and are finding it difficult to even pay the wages of the employees. During such times, it becomes even more challenging for the companies to set up an LMS or LXP  due to an acute shortage of funds. 

2. Lack of motivation among employees

This is not just a challenge in these times but has always been a challenge for remote training over the years. A faction of employees will always be there in any organization that is not enthusiastic about learning and would never do it without the necessary force. It becomes even more difficult to get such employees to enroll in a course and complete it during these times when people have their minds filled with uncertainties. 

3. The busy schedules of the learners

There are many newbie employees who are working from home for the first time. These employees find it difficult to manage their workload due to the lack of start time and the end time that is a part of typical office life. As a result, they hardly get time to manage other things on a day to day basis. Such employees might save training for the last thing to do that day.

4. Difficult for those employees who are not tech-savvy

Though almost everyone has a smartphone and a laptop and knows how to use the internet, there will be always a set of employees who are technologically challenged in any organization. For such employees, it becomes hard to use an LMS especially if it has a myriad of complex features and a lack of simplicity in navigation across the platform.

Conclusion

COVID-19 has caused irreparable damage to the economy and businesses. But what differentiates a good business from a bad one is their capability to bounce back from this situation and their efficiency in utilizing this time in the best possible way. Investing in an LMS can help organizations in the latter. However, implementing an LMS can be tough in these dire times. But companies that can overcome these challenges and implement an LMS successfully will be the ones who will be able to seize the market once the difficult times have passed.

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