Future trends for business skills training
Singh feels strongly the pendulum will swing away from massive and asynchronous to intimate and real-time, anyway. WizIQ is heavily pushing a new feature that allows instructors to build live online classes on the theory that this is what students most want.
Another trend he sees is people taking IT and coding courses as part of their business skills development. For example, he says, “several folks in our own organization who have nothing to do with programming as part of their career have taken such courses. The reason is that wherever there’s data, you need to learn operations on that data. Marketing folks want to take those courses, not because they want to become programmers, but because they want to do a better job at marketing.”
Llorens expects to see demand grow for people who can create and deploy online education to keep a company’s talent base growing and engaged. “You have to use every subconscious thing you can think of to make the course entertaining and engaging,” he explains. “That’s going to become ultra high value as a talent. There’s going to be somebody who’s in charge of user engagement for the class. If you’ve got folks who are really good at that, your platform will beat out the next one.”
Asked about what he thinks the long-term trends are, Visciano talks about the introduction of more working practitioners into education. “If you go to MBA programs, what you see is that the most popular teachers are teaching it from a place of experience,” he says. “It’s not somebody who’s teaching about fundamental theories. It’s somebody who has made a million mistakes and is bloodied and bruised.”
Online platforms like Udemy, he argues, have that ethic at their foundation. Classes sell if they are by “everyday experts, taking that practical knowledge, distilling it into a course and delivering it to the world. I think that is the direction things will go, both in MBA programs and in online learning — the shift toward learning from people who know it and who’ve lived it.”
Lamkin says an explosion of new projects is bringing more innovation into the marketplace, “but there’s a downside to that. You and I could put our heads together and by this afternoon have our own school online and have some courses there. It might look good, but it may not actually be very good, so there is a risk that a person will take time to take courses and find out they may not be all that good.”
So the development he’s looking for is a way to evaluate online learning programs. “If you’re that end user, you definitely want to spend that time in a quality course that’s going to benefit them on a long-term basis,” he says. “That creates a need for an informed, independent organization that takes the time to go through the materials and have an unbiased ability to evaluate that material. Those types of resources will be more and more important going forward.”