March of 2020 is going to be etched in the consciousness of people for generations to come. That was generally when most countries globally experienced national lockdowns and total disruptions to business and everyday life. Certain industries were not affected, but many industries such as Airlines, Hospitality, and Learning & Development saw overnight changes that completely dismantled the previous business models that existed before the lockdowns. Adaptability became the game’s name as the adage of necessity being the mother of invention became a survival tool.
Organisations that offered services in the physical learning space now found themselves creating services in the online virtual space to remain relevant in the marketplace. Adoption was initially low in Nigeria as companies did not have the culture of receiving their learning virtually. The obstacles ranged from bandwidth connectivity to familiarity with virtual learning platforms from an organisational learning perspective.
Interestingly, human beings’ resilience will always be the story that emerges at the end of any crisis. Within a relatively short time, people began to adjust to learning virtually. Options that were made available included digital learning, virtual instructor-led training, short courses, learning communities and shared platforms, where learning tools exist.
Some organisation, however, wanted to continue in-person learning but are doing it while observing COVID protocols or doing a hybrid where virtual learning is incorporated.
Going into 2021, as we begin to look at some interesting statistics that came out of 2020, we are going to see the following:
- A reduction in physical learning and a boost in requests for virtual and online learning
- Requests for more training to be converted to virtual such as compliance training, induction programs, and technical certifications.
- Individuals who work in certain industries such as healthcare are going to require more learning which would have to be deployed virtually to keep up with the demands of acquiring more knowledge post the pandemic.
- Massive Open Online Courses are going to grow with more diverse offerings for individuals with advanced degrees.
- Virtual Masterclasses that can be deployed mirroring the in-person experience will create a more global appeal for organisations, especially when the cost savings are shown.
2021 is going to be an extension of what we all saw in 2020. Some organisations have been on the precipice of this change for quite some time, but now its an open playing field where any and every provider of learning will get extremely creative with keeping up with the ever-changing learning landscape.
Organisations should seek companies that are constantly providing these solutions through qualified facilitators that can give a very rich classroom experience.
The Future of Learning is here. Nothing is ever going to be the same. Adoption and adaptability are what will ensure that organisations can meet their requirements for developing their people.
Head of Training