Although the strategy of digitisation and digital transformation had loosely formed ‘part’ of organisational growth strategies, it was not until the COVID-19 pandemic – where the entire world was forced to stay, and work from home, that ‘digital’ took centre stage.
This shift was not only prevalent in the corporate world, but affected every social environment, especially learning and education. Classroom dynamics have shifted, theoretical and practical course work has been affected and learning environments have been substituted by digital platforms.
“Despite learning environments becoming entirely remote, there is absolutely no reason why online learning should not be delivering the same value, if not more” says Mike Ouwerkerk, Managing Director of Groundfloor Labs, a digital agency specialising in e-learning, talent, development and content production.
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 future jobs report, the top 10 skills for 2025 are:
- Analytical thinking and innovation
- Active learning and learning strategies
- Complex problem-solving
- Critical thinking and analysis
- Creativity, originality, and initiative
- Leadership and social influence
- Technology use, monitoring and control
- Technology design and programming
- Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
- Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation
In addition to these identified skills, the report goes on to highlight that COVID-19 has pushed – and continues to push companies to scale remote work facilitation and accelerate both digitalisation and automation.
“The report also says that 50% of all employees will need to be reskilled by 2025 and 40% of current workers’ skills are expected to change over the next 5 years,” says Ouwerkerk. “For business to adapt to the inevitable, they will be required to take their digital learning capabilities seriously and commission the necessary infrastructure and support to upskill or even reskill existing staff.”
A common misconception with e-learning is that companies simply ‘upload’ coursework for students to complete online.
“The reality of e-learning is so much more complex than that,” says Ouwerkerk. “Our team needs to not only be experts in UX and digital design but needs to constantly be pushing the envelope identifying ways in which to deliver the best structured and pedagogically sound learning content available globally.”
Ouwerkerk stressed that, “Comprehensive e-learning strategies should involve a Learning Needs Analysis (or Skills Gap Analysis), a clear development roadmap, and detailed Implementation and Change Management plan. All of the learning needs to be delivered in an engaging, informative digital environment that is appealing to today’s continuous learner, which also can be reported on in terms of growth, development and return of investment.”
A really positive opportunity that COVID-19 has created for a truly digital business is that it transcends geographical borders which means that the favourable South African exchange rate opens international doors for quality e-learning products for all e-learning requirements, at industry relevant prices.
“We’re going so far in putting our ‘money where our mouth is’ by offering a Free Workshop for companies that are pivoting towards the digital learning space, to prove how e-learning is the catalyst to true digital transformation,” concludes Ouwerkerk.