A new era of accessible, mobile education is no longer in our distant future; it's here. And while e-learning won't replace traditional classrooms, at least for now, digital education allows you to engage and learn at your own pace.
The digital learning and training industry continues to intensify in scope with new domains and innovative apps launching weekly. Several research reports, such as one from Global Market Insights, indicate that the corporate e-learning market share will swell to more than $300 billion by 2025.
The demand for web-based learning and its inherent benefits are abundant. LinkedIn's 2018 Workplace Learning Report suggested that the rise of online learning solutions is in response to an increasingly diverse and multi-generational workforce with ever-changing learning preferences, making it increasingly difficult to use a "one size fits all" solution. For example, 58 percent of employees surveyed prefer opportunities to learn at their own pace, while 49 percent prefer to learn at the "point of need." Interestingly, the study also found that 94 percent of the survey participants said they would be more inclined to stay with a company longer if they were offered opportunities for career development -- but that they tend to struggle to carve out time for learning.
Talent developers and corporate leaders would be wise to tap into the myriad digital learning opportunities currently available to deliver content as well as to measure learning success. The delivery of "bespoke" education material attracts and retains digital students by capturing their interest and setting them on individualized learning paths. Many sites provide focused training modules, and "bite-size" learning capsules, to further personalize this new wave of digital intelligence.
Here is just a sampling of some of the most innovative web-based learning platforms available today. You may recognize a few as industry pioneers, while others are relatively new to the digital learning sphere.
Skillshare offers a varied collection of courses to enhance your creative side, as well as enrich your business goals. Examples of course categories include leadership, marketing, productivity, graphic design, culinary arts, languages, and wellness. Every Skillshare class has a project that offers practical experience and the opportunity to receive feedback.
2. Udemy for Business
Taught by experts to help your workforce excel, Udemy's sophisticated learning recommendations deepen skills and are customized to drive employee engagement. Its course selections include more than 3,500 on-trend subjects that will enrich learning and boost your skills in a host of areas including business, tech, design, and more. Udemy also offers a great mix of expert resources on the latest e-learning trends, including e-books, webinars, videos, infographics, and case studies that will benefit your L&D department.
3. Khan Academy
Initially created for tutoring high school and college students, this site offers up exceptional training modules for all types of educational coaches, and for students at various levels of the learning curve. Khan Academy is known for well-researched units of multiple levels of science, the arts, mathematics, and history, but the company has made additional headlines since receiving more than $9 million from the Gates Foundation. It has also partnered with institutions like NASA, the Museum of Modern Art, Pixar Studios, the California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content, free of charge.
4. Wisdom Destinations
Wisdom Destinations offers a streaming library of inspirational business and life lessons with a twist; the "wisdom"' is relayed in a story format. This innovative platform taps into the fact that we are hardwired to learn from the power of storytelling, so each "journey" begins with an audio recording of a real-life scenario or tale. Once you listen to the narrative, the experts convey insights into what you can learn from the characters and apply the lessons to real-life issues. Resources and learning guides are also provided. It is a unique concept covering a range of topics from personal development to leadership and wellness. There is also a section for children and teens.
5. LinkedIn Learning
If you are looking to improve your professional development skills, LinkedIn Learning is an excellent place to start. The range of courses covers business and technology as well as creative pursuits and is offered in seven languages. The platform is open to individuals and organizations, and most courses include quizzes, exercise files, templates, and other supporting documents to help you apply the material. If you are interested in a new field or industry, there are specific "learning paths" that will guide you to the appropriate courses. LinkedIn Learning also allows users to interact with experts, colleagues, and others who have taken a course, to share ideas and ask questions. Organizations can also upload their own content and customize learning experiences with company documents, videos, and links.
The Coursera website states that it provides universal access to "the world's best education," partnering with top universities and organizations to offer online courses. Founded in 2012 by two Stanford computer science professors, users can earn credentials from distinguished universities like Yale and Stanford as well as leading companies such as Google and IBM. The site offers hundreds of diverse courses, certificates, specializations, and degree programs. Many of the courses are free.