On-demand learning has been on the rise ever since “e-learning” was first invented in the 1990s. It has never been so crucial to corporate trainers as in the post-pandemic world, when every organization stretches to accommodate new workplace realities. With that in mind, let’s dive into what on-demand learning is, why it is so important to your training success, and how to successfully create an on-demand learning ecosystem.
What is on-demand learning?
On-demand learning is exactly what it sounds like: training resources that learners can access at any moment. It is also known as non-synchronous or just-in-time training. The most common format is the e-learning module, which takes a topic like anti-harassment training and delivers it via recorded slides, voiceover, and quizzes. On-demand learning can also include short videos, like “how to fill out your monthly reports,” recorded classroom lectures, or even microbursts that package concepts in 5-minute bites.
Why is on-demand learning necessary to your corporate training?
In a vaccinated corporate world, you may be eager to jump straight back into the classroom environment with live training. However, the global workplace is in the middle of a transformation, and it is hard to say how many of your corporate learners will end up back in the office, follow the same daily schedule, or get approval to travel to training sessions.
On-demand learning allows you to meet learner needs while remaining flexible. It doesn’t have to be the only way you deliver training, but by having it in your arsenal, you can respond to changing circumstances. For example, you can host an in-person class on sales training with an optional, supplemental e-learning course for salespeople who couldn’t make the event.
Even if all your learners are in the same office on the same days, on-demand learning remains an important tool in your toolbox. Not everyone learns well from sitting in a conference room. Offering online options and materials that earners can access from their commute or home frees up your learners to engage with your content on their own time. That makes it more likely they will tune in and remember the important information you are giving them.
How can you build on-demand learning into your training ecosystem?
Adding on-demand learning into your training ecosystem does not need to be a massive undertaking. While there are hundreds of resources for you on build effective elearning, you can start small. Record your content ahead of time and offer it as a streaming video for anyone who will miss the in-person class. Build your quizzes as surveys that you can email out once a week to learners.
Alternatively, you can license pre-built e-learning courses to handle common topics, such as compliance or leadership training. (Check out this guide from eLearning Industry to start shopping without getting overwhelmed.) The same goes for microlearning or learning burst technology. Since e-learning has been around since the 1990s, there are plenty of companies and trainers who can build you custom courses or offer plug-and-play solutions.
Don’t forget to provide your training materials (like workbooks and reference guides) on-demand, too. This could be as low-tech as printing and shipping classroom materials to each learner’s home. Or you can share files digitally via email, shared drive, or secure mobile solutions like Mimeo Digital. However you handle it, make sure your learners can easily access your materials, that they know where to find and store them, and that you can communicate about any material updates.
The good news is on-demand learning is so crucial to corporate trainers that there are plenty of resources for doing it well. Here are a few to help you out today: