Technology-enabled learning is the use of any technology that aids in the acquisition and development of knowledge and understanding. Digital learning is becoming increasingly popular with organizations and working professionals irrespective of the fact whether it’s a part of the organization’s learning and development program or whether employees want to upgrade their skills as a part of their career goal.
However, this form of learning comes with a few pros and cons that learners should take into consideration to draw maximum benefits.
Employees can access digital classrooms and learning modules from anywhere, at any time. They aren’t required to sit in a traditional classroom at a fixed time of the day. They can study on the go; learn during everyday commute, airport layover, or even from the comfort of their home. As a result, they can use their free time constructively and ensure their education doesn’t come in the way of achieving their KRAs and department goals.
This form of learning doesn’t make use of the trainer’s equipment or time. All the necessary information and study materials are available in digital format, which greatly reduces the overheads involved in engaging classrooms, conducting courses and classes, and travel. Employees only need a smartphone or a handheld device and Internet connectivity to enable their learning.
3. Self-paced learning
Course modules are recorded and available on the web at all times. The employees need not hurry or slow down their learning as it is usually seen in traditional classrooms. They can chart out a learning path as per their comfort and pace.
1. Lack of human connect
Technology-enabled learning does not offer social interaction with either instructors or other learners. Thus, employees cannot participate in debates and discussions to get their viewpoint across. Also, employees miss out on peer learning which is a crucial element of any learning process. Hence, they can feel isolated which can, sometimes, be frustrating and de-motivating, as humans by nature are social.
2. Unstructured learning
Learning does not take place in a structured manner as there are no routine or fixed schedules. Hence, it is very easy to put off learning which could cause learners to fall behind without even realizing it. The lack of structure can also pose a problem when it comes to motivation and meeting course-related deadlines and goals.
3. Technology meltdown
Online learning requires software, which may be browser-based or downloadable. If the learners’ computer technology is incompatible with the e-learning software, they will not be able to access the lessons. Furthermore, this form of employee education requires reliable power and Internet connectivity. A slow or unreliable internet connection can be frustrating, and won’t allow access to the virtual classrooms.
It is evident that technology-enabled learning has its advantages and drawbacks, however the right approach towards learning can help employees derive the maximum benefits of this form of learning without being troubled by its limitations.