Every workplace can be a place of continuous learning

While companies in all sectors have been working towards a digital transformation for the past few years, covid-19 has accelerated this change in the industry. New technologies are advancing at a pace that is forcing employers to continuously retrain their workforce to stay up to date. Organizations must become places of learning to prepare workers for future jobs.

Joe Schaefer is Chief Transformation Officer in Strategic Education.

The World Economic Forum published an estimate suggesting that technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) could shift 75 million jobs by 2022 but could also create 133 million new roles, and a study by the IBM Institute for Value of Business provides as many as 120 million workers in the 12 largest economies in the world may need to be redeveloped in the next three years as a result of a growing shift towards and embracing automation and AI. This scale of retraining and preparation of the workforce requires a fundamental paradigm shift. In order for employers to thrive in this new digital area and stay one step ahead of competitors, they need to invest in the continuing education of their employees. In turn, employees should be encouraged and willing to continue learning to advance in the workplace.

While employers are beginning to recognize their role in retraining and upskilling employees, they are not trained educators. For the workplace to double successfully as a place of higher education, employers must build strong partnerships with higher education providers that offer flexible programs and incorporate innovative technologies to help support these working adult students as they reach out. the next step in his career.

Here are three technologies we have found to support the success of busy adult learners:

Virtual assistants. Time is a precious resource for those who work and learn. Working students do not have the time to be put on hold or pass by to support staff in finding answers to their administrative questions.

Virtual assistants in the context of online higher education can help students in a variety of areas, from their admission processes to class updates to assignment presentation terms. They should also be designed to record interactions, create insights, capture analytics, and offer a more personalized experience each time students engage with it.

Many of us have grown to rely on virtual assistants, such as Alexa or Google Home, to save time and make our lives easier. Expanding its use to help facilitate lifelong learning makes a lot of sense.

Predictive analytics. Predictive analytics is a powerful tool to help anticipate a student’s success in a course based on the interaction between machine learning, AI, and other technologies to help adult learners persist. It allows higher education institutions to identify a student who is struggling to complete assignments and perhaps at risk of dropping out of a program so that counselors, faculty, and other support systems can intervene quickly with one-on-one support. one for the student. For employers working in partnership with higher education providers, this is a powerful tool to ensure that their employees are on track to complete a program they have invested in.

These relatively simple nudges are important. Life can, and often does, get in the way of education for working adults, who can play with a family or other priorities at home, so memories and offers of support help a student reach out. I know educational purposes.

Gamification techniques. Gamification puts the mechanics of the game — such as point and track systems, success levels, rewards, and rewards — into situations that are not in play. It’s already part of our daily lives, in many industries, such as fitness class rankings and frequent airline flying programs. Studies have shown that the game strategy motivates consistent participation and long-term engagement among users. For example, a study from Finland found that a simple badge allocation gamification strategy for students in a post-secondary computer science course had a positive impact — a majority of students said trying to get badges increased their motivation.

Higher education should embrace and invest in gamification technology to help promote good student behavior and increase learning success.

Online learning can make student engagement challenging. Even before the pandemic hit and all of the online transformation courses, online instruction was discovered for its inability to keep students engaged and on track. Add these challenges on top of additional responsibilities for adult learners, such as childcare and work, and the commitment becomes even more challenging. Gamification is a way to help motivate adult learners and instill a sense of responsibility and commitment, and serves as a great foray into online learning for new students in this type of education, helping them to become more comfortable with the task of online assignments and push them to complete the necessary skills such as reading a program or signing in message boards.

Use technology to manage your training and benefits

If your employer offers assistance with schools or reimbursement programs as an advantage, you probably have some sort of education management platform to manage back-end operations such as benefit reimbursement and verification. of the program. But these platforms can often be uncomfortable, with employers maneuvering between more interfaces for information regarding an employee’s education progress and spending, and employees understanding which programs are covered in their employee benefits. assistance for schools. Partner with institutions that offer simple, easy-to-use platforms, such as Workforce Edge, for school assistance programs can help encourage employees to take advantage of school benefits and make it easier for employers to better track their return on investment in these programs.

Work, a place of higher education

As with any technology, it is more important to keep the end user in mind. The busy, working adult is not the same as the 18-year-old who has just graduated from high school and is ready to spend four years on campus. Training and retraining programs for adult workers must be flexible, accessible and challenging. With the right technology and the right educational partner, every employer can become a place of superior learning, helping their employees to achieve a career and economic mobility while keeping one step ahead of their competition with a highly trained workforce.

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This content was produced by Strategic Education. It was not written by the editor of the MIT Technology Review.

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