Gone are the days when classroom learning was considered as the prime delivery method of
learning and development. While it still remains irreplaceable in many learning
situations, organizations are now depending more on online learning solutions to meet
the needs of an increasingly diverse and multi-generational workforce. Key factors
spurring online learning, are, affordability, flexibility, accessibility and the
effectiveness of interactive learning. 69% of Indian IT professionals feel that online
learning is more impactful than offline training[ Pluralsight Study: New Pluralsight
Studies Reveal Learning Styles of the Indian IT Professional and Innovations in Learning
in India]. By 2021, more than half a million people in India are expected to pay for
online courses to reskill themselves in technology, spending around $463 million[ Study
on online education in India by KPMG & Google].
How is the tech industry driving online learning?
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), online discussions and virtual classrooms are just some of
the many tools that are helping recreate powerful learning experiences for online learners. The
industry is constantly experimenting with innovative ideas that motivate learners to not only
complete the courses, but to actually enjoy learning the skills and knowledge set before them.
Here are 6 key ways how leading tech firms are making online learning more efficient, engaging
and ultimately more effective:
- Microlearning: This approach refers to the breaking up of content into
smaller, focused bites that can fit naturally into an employee’s daily flow of work. This
makes it easier to process the knowledge bite. E.g., courses on Mindtree’s home-grown
platform, Yorbit, are structured as bite-sized modules, which allow for easy assimilation.
They are organized as 101, 201 and 301 courses, based on the depth of skill they cover. The
platform has been widely embraced, with 90% of Mindtree minds having completed their courses
on Yorbit[ Mindtree Annual Report 2017-18].
- Learning through crowdsourcing: Though it may be trendy right now,
crowdsourcing is not a newly invented approach. It has been around for years, allowing
organizations to tackle a wide range of challenges, from designing a new product, to solving
a particular problem. It is now beginning to impact the way individuals learn as well,
building up their skill sets, while they complete more complex and creative tasks. E.g., at
Wipro’s TopGear platform, real projects are presented as challenges to employees where they
can compete and win cash rewards. In the process, they gain hands-on experience in emerging
digital skills. Till date, over 92,000 employees have registered on the platform. There are
about 38,000 users who have completed one or more learning assignments, and over 3,000
employees who have won cash rewards[ NASSCOM Reskilling series – Wipro’s Journey].
- Collaborative Learning: Many organizations are employing engaging tools to
facilitate better learning amongst their employees, rather than using passive content. The
Livestream feature on the NASSCOM FutureSkills platform allowed [x]cube labs to create a
powerful learning experience very quickly. Two experts conducted a ‘Jugalbandi’ or duel on a
technology topic. As they livestreamed the conversation, questions from the audience led to
an interactive session that was then directly uploaded to the platform. The viewership and
completions on this piece of content was amongst the highest [x]cube experience, indicating
that content that is topical, engaging and has context within the organisation has massive
- Learning Analytics for understanding employees’ learning behavior patterns:
4.Learning analytics include measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data on
learners and their behaviour in the online environment. Data drawn from Learning Management
Systems (LMS), Learning Experience Platforms (LXP), Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS)
and Recruitment Systems can be used to derive rich insights on what learners are doing,
forms of e-learning content they like and things they don’t like. For example, quality
control of employees’ learning journey is done by following their learning journey at
Genpact. They have used the Edcast LXP to capture granular data on how much the person has
learnt, what skills they have acquired and what they have learnt about[ NASSCOM Reskilling
series – Genpact’s Journey]. The data is there for everyone to use. The strategy around it
is what makes it effective or irrelevant.
- Continuous Learning: A focus on continuous learning is especially critical
in today’s workplace, where technologies, processes and how we interact with them are
changing constantly. Employers are therefore taking an active role in cultivating the right
learning environment. WNS Education, the newest entity in WNS’s learning function focuses on
building hard-core skills amongst associates. It operates like a university, wherein
students know exactly what they need to learn because of a set curriculum. While some
companies leave it to the learner to decide what they need to learn, WNS has followed a
format that learners are accustomed to and provided a guided journey. This curriculum offers
use-cases, applications and news on recent updates in technology on a regular basis with
updated content from the NASSCOM FutureSkills platform, allowing for continuous learning.
Curated content from validated sources, matched to what the learners want to learn, helps
them stay in touch with what they have learnt in the their formal sessions.
- Learning through play: It is not just children who learn through play,
adults do as well. Research shows that at any age, games do a better job of activating the
cognitive functions that help individuals learn better in comparison to standard approaches
of training. E.g., Infosys has employed a cricket theme based leaderboard with rewards in
its gamified platform, ‘Accelerate’. The platform aims to maximize the potential of
Infosys’s talent that is currently trained and in between projects by connecting them with
short-term project opportunities, posted by project creators. The leaderboard incentivizes
top scorers by tapping into their competitive spirit, acting as a powerful engagement tool.
Accelerate has seen tremendous response since its launch[ ‘Using gamification for employee
‘How Infosys is tapping into Gamification’
Unlike earlier times, when employees learned to gain skills for a career, the career itself has
now become a learning journey. From microlearning, to social learning, to learning through play,
it’s a fascinating journey packed with innovative ideas that is making learning more interesting
and easier. These learning trends provide a good indication of where the industry is heading. It
is about continuous learning and growth that is helping employees keep pace with the rate of