Learning ecosystem of an organization: now and then
In education, just like in nature there are ecosystems. The difference is that the ones in education comprise different types of elements, such as teachers, learners, learning materials, and, as the world of technology is constantly developing, many, many more interesting elements.
If you remember your biology classes, you probably remember that in order not to have an ecosystem damaged, it should be properly nourished. The same works for a learning ecosystem. Of course, throughout the years, the learning ecosystem has evolved, and the learning process today is not similar to what it looked like in the past.
Now that we understand what learning ecosystem is, let’s compare its past with the present and the future of learning by each of its components:
#1 Learners – The main beneficiaries of good learning ecosystem
In the past, the word learners used to be associated solely with kids at school. Today, the concept of a learner has expanded to a great extent, and a learner not only does not have to be a kid but does not have to be at school at all. Many enterprises organize educational courses for their employees, so as to enable them to do their job even better and deliver even greater results at work. Sometimes courses are needed to learn how to work at a specific job position. Thus, anyone can be referred to as a learner today.
Speaking of the learner’s behaviour, in the past learners were required to sit at their school desks in silence and speak only when they are asked to do so, usually answering a question about the current curriculum. Now with the technological advancements and the development of e-learning, learners can acquire knowledge from the comfort of their home or while standing in a row in the post office and they can actively participate in the learning process.
#2 Teachers – The instructors
Teachers used to be the central part of the learning ecosystem for quite a huge number of years. Their role was taken extremely seriously as they were the ones who opened the door of knowledge for the students. Lectures contained of long teacher’s monologues with sporadic inclusion of learners speaking, usually to answer a question raised by the teacher. The reason for such a lecture model might lay in the fact that apart from a printed book there were not any other resources that could make a lecture entertaining and enjoyable apart from the teachers themselves.
Today, teachers have a wide variety of amazing resources and each company can provide their educators with different formats of lectures, such as VR for example, since learning is now more learner-oriented. Teachers are there now only to facilitate the learning process.
#3 Content – Key source of learning
In the past, materials for learning were really expensive to find or produce in-house. It was nearly impossible to have up-to-date books and manuals for your employees and thus the acceptance of new technologies used to be much slower and harder. The same content used to be created for the whole company, which we know right now is a big no!
The present and future of learning are driven by e-learning and interactive learning powered by modern technologies that deliver personalized content to the learner just at the right time. Content is also much affordable, with learning and development professionals within the company being able to acquire good learning materials from many sources like outsourcing, free online community platforms, or creating it on their own using online research of the best practices.
#4 Technology – The main driver of change
We can’t say that technology wasn’t there in the past to perform many great things in organizational learning, but it only becomes really valuable when it can help deliver a great smooth learning experience to the learners and not be a bigger burden then it is of help. We came a long way from old dusty books, big PCs without internet, drawing boards, and OHP (overhead projectors) to the endless possibilities with AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) which are becoming much more accessible, mobile learning becoming the norm, social learning even within the companies becoming the thing with all of that being supported by modern LMS (Learning management system).
#5 Data – The source of truth in learning ecosystem
In the past real, clean, and ready-to-use data was nearly non-existent for learning ecosystems within an organization. The only way you could acquire it was through old surveys on paper which required a long and tedious time to sort, analyze and make decisions. Having in mind what we know now, that data is critical for your ecosystem because it helps you analyze the learning behaviors of your employees. It sounds really impossible not to use it and apply it in your organization’s learning practices.
Through data connected with your LMS and other systems you can learn a lot about how to cater e-learning for your employees, when they like to study the most, which type of learning delivers best results, and make decisions about which learning assets to keep and which to cancel, etc.
#6 Learning Culture – from a blackboard and a chalk to VR
In the teacher-oriented culture in the past, learners were often involved in the classroom only when they were to be marked, both in the written and verbal form. The culture in the learning ecosystem was such that learners answered questions and had to adapt themselves to the existing model of learning and lectures. With e-learning, everything changed. Different types of courses such as VR, gamification and simulations, explainer videos, or blended learning, everyone’s learning style can be matched. New Age Learning makes sure that today’s learning ecosystem’s culture of putting the learner in the center is nourished and that your employees have fun throughout the learning process.
Now you do not only understand what a learning ecosystem is but what it looked like in the past vs. now as well. If you’d like to jump into the world of e-learning and provide your employees high-quality courses that will make their learning fun and deliver you best work results, New Age Learning is the right place for you!