In my previous articles, the aspect of technology in training and education has radically been highlighted. Many of you might be unaware of the next two factors this technology comes along. These I call timing and tempo. In this post, I would highlight how technology-enabled learning experiences are enhanced through these two elements as well. When I talk about timing, it means learning the right concepts at the right time, in the most effective ways and in the least possible time. May be, timing can be adjusted as per the learners; however, the tempo is the one that leads to the training goal eventually. The tempo is the rate of consistency with which the learners clear their concepts, refine skills and develop an eagerness to learn more.
The online learning tools that we have discussed previously, such as MOOCs, distance learning and others, all belong to e-learning. We have been in an information era. E-learning has revolutionized not just academic education but also corporate training and professional education. It has transformed the way we look at skill and knowledge acquisition altogether. Credit goes to advance educational technology, e-Learning tools and methods that are just getting even bigger and bigger. If you look at the money spent on self-paced e-learning across the globe, you would be surprised to know that being started with $35.6 billion in 2011, it stood at $56.2 billion in 2013, and is now going to be doubled by the end of 2015.
Today, learners are being provided with more effective, impressive and deep educational experience. In most of my online sessions, I always give preference to quality over quantity; however, with the help of technology, this preference can easily be achieved in lesser time and with accelerated tempo, than ever before.
Along with saving monetary costs, technology-based training and learning also helps saving time of the trainer and employees, instructors and students. It greatly reduces the time spent off the job. Employees are not required to spend their entire day at the training venue, as they can easily access the sessions and material anytime through their mobile phones or workstations, whichever is easy for them. In addition, it also provides them easy access to get back to important training content they might need while working on the job. Online training or technology-based training systems help to keep track of the progress and enhance the quality of the learning experience. It also helps the trainers or instructors to identify those learners who may need some extra attention, help or motivation.
The time-saving aspect is also seen in another great perspective. Technology-enabled training provides trainers the instant tools for demonstrating the cases and examples of the concepts or methods they are teaching. Just think of video learning, one of the tools, in such a scenario. Learning concepts, watching the virtual examples and applying this to the job at the same time, is all about “timing” in technology-based learning.
What should be a course look like for determining and improving learning tempo?
Technology keeps changing and developing, yet the method of how learners learn remains the same. As a result, e-learning courses generally take as their beginning point the theory of adult education that proposes learners to be goal-oriented, self-motivated, practical and concerned for their experience.
Ensuring the constant growth throughout the technology-enabled program is based on the fact that a course should entail the following characteristics.
- Permitting the choice of instruction or training in accordance with learners and their tempo
- Easy to use navigations and controls
- Accurately and clearly set measurable learning goals
- Engaging and logically coherent learning content
- Instructional or training strategies that utilize practical examples, simulations, case studies and graphic representations
- Blend of diverse instructional and training strategies
- Practicing the suitable and constant feedback mechanism
- Assessment to measure and confirm progress
- Getting learners’ feedback towards the course on a regular basis
All these characteristics collectively help in determining the tempo of the learners. Tempo, as I defined earlier, is the rate with which learners learn the things that are being taught. In this scenario, getting learners’ feedback and the results in their job performance are the significant indicators showing their learning tempo.
The course form is always identified by a range of criteria, among them include learners’ backgrounds including educational levels, setting where they learn, relationship to technology, etc, the kind of content taught like theory, working approaches or practical activities, and technological possibilities like internet access, networks, and computers. Presently, there are various forms, from linear material presentation through highly interactive tutorials up to perfect simulation of real-life work situations.
The technology of the learning experience must reflect the idea that content must be really useful for the practical needs of the learners. This implies that it must be easy to disassemble into parts of any size, on the basis of tempo, which can either be assessed by the learner or used as per the specific learning needs.
Copyright Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.