Real-Time Learning: The Future of Learning

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Is real-time learning the future? Traditional approaches to learning are failing. In order to stay competitive and to keep learning, organizations are looking for alternatives. One of these alternatives is real-time learning. This article will give you an overview of why traditional learning doesn’t work, what real-time learning is, and how it can benefit you and your organization.

Why doesn’t traditional learning work?

Traditional learning is generally perceived as tedious and uninspiring. It tries to mimic the school system and often fails to achieve its objective, which is teaching you valuable skills that you can use in your work.

The reason it doesn’t work well can be explained by:

  • Scheduling problems: People are busy and traditional learning often follows a certain time schedule, which can be difficult to follow for busy professionals.
  • The content isn’t immediately applicable.
  • It fails to inspire or engage students.
  • The lessons aren’t tailored to individual needs. Parts of a tutorial or course may already be known to individuals.
  • Speed: Most training has a certain length a particular module can take, which may be too slow for certain individuals or too fast for others.

Due to these reasons, it’s no wonder employees often dread participating in traditional learning!

Real-time Learning: The Future of Learning

All of this could be forgiven if the training was effective in teaching new information. Unfortunately, traditional learning has a bad track record when it comes to knowledge retention. Many employees will simply forget the knowledge before they even have time to apply it! The picture below features “The Forgetting Curve” by the famous German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus. In traditional learning, you’ll forget about 80% of what you’ve learned in the first 30 days!

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Real-time Learning: The Future of Learning

Moreover, traditional learning can be costly for companies. They need to pay for a trainer and materials, whilst employees will be unavailable for a lengthy period of time. All of these factors add up quickly to make traditional learning one of the largest expenses of HR. Coupled with the ineffectiveness of the learning itself, it is easy to see why companies are moving away from traditional learning.

Leading companies are now increasingly starting to implement real-time learning. What is real-time learning exactly?

What is real-time learning?

If you need certain knowledge, you often need it instantly. Real-time learning is knowledge acquisition based on immediate needs. You don’t have to wait for the next training session or go through a lengthy online course to find the skill that you need at that particular time. No, it is right on demand.

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Some of the key characteristics of real-time learning are:

  • Its lessons are usually short (3-5 mins long)
  • It can be used for both formal- and informal training
  • It is designed to meet a specific learning goal
  • Its lessons are created in rich media formats, such as video
  • It is easily accessed and completed
  • It is available on demand

Characteristics of Real Time Learning

As you can see, these characteristics are not typically found in traditional learning. This provides a wealth of opportunities for both employees and employers!

For instance, learners get the chance to immediately apply their learning as they are doing their work. Stuck on drafting a certain contract? Look it up and immediately implement it! On your way to a client and in need of some quick presentation skills? Grab your phone and quickly get some tips on how to nail that presentation!

Finally, several companies take advantage of the rich data they have on employees and use AI to offer individual based learning to their workforce. Just got hired for a new role? Here are several of the key skills you need to have to excel in that role. Just got promoted to a management position? Here are some lessons on how to effectively lead a team.

Now that we’ve shown what real-time learning is and how it can benefit learners, it’s time to answer the question: How does real-time learning benefit the organization?

Real-time learning for the organization

Implementing real-time learning has several benefits for organizations:

First, real-time learning is cheaper to build than traditional learning. There are less material and trainer costs. Its lessons are also shorter, which reduces the costs significantly.

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Some organizations have chosen to let employees create most of the lessons themselves. Many employees love sharing their knowledge with their colleagues but simply didn’t have the platform to do so before. With real-time learning, they finally have that opportunity. This enables companies to create a continuous learning environment for the entire company with minimal costs. We do recommend rewarding those employees, however!

Second, real-time learning is quicker to deploy and to update afterward. Due to the length of the lessons, development and implementation take significantly less time. Afterwards, updating these lessons can be done quickly and efficiently, as you don’t have to adjust an entire module.

Third, and this is really the reason why you should implement real-time learning, it’s simply much more effective. Knowledge on demand enables employees to learn directly what they need to learn. In order to have an effective workforce that can easily adapt to changes, you need to allow them to quickly learn new skills. Real-time learning offers you that ability.

As you can see, real-time learning offers a host of benefits over traditional learning. Employees are provided the opportunity to learn new skills on demand, whilst organizations save time and money due to the efficiency of the platform.

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