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How E-Learning Practices in Schools Can Help Guide Corporate E-Learning

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Corporate training and school education have their own distinct characteristics but also much in common. As e-learning in both becomes more prolific, great opportunities arise to share best practices between the two.

According to Elliot Masie, who coined the term e-learning: “People think of the e in e-learning as electronic. And, certainly, it’s electronic. But here’s a few more e’s – everywhere learning, everyday learning, engaging learning, evolving learning.” And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone involved in education learned that very quickly in 2020.

There was great speculation about the brave new world that would emerge after the pandemic. The huge disruption for school and university students accelerated the adoption of digital technologies and meant that innovative teaching methods and more personalized learning experiences were needed.

This was mirrored by trends in the workplace. And now, hybrid and completely remote working are common practice. This change requires a new approach from employers when it comes to corporate training.

What Work Can Learn From Schools

On the surface, corporate training and the education offered in schools and universities represent completely different disciplines.

In educational institutions, learning is delivered at a steady pace and focuses on academic subjects. The purpose is to take and pass exams and attain formal qualifications. The emphasis is on the acquisition of knowledge, the development of critical thinking, and the cultivation of a deeper understanding of core subjects. Such learning takes place over the course of months and years.
Corporate e-learning is often more immediate and less structured. It’s more fast-paced and dynamic, with a focus on job-related skills and competencies. The outcomes are usually related to practical business topics such as compliance training, health and safety, and business practices.


But dig a little deeper, and it’s apparent that implementing e-learning practices from schools can enhance e-learning. For example, gamification is a brilliant aspect of education that has advanced in school e-learning and which corporate e-learning is increasingly adopting. Implementing gamification techniques motivates learners through challenges, points, and immediate feedback.

Engaging educational content in schools often uses multimedia, animations, and simulations as part of the design. Corporate e-learning can adopt a similar approach and utilize more captivating visuals, audio, and diverse formats to facilitate active participation and enhance the overall learning outcomes.

Furthermore, just like in school education, corporate e-learning can involve regular assessments to gauge employees’ learning progress. This will enable organizations to identify areas for improvement and provide targeted support that will enhance learning outcomes. Reinforcement techniques, such as incorporating simulations or scenario-based assessments, will also help employees apply their learning in practical contexts.


Watch and E-Learn

Globally, 78 percent of people believe that online learning will give them more access to a quality education, and 70 percent think that more primary and secondary students will attend school virtually rather than attending a traditional classroom within the next 10 years. That means more of us will use virtual reality and augmented reality in our learning experiences. The future will see even more school learning happening in diverse and exciting ways, and we’ll also see similar practices and trends in corporate e-learning.

Business can emulate many of the techniques pioneered in schools, where learning can be both online and enjoyed collectively. This will not only offer flexibility and accessibility but also enable active participation, engaging learning experiences, and enhanced progress tracking and performance assessment like never before.

1 Comment
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I agree that great visuals, multimedia, and gamification can make training better. But these techniques weren't pioneered in schools. I think what we really learn from schools and can apply in the training world is the need for learning outcomes assessment, measuring progress, and having a standard way to communicate that progress between organizations. If I got an A in Chemistry at one school, that means an A at another school. We don't do that in the training world.
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