SLIDESHOWS

4 Experience Economy Strategies You Should Consider Leveraging In Your Corporate Learning

May 17, 2022

Andrew Scivally, CEO, eLearning Brothers - helping organizations create learning experiences that are immersive, engaging, and effective.

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For at least the last decade, experiences have taken the forefront in business. This marketplace, once all about necessary goods, has morphed into an economy based on services provided, leading the way to what is now known as the experience economy.

Rather than buying ingredients for a birthday cake, parents may pay a venue to provide a birthday experience for their child. Instead of saving up for high-end products, families are investing in vacations. Just one recent study revealed that from 2014-2016, consumers spent more personal expenditures on experience-related services than any other type of good.

The Experience Of Corporate Education

In the learning and development space, experts have long recognized that active learning experiences are better tools than passive learning. David Kolb’s publications on his experiential learning theory in the 1980s were already making a case for concrete experiences and active experimentation being better learning tools than lectures and slide shows in which the learner takes no effectual role.

And just as the economy has evolved, so too has corporate training. We are now leaning more heavily than ever into experiences in this realm. Activities such as group exercises, peer-taught skills, mentoring programs and more were on the rise in a big way—until the pandemic put an abrupt halt to in-person encounters.

Overnight, corporations were forced to pivot to virtual learning if they wanted their teams to pull through this unfamiliar and unprecedented situation. Virtual learning experiences skyrocketed. The academic learning platform edX saw a fifteenfold increase in April 2020 alone. My own company, eLearning Brothers, more than doubled in size in the first year of the Covid-19 crisis and has continued to experience rapid growth.

A Question Of Strategy

Online learning is a fantastic tool, but some corporations, new to the game, are utilizing this resource all wrong. There is no reason that we have to start back at the beginning of corporate training simply because we’re in a virtual space. Bland slideshows or lectures are just as passive in an online environment as they are in real life. Here are four strategies that can help you leverage the most innovative and effective experiential techniques available into your own successful and exciting online education experience.

1. Eliminate passively delivered information.

Why wouldn’t you use the same experiential learning techniques that have been honed over the last several decades to draw workers in—the same way they are drawn into the experience economy?

The future of learning is in more and more immersive tech. Instead of static courses, why not allow learners to contribute and comment on content? This is how a platform evolves into a living, breathing learning module that gives employees the information they really need, when they need it. Instead of asking workers to check boxes, why not observe them in game-based scenarios to see what types of decisions they make?

2. Consider VR solutions.

Virtual reality is one technology that I (as a pioneer of the e-learning industry) am betting on heavily as the next big thing in experiential learning for workers. Industry leaders such as KFC, Ford and Walmart have already invested in large-scale virtual reality learning courses.

VR is not only experience-based and fully immersive, it is a low-risk way to try and solve real world problems. Firefighter training VR modules, for example, can afford front-line workers a window into what a high-stress, high-impact scenario will look, sound and feel like without risking lives or serious injury.

A VR experience can also save valuable time and resources. Vanderbilt University put this to the test when, partnered with my own company, they created a virtual ultrasound training course that gave medical students the opportunity to learn how to operate equipment without taking existing ultrasounds out of patient care, where they are desperately needed, or purchasing additional equipment at $85,000 per machine. The program has been wildly successful.

3. Gamify your trainings.

Gamified training is another simple, fun way to give workers an online learning experience they won’t soon forget. In fact, the Game Agency (an eLearning Brothers company) found in a study that more than half of all players of their corporate learning games played an individual game at least three times, and their knowledge retention improved by 58% from their first to third attempts.

4. Don’t forget the power of video.

Video continues to shine as another medium to provide learning solutions that are also experiences. I’m not talking about the kinds of one-dimensional videos produced in the 1980s. Videos today are capable of dynamic interactive capabilities, allowing learners a chance to see concepts in action, pause, reflect and then be led into other immersive activities.

One innovative example of video used as an experience is video coaching. Workers will learn a concept, then film themselves rehearsing a sales pitch, talking about the company mission or practicing another visual skill. Mentors can then review the videos at a convenient time and provide visual feedback in a response video of their own. Alternatively, AI can review the videos, providing an instant assessment.

The Future Of Online Learning

Online learning solutions are here to stay, so it is up to us to find new ways to give workers an immersive corporate training experience. Virtual reality, game-based learning and experiential videos are all excellent building blocks to help move the future of e-learning beyond passive and into active learning.

In this marketplace, fueled by consumers craving tangible experiences and memorable moments, corporate learning and development has to put employees in the driver’s seat.

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