Digital learning is one of the sectors sparking a lot of interest today. Which is not surprising because it offers amazing opportunities for enhanced learning in professional training situations. What is digital learning? What are its advantages? What does the future hold for it? We take a look.
What is digital learning?
Digital learning is one form of remote learning. It enables students to acquire new knowledge and skills using digital technology. Learning can be achieved using a computer, smartphone, tablet, digital app, etc. This online learning is usually combined with traditional face-to-face learning, and can be extremely enriching. This is what we call blended learning.
In addition to developing knowledge, digital learning takes into account the idea of pleasure and optimum experience. Cooperation between participants, interaction, the type of content offered (videos, games, quizzes, virtual classes, etc.), and student autonomy and empowerment all play an important role when designing this type of training session.
The advantages of digital learning, whether for training organisations or for companies offering in-house training, include:
- flexibility (resources are easily accessible);
- the possibility of running simultaneous training sessions or real-time discussions (unlike with e-learning), particularly relevant for virtual classes;
- cost reduction;
- time saving.
Good to know
In practice, digital learning can include virtual classes, MOOCs, serious games, SPOCs, and social learning.
Further reading: What is blended learning?
A highly promising sector that is becoming more professional
Digital learning is a fast-growing sector due to the digitalisation of many organisations. This phenomenon is giving rise to new professions: educational resource developers, digital learning managers, or educational and social advisors. These professions are emerging in both training organisations and companies. For the latter, digital learning offers a valuable business opportunity for the coming years.
Another indicator of the growth of digital learning is the rise of specialised curricula. We are seeing an increasing number of Master’s programmes, but it doesn’t stop there. New specialised schools and colleges are opening, like Le Bahut in Lyon, for example. This innovative school specialises in training Digital Learning Managers.
It has also been observed that the economic and health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has boosted the growth of digital learning. Indeed, many companies had to react quickly to introduce remote working and consider how to continue training programmes with very little notice. This trend is not likely to slow down any time soon, because remote working and distance learning have found their place in organisations. So, companies and training organisations need to define sustainable strategies.
Good to know
In 2020, 86% of HR managers said that more training sessions would be conducted remotely than before the crisis (source: Cegos 2020 Barometer).
Further reading: Continuity of learning: what is at stake?
Focus on the profession of a digital learning manager
The role of digital learning manager is likely to become more common in the coming years. A digital learning manager could be portrayed as a conductor in charge of digital training in organisations.
In practice, a digital learning manager:
- defines a training strategy in line with the company’s objectives;
- implements innovative training solutions (the choice of tools is a determining factor);
- manages communications and marketing regarding in-house training;
- manages the training budget;
- analyses the results of the training strategy adopted and finds ways to improve student experience;
- conducts continuous market watch on neuroscience, new technologies, and educational science, in order to modify the training strategy accordingly.
In short, a digital learning manager is a key player in the digitalisation and growth of a company.
Further reading: How can you give an effective virtual class?