Much has been made of the coronavirus impact on Higher Education. Colleges had to adapt to a business model that didn’t allow for their core service delivery—on-campus teaching—overnight. Ironically, it was the colleges that suddenly had a learning curve. Professors with varying technical aptitudes worked quickly to pivot to an online model for teaching.
UT News, a publication of the University of Texas, detailed part of that process amongst faculty:
On Friday the 13th, the day of the emergency closure, OI2 staff members continued conducting Zoom workshops from their homes, helping more than 160 faculty members become competent on the video conferencing platform.
During spring break, Horton and Zeng continued leading sessions on Zoom and lecturing online, while French began leading workshops on Canvas, UT’s custom learning management system. By the time students reported to their online classes March 30, the team had led 24 workshops for a total of 633 attendees. Workshops targeted instructors in the College of Education, but many other university faculty members joined in.
Fortunately, faculty and staff adapted, classes resumed, and the University continued to deliver its product.
Online Learning can enable business continuity for organizations not in the learning space, as well, workforce upskilling and continuing education will be core components of the 2020 economic comeback. How will jobs be changed in the second half of 2020? Will any employees have to learn new skills? Can you help your customers and channel partners adapt to changing market conditions?
Here are five ways the business leader can enable business continuity and growth through online learning.
Immediately offer employees skills training and online education from commercially available platforms. There is a course for every skill you can imagine, from Google Analytics training to SEO, to leadership and management. Now is a great time to move quickly toward offering employees time to binge-learn!
Not only will a LMS allow you to offer online learning content your company creates, but with standards like SCORM, which make external courses compatible with many systems, you can import external course content, offering a centralized learning hub—and many of the options in step one of this list—alongside the ability to manage and reward progress.
Many business leaders are finding extra budget from industry events that can be reinvested in other ways. By procuring Online Learning technology and creating online learning content, you can redeploy industry events budget and facilitate high-quality product learning and education just like an industry event, but enjoy evergreen content and better data attribution.
In the second half of 2020, customer behavior will be different, and the business landscape will be changed. Some jobs will be more important and others will need to evolve. The United States now has 22 million people unemployed. Not only can Online Learning help these individuals learn marketable skills, but it can allow business leaders to educate employees, redeploy them in new roles and maintain their employment, saving jobs.
Years ago, companies always launched Online Learning programs with formal learning departments. And while today’s best content is often created via professional instructional designers, SME can absolutely offer valuable insights immediately, to educate employees, customers and industry professionals. And it doesn’t even have to be formal. From LinkedIn and YouTube videos to short blogs or live Zoom training, you likely have a knowledgeable roster of SMEs—ask them to share knowledge and help your workforce and customers, and your business will be stronger for it.
There is no doubt the University will have the tallest order in offering Online Learning as revenue models and teaching models alike face strain throughout the summer and into fall semesters. But businesses can also drive continuity and growth with online learning, and educate a workforce to adapt to change, learn new skills and regain trajectories of professional, personal and profitable growth in the second half of 2020.