In recent years, and especially in the aftermath of COVID-19, on-demand education has become a hot topic in the education and employment fields. Why? Because when life got crazy and people couldn’t leave their homes, let alone head into the office, we needed to get creative when it came to teaching. Scheduling live sessions wasn’t always feasible, and the need for multiple people to come together at the same time (even if virtually) became a seemingly impossible feat to achieve.
Let’s put it this way: You’re onboarding a new customer or a new employee and need to teach them the ins and outs of the business, the software, and so much more. Sure, you can sit together (be it on Zoom or in-person) for hours. But, that requires coordination for all involved and doesn’t fit all learning types. For example, if someone needs a break, wants to hear the material again, or any other special adaptation, live learning is an issue. And besides, you’ve already got a full schedule and are starting to get tired of giving repetitive onboarding sessions where you go through the same items again and again.
This is where on-demand training comes into play (also referred to as on-demand learning or education) - a strategy that lets learners study at their own pace, exactly when and where they want to. While the strategy has existed for ages, it has seen increased popularity in recent years due to technological advancements, increased remote work, and more.
The rewards of on-demand learning
Thinking about introducing on-demand learning into your business routine? The benefits of on-demand technology when it comes to teaching learners new technology and software are vast. Let’s dive into a few of them.
Learners can do it at their own pace
Learning new technology and processes can be complicated. With on-demand teaching and learning practices, learners can study at their own pace whenever and wherever is most convenient for them. This doesn’t give them an excuse to slack off, of course, but rather allows them flexibility in their learning process, making for happier customers and employees.
Another benefit of this tactic is that training can get started instantly, without the need to coordinate in-person or live meet-ups. This means that people can start using new software products quicker and therefore, potentially improve product adoption rates and bring in value quicker.
A level playing field
What can we say? Not everyone is made to be a fabulous instructor. On-demand training eliminates the issue of a colleague or boss who may not be the best at explaining how to use a new piece of software or a process within your organization. On-demand learning allows a company to record their top instructors and make sure that they consistently provide high-quality training across the board.
Onboarding and reboarding made easy
Onboarding customers and employees can be a long and sometimes difficult process, and on-demand learning makes the process easier for all. Not only that, on-demand gives trainers the chance to reboard workers when necessary, after they come back from a long leave or spend time working on different projects for example.
Keep your people happy
It’s no surprise: employees like to feel that they are being treated well and their companies are investing in their learning and their skills. Companies that have strong learning cultures see retention rates rise 30-50%. By using on-demand training, companies have the chance to invest more in their employees, giving them the chance to continuously improve their skills and review materials that they may have forgotten or want to touch up on.
Free up your schedule
Sick of giving the same training and onboarding sessions over and over again? With on-demand learning, trainers can record one time and free up their schedule moving forward. It’s a win-win situation, customer education and customer success staff can work on other projects and assignments without having to repeat the same information time after time, while the trainee gets access to the same expert on his/her own watch.
The challenges of on-demand training
The advantages of on-demand education are clear. But, like anything else, this method has its own set of challenges.
Lack of in-person or live adjustments to curriculum or questions
When teaching a training session in person or online using video conferencing or a virtual classroom, trainers are able to make adjustments to the curriculum as needed in real-time. For example, if a student or group of students are having difficulties understanding a particular subject, the trainer can dwell on the topic for a longer period of time, until s/he feels that the students are fully comfortable with what they’ve taught them. The same goes with live Q&A sessions which are impossible to implement in a pre-recorded training session.
Trainers and students have to adjust to the online learning environment
Teaching a recorded session is different than teaching a live class. This is an adjustment that trainers who are teaching in on-demand settings will have to make. The same can be said for learners, some of whom may not be used to using such platforms for learning processes. Some learners may find it more difficult to concentrate when they are staring at the screen all day or find themselves wandering to websites and other distractions instead of listening to the instructor, as opposed to a live session that may be more engaging.
Feeling of isolation
Some learners may feel a bit isolated when using on-demand training, as they lack the interaction with their trainer and other learners that can happen in a live online or in-person setting. In certain situations, on-demand learning may be done on one's own, at home, or in a personal office, offering no social interaction whatsoever with co-workers.
On-demand learning: The future of the workplace
As technological advancements have become necessary in almost every workplace in the post-COVID age, now’s the time for on-demand training to become mainstream. While the process has both benefits and challenges, using on-demand learning in the right method for your business can be a true game-changer.
Companies today have come to realize that a hybrid learning approach usually works best- combining the benefits of on-demand and live training sessions. In many cases this means starting with live, going to on-demand, and closing out with live Q&A or giving opportunities for assistance in between.
Solutions that offer both options are ideal in these situations. Schedule a demo with one of our product education experts to see how Strigo can help you navigate the move to on-demand or hybrid training with our unique in-product education and virtual classroom solutions.